Sundance Institute has long recognized the crucial role independent producers play in finding, championing, and shaping original voices in filmmaking. Their tenacity and longevity are crucial to the quality and abundance of independent cinema, and we are committed to deepening our support.
The Creative Producing Initiative encompasses a year-round series of Labs, Fellowships, granting and events focusing not only on nurturing the next generation of independent producers, but renewing the community of veteran producers dedicated to sustaining the vibrancy and vitality of independent film.
The core of the Creative Producing Initiative are its Labs that identify and nurture the independent producer. There are three different producing Labs throughout the year, depending on your area of focus: Documentary, Feature Film, and Native.
|Application||Now closed. Will reopen in Fall of 2016.|
|Deadline||February 9, 2016 at 5 p.m. PST|
Lab – Aug 1-5, 2016
Summit – Aug 5-8, 2016
Festival – Jan 19 - Jan 29, 2017
|Size of Fellowship||5 projects|
|Location||Sundance Resort and Park City, Utah|
|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 two industry mentors, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute Staff. 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.|
How do I apply?
The application for the 2016 Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab will be available November 2, 2015 and will close at 4:59pm. PST on February 9, 2016.
You can find it at applications3.sundance.org and will need to set up a login account to apply.
What do I need to Apply?
Do you accept international submissions?
Eligible candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be filmed internationally.
Do you accept short films?
No, only feature length projects are eligible.
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.
What are the dates I must be available to participate in this Fellowship?
The dates for the 2016 Creative Producing Lab are Aug 1-5, 2016. The dates for the 2016 Creative Producing Summit are Aug 5-8, 2016. The dates for the 2017 Sundance Festival are January 19 – January 29, 2017.
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.
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 the writer or director of the submitted project.
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.
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.
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.
Do I submit a script or other materials with my application?
No, you should not submit your script at this time. Starting in late February/early March, we will begin requesting additional materials, which include a full script, directing sample, and producing samples 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 25, 2016.
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).
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.
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.
Where do I send my letter of recommendation?
You will need to upload your letter of recommendation into your online application as a PDF.
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 10, 2016.
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 10, 2016.
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.
Can I receive feedback on my submission?
Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unfortunately not able to provide individualized feedback.
Does Sundance pay for my travel to Utah?
Sundance does provide air travel, lodging, and meals at the Lab and Summit, as well as air travel and lodging at the Festival for all selected Fellows.
Still don’t see your question answered here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions with “Creative Producing Fellowship” in the subject line.
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 email@example.com 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. (250 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. If you are applying as a team, you can submit one joint letter or separate letters. Your letter must be received and uploaded by the deadline in order to be able to submit your full application.
APPLICATION FEE of $40 (credit card only)
NO SCRIPTS OR ADDITIONAL MATERIALS ARE ACCEPTED AT THIS STAGE.
|Application||Invitation only. Currently accepting nominations. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. See guidelines below.|
|Nomination Deadline||March 18, 2016, at 6 p.m. PST|
|Dates||Lab – August 1 - 5, 2016
Summit – August 5 - 8, 2016
Festival – Jan 19 - Jan 29, 2017
|Size of Fellowship||5 producers|
|Location||Sundance Mountain Resort and Park City, Utah|
|Costs||Sundance Institute will provide round trip economy travel, ground transfer and onsite lodging for the selected fellow for the specific dates of attendance. There is no fee to apply|
|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, panels. Fellows should be willing to give back to the Sundance Institute creative community through a willingness to coach, advise or mentor future Fellows from Sundance Institute.|
Please include all required fields. Nomination will not be considered without complete information. Nominator can submit up to two nominations.
As part of the Institute's evolving commitment to independent producers, and in recognition of their importance in the creation and distribution of independent film, Sundance created the Creative Producing Summit, which takes place each summer at the Sundance Resort in Utah.
|Dates||Aug 5-8, 2016|
|Size of Summit||42 Producers and Directors|
|Location||Sundance Resort, Utah|
|Eligibility||Curated through the full array of Institute Programs including the Sundance Film Festival|
|Description||Over the three-day gathering, the Creative Producing Summit provides a forum for top industry professionals, producers, and directors to focus on three primary avenues of dialogue: narrative producing, documentary producing, and the state of the independent film industry. Over 40 panelists representing the leaders of the independent film industry are on hand for a series of curated panels, case studies, roundtables, and one-on-one meetings. Each day's programmed events allow for a revolving series of conversations around critical issues producers face such as financing, distribution, audience engagement, marketing, and sustainability.|
The 2015 Creative Producing Summit took place July 31 - August 3, 2015 at the Sundance Resort in Utah and included industry attendees such as Len Amato, HBO Films Michael Barker, Sony Pictures Classics; Dori Begley, Magnolia; Jason Michael Berman, Mandalay Pictures; Jeremy Boxer, Vimeo; Josh Braun, Submarine Entertainment; Charlie Jordan Brookins, BET Entertainment; Dan Cogan, Impact Partners; Wendy Cohen, Picture Motion; Victoria S. Cook, Frankfurt Kurnit; Danielle Di Giacomo, The Orchard; Fred Dust, IDEO; Maxyne Franklin, BRITDOC; Leah Giblin, Cinereach; Micah Green, Creative Artists Agency; Julie Goldman, Motto Pictures; John Hoffman, Discovery Channel; Ted Hope, Amazon Studios; Marcus Hu, Strand Releasing; Shannon O'Leary Joy, Joy Family Foundation;Colleen Keegan, Creative Capital; Charles King, MACRO; Lisa Kleiner-Chanoff, Catapult Film Fund; Gina Kwon, Amazon; Jessica Lacy, ICM Partners; Stephanie Langhoff, Duplass Brothers Productions; Linda Lichter, Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman, Inc; David Magdael, David Magdael & Associates; Vinnie Malhotra, CNN Worldwide; Sophie Mas, RT Features; Paul Mezey, Journeyman Pictures; Victor Moyers, Broad Green Productions; Josh Penn, Court 13 Films; Daniel Plummer, Code Blue Foundation; Shari Sant Plummer, Code Blue Foundation; Annie Roney, Ro*Co Films; Dan Schoenbrun, Kickstarter; Jonathan Schwartz, Super Crispy Entertainment; John Sloss, Cinetic Media; Graham Taylor, William Morris Endeavor; Grazka Taylor, Producer; Lynette Howell Taylor, Electric City Entertainment; Molly Thompson, A&E IndieFilms; Saschka Unseld, Oculus Story Studio; Jay Van Hoy, Parts & Labor; Ryan Werner, Cinetic Media; Caspar von Winterfeldt, Fortune Films, Chi-hui Yang, JustFilms, Ford Foundation.
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 Creative Producing Initiative's programs are 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.
Sundance Institute Creative Producing Initiative is supported by Open Society Foundations; The Annenberg Foundation; Ford Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Time Warner Foundation;Red Crown Productions; Steve Bing; Jeanne Donovan Fisher; Hollywood Foreign Press Association; the Joan and Lewis Platt Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; 3311 Productions; The Ammon Foundation; Compton Foundation; Firestone / von Winterfeldt Family Fund; Philip Fung-A3 Foundation; SAGIndie; Grazka Taylor; The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the Zygmunt & Audrey Wilf Foundation; Rosalie Swedlin and Robert Cort; the J.A. & H.G. Woodruff, Jr. Charitable Trust; John M. August; and Nancy Blachman and David desJardins.