Sundance Google+ Hangout: Applying for the TED Prize Filmmaker Award

Sundance Google+ Hangout: Applying for the TED Prize Filmmaker Award

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The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP) hosted its first ever Google+ Hangout for filmmakers interested in submitting proposals to the recently announced TED Prize Filmmaker Award. The TED Prize Filmmaker Award is a new initiative of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program in partnership with TED, the non-profit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. Together the organizations have launched the TED Prize Filmmaker Award, a $125,000 prize for the production of a short documentary film project about the work of Sugata Mitra, this year’s TED Prize winner. The Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program and Fund is currently accepting proposals through April 15, 2013 and the Award winner will be announced in June 2013 at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland.

During the Google+ Hangout, Cara Mertes, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund, and Richard Ray Perez, producer of Creative Partnerships for the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, led a discussion and provided inside tips on how filmmakers could best position their proposals for the prize. Mertes and Perez addressed specific topics like approaches to communicating a strong story that addresses the larger societal issues Sugata Mitra’s work confronts; what expenses the $125,000 Award must cover and how filmmakers could leverage this support to expand the project beyond the production and delivery of an Academy Award-qualifying short documentary; how to think strategically about a proposed multi-platform distribution and outreach plan; and how to articulate a convincing engagement strategy – all elements of that must be addressed in a winning proposal and reflected in the proposed budget. 

If you missed the Google Hangout, check it out below: 

Participants in the Hangout asked some insightful questions that helped gain deeper insight into ways to approach the proposal and places where they can start doing some in-depth research about Sugata Mitra. Because this is a new award and the period between the announcement and the proposal deadline is very short, the Hangout was a great opportunity for prospective applicants to directly interact with the senior staffers of the Sundance DFP in a way that will inform stronger proposals and inspire them to apply by the deadline.

Click here to apply for the Ted Prize Filmmaker Award.

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