Creative Producing Program


Labs & Fellowships

The core of the Creative Producing Program are its Labs that identify and nurture the independent producer. There are different producing Labs throughout the year, depending on your area of focus: Documentary or Feature Film.

  • Application The application period for the 2019 Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship will open October 29, 2018 and close at 5pm Pacific Time on February 12, 2019.
    Dates

    Lab: July 29 - Aug 1, 2019
    Summit: Aug 2-4, 2019
    Festival: January 23 - February 2, 2020

    Size of Fellowship 5 projects
    Location Sundance Resort and Park City, Utah
    Eligibility
    • Candidates must have produced at least one short or feature-length narrative or documentary film, but no more than two narrative features total as lead creative producer. This does not include co, associate, or executive producer credits.
    • Candidates must have a completed, legally-optioned, scripted, narrative project in hand with a director attached to the project
    • Candidates may not be the writer or director of submitted project.
    • Candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be filmed internationally.
    Description A year-long program designed to nurture emerging producers with project-specific support through the Creative Producing Lab, Creative Producing Summit, Sundance Film Festival attendance, $10,000 grant support, year-round mentorship from one industry mentor, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute Staff. $10,000 grant support is also provided for costs of living and unsupported costs of project development for the Fellow. The Program is designed to hone emerging producers’ creative instincts and evolve their communicating and problem-solving skills at all stages of their next feature film project.
    Giving Back Should you be selected to participate in the Creative Producing Fellowship, you will be asked to continue the spirit of giving back. Since securing funding for the Institute's programs is a consistent challenge, we request that Lab Alumni whose projects are produced, contribute to the Institute's work to support new generations of emerging filmmakers. Projects supported by the Creative Producing Fellowship are asked to contribute 0.25% of their production budget calculated after the first $1 million (e.g. if your film is produced for $1.2 million, the fee due to the Institute would be $500). Additionally, Lab Alumni are asked to recognize the Fellowship with the credit, "Developed with the assistance of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship." Any revenue that is designated to Sundance Institute is allocated to the Feature Film Program and is used on an annual basis to provide critical support for the Labs. Your ability to give back really makes a difference.

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  • What you need to provide in order to apply:

    CONTACT INFO We will use the email address you provide to correspond with you moving forward. Please make sure producers@sundance.org is cleared in your spam filter!

    LOGLINE (75 word maximum)

    SYNOPSIS (750 word maximum)

    DIRECTOR’S ARTISTIC STATEMENT Director’s creative intent for the film, which can include the genesis of the story, particular themes of interest, and visual style. This must be written by the Director of your project. (500 word maximum)

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (optional) Any additional information such as status of the project, attachments, or other producers attached who are not applying for the Fellowship, and their role on the project. (500 word maximum)

    BIOS for the applying producer(s), screenwriter(s), and director(s). Please specifically list all notable credits, accolades, education, and experience. (300 word maximum each)

    ESSAY QUESTIONSYou will be asked to answer a series of seven essay questions that will allow us to better understand your point of view as a producer and also why you want to make the project you are applying with. Click here to view the essay questions. (500 word maximum each)

    LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION Your recommender should be someone familiar with your prior creative work, such as a filmmaking colleague or professor, but does not necessarily need to be familiar with your submitted project. The recommender should not be attached to the project in any position. For example the recommender cannot be the writer, director, co-producer, cinematographer etc. You will be asked to upload a PDF of the letter of recommendation, and your letter must be uploaded by the deadline along with the rest of your application. If you are applying as a team, you can submit one joint letter or separate letters.

    APPLICATION FEE of $40 (credit card only)

    NO SCRIPTS OR ADDITIONAL MATERIALS ARE ACCEPTED AT THIS STAGE.

    • 1. How do I apply?

      The application for the 2019 Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship will be available October 29, 2018 and will close at 5pm Pacific Time on February 12, 2019. You can find it at apply.sundance.org and will need to set up a login account to apply.
    • 2. What do I need to apply?

      1. CONTACT INFO We will use the email address you provide to correspond with you moving forward. Please make sure producers@sundance.org is cleared in your spam filter!
      2. LOGLINE (75 word maximum)
      3. SYNOPSIS (750 word maximum)
      4. DIRECTOR’S ARTISTIC STATEMENT Director’s creative intent for the film, which can include the genesis of the story, particular themes of interest, and visual style. This must be written by the Director of your project. (500 word maximum)
      5. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (optional) Any additional information such as status of the project, attachments, or other producers attached who are not applying for the Fellowship, and their role on the project. (500 word maximum)
      6. BIOS for the applying producer(s), screenwriter(s), and director(s). Please specifically list all notable credits, accolades, education, and experience. (300 word maximum each)
      7. ESSAY QUESTIONS You will be asked to answer a series of seven essay questions that will allow us to better understand your point of view as a producer and also why you want to make the project you are applying with. Please click here for essay questions. (500 word maximum each)
      8. LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION Your recommender should be someone familiar with your prior creative work, such as a filmmaking colleague or professor, but does not necessarily need to be familiar with your submitted project. The recommender should not be attached to the project in any position. For example the recommender cannot be the writer, director, co-producer, cinematographer etc. You will be asked to upload a PDF of the letter of recommendation, and your letter must be uploaded by the deadline along with the rest of your application. If you are applying as a team, you can submit one joint letter or separate letters.
      9. APPLICATION FEE of $40 (credit card only)
      10. NO SCRIPTS OR ADDITIONAL MATERIALS ARE ACCEPTED AT THIS STAGE.
    • 3. Do you accept international submissions?

      Eligible candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be filmed internationally.
    • 4. Do you accept short films?

      No, only feature length projects are eligible.
    • 5. Can I submit a nonfiction project?

      There is a separate Documentary Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship with a separate application process. More information can be found about support for nonfiction projects on the Documentary Film Program page.
    • 6. If selected, when do I have to be available to participate, and do I have to be there the entire time?

      If your project is selected, you are required to be at the Lab, Creative Producing Summit, and Festival for the entire duration. Sundance covers airfare and lodging for all three events. If you have a scheduling conflict, we encourage you to apply in a future cycle when you are available.
    • 7. What are the dates I must be available to participate in this Fellowship?

      The dates for the 2019 Creative Producing Lab are July 29 – August 1, 2019. The dates for the 2019 Creative Producing Summit are August 2 – 4, 2019. The dates for the 2020 Sundance Festival are January 23 – February 2, 2020.
    • 8. Can I reapply with the same project as last year?

      Yes, although we encourage you to re-apply with the same project ONLY if you have made significant revisions to the script and/or elements attached. In your application, please explain what changes have taken place on the script and project since last submitted.
    • 9. Can I still apply if I don’t have a director attached?

      No, we can only consider candidates with projects that have a director attached. Candidates may not be involved as a writer or director of the submitted project.
    • 10. I work with another producer; can we both apply with the same project?

      Yes, teams of up to two producers may apply together with one project. If there are additional producers, they must also be disclosed on the application but would not participate in the Fellowship if selected.
    • 11. Can I submit multiple projects?

      You may submit up to three projects, but we encourage you to choose two projects that are your priority in terms of moving forward. Please note that for each script, you must complete a separate application and submit a separate application fee.
    • 12. Do I need to have the rights to the script or underlying material in order to apply?

      In the event you are selected for the Fellowship, you will need to provide a copy of your attachment, option, or rights agreement for the script and for any underlying material. In order to apply, you will need the approval of your director and writer acknowledging the submission of your project for consideration to the Fellowship.
    • 13. Do I submit a script or other materials with my application?

      No, you should not submit your script at this time. Starting March 1, 2019 we will begin requesting additional materials, which include a full script, directing sample, and producing sample for applicants invited to the second round. All applicants will receive a notification via email if they are being invited to the second round no later than March 22, 2019.
    • 14. Do I need to submit a budget with my application?

      No, you do not need to submit a budget with your application, however, you will need to provide the overall budget number (e.g. $1.2 million).
    • 15. Can my project go into production before attending the Lab?

      Unfortunately, no. We consider the timing of your Lab and Fellowship to be a crucial component to selection. The Lab is designed, in part, to focus on your creative input and communication with your director and screenwriter on your Fellowship project. If your film is already in production or has already been shot, the impact and relevance of your Lab experience is lessened.
    • 16. Who should I have write my letter of recommendation?

      Ideally, your recommender should be working in the film industry (eg. producer, director, executive, film professor) and be familiar with your past work. They do not need to be familiar with the project you are submitting. If you do not have prior film work or relationships, your recommender should be able to address your past creative endeavors.
    • 17. Where do I send my letter of recommendation?

      You will need to upload your letter of recommendation into your online application as a PDF. Recommendation letters must be included at the time of application and cannot be uploaded after submission.
    • 18. How will I be notified about acceptance? Will I be notified if I’m not accepted?

      All applicants will be notified via email. You will hear from us whether accepted or not via e-mail no later than June 7, 2019.
    • 19. I haven’t received my notification yet, but all my friends have! What’s wrong?

      We deliver our notifications on a rolling basis, so please don’t panic. All applicants will receive a response via e-mail no later than June 7, 2019.
    • 20. Does it matter if I’ve participated in other non-Sundance labs?

      Not at all. We encourage filmmakers to utilize all of the resources available to them in furthering their work and their artistic development.
    • 21. Can I receive feedback on my submission?

      Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unfortunately not able to provide individualized feedback.
    • 22. Does Sundance pay for my travel to Utah?

      Sundance does provide air travel within the US, lodging, and meals at the Lab and Summit, as well as air travel (also within the US) and lodging at the Festival for all selected Fellows.

    Still don’t see your question answered here? Email producers@sundance.org with further questions with “Creative Producing Fellowship” in the subject line.

  • Application Apply Here
    Deadline Thursday, February 12, 2019, at 5pm PST
    Dates Lab: July 29 - August 2, 2019
    Summit: August 2 - 4, 2019
    Festival: January 23 - February 2, 2020
    Size of Fellowship 5 Producers
    Location Sundance Resort and Park City, Utah
    Eligibility
    • Candidates are required to have produced at least one short or feature documentary film as lead creative producer or co-producer (executive producer, associate or line producer does not qualify).
    • Candidates may not be the director of submitted project.
    • Candidates must be in active production / postproduction on project.
    • Candidates must live in the United States, though the project maybe filmed internationally.
    • Candidates must be available for all CPI dates, above
    Costs Sundance Institute will provide round trip economy travel, ground transfer and onsite lodging for the selected fellow for the specific dates of attendance.
    Description A year-long program designed to nurture emerging producers with project-specific support through the Creative Producing Lab, Creative Producing Summit, Sundance Film Festival attendance, year-round mentorship from industry mentors, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute Staff. The program is designed to hone emerging producers' creative instincts and evolve their communication and problem-solving skills at all stages of their next feature film project.
    Deliverables Fellows are required to acknowledge Sundance Institute and the CPI support partners, to provide reporting at the close of the Fellowship year, and to participate in possible blogs, interviews, and panels. Fellows should be willing to give back to the Sundance Institute creative community through willingness to coach, advise, or mentor future Fellows from Sundance Institute. Accepted fellows also must provide a current producers agreement or memo of understanding for the project they have applied with.

    APPLY NOW



Awards and Grants

Feature Film Creative Producing Fellows receive a grant of $10,000 per participating project with $5000 to spend towards a living stipend and $5000 to spend towards pre-production.

  • The Sundance Institute Producers Awards are $10,000 grants awarded to producers with films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in both fiction and non-fiction categories.The awards are presented annually during the festival at the Producers Brunch where a keynote speech is given by a prominent member of the independent producing community.

    The 2018 keynote was delivered by founder of Blumhouse Productions, Jason Blum (Get Out, The Jinx, Whiplash, The Normal Heart, Insidious, Paranormal Activity). To read the keynote address, click here.

    The 2018 Narrative Producers Award went to Sev Ohanian (Searching), and the 2018 Documentary Producers Award went to Katy Chevigny and Marilyn Ness of Big Mouth Productions (Dark Money).

  • Created in honor of indie producer Mark Silverman, whose credits included the Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing, Raising Arizona, and Blood Simple, The Mark Silverman Honor is awarded to an emerging producer or producing team selected for the Creative Producing Fellowship. The 2018 Mark Silverman Honoree is Traci Carlson (Wolf in White Van).


Advice for Applicants

The Creative Producing Program is designed to give aspiring producers the skills and knowledge they need to pursue their craft. While the specific criteria for participation differs across our various programs, for all of our initiatives we are seeking passionate, bold, risk-taking, and creatively rigorous artists compelled to see their vision through to audience. Some things to think about while applying to any of our programs include your personal connection to the material, why you are passionate about this particular story, how you intend to realize the project creatively and logistically, and the impact you hope to have on audiences.


Support for the Producing Program

The Sundance Institute Creative Producing Program is supported by an endowment from the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Charitable Foundation, with generous additional support from Amazon Studios, Cinereach, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and SAGindie.