Creative Producing Initiative


Labs & Fellowships

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.

FEATURE FILM CREATIVE PRODUCING LAB & FELLOWSHIP
Application Now closed. Will reopen in Fall of 2016.
Deadline February 9, 2016 at 5 p.m. PST
Dates

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
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 proje
  • 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 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.
Still have questions? Read our FAQ >>

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?

  • 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. (250 word maximum each)
  • 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. 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.

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 producers@sundance.org with further questions with “Creative Producing Fellowship” in the subject line.

Application Guidelines

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. (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.

Documentary Creative Producing Lab
Application Invitation only. Currently accepting nominations. Please email documentarycpi@sundance.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
Eligibility
  • Candidates must have produced at least one short or feature-length narrative or documentary film, but no more than two documentary features total as lead creative producer. This does not include co, associate, or executive producer credits.
  • Candidates may not be the director of submitted project.
  • Candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be 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. 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.

NOMINATION GUIDELINES
Please include all required fields. Nomination will not be considered without complete information. Nominator can submit up to two nominations.

  • CONTACT INFO Primary email address and phone contact for nominee.
  • BIO Current bio and credit list for nominee (250 word maximum)
  • PROJECT STATUS What is the current stage of production (development, pre-production, production, post)
  • CURRENT PROJECT LOGLINE (75 word maximum)
  • LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
    Nominator should be familiar with your prior creative work, such as a filmmaking colleague or professor, but does not necessarily need to be familiar with the current project. Letter should detail the qualities and accomplishments that make the nominee an ideal candidate for the Lab. Please include perceived strengths, noted career goals, and areas for growth that the Lab could support.

    The recommender should not be attached to a current 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. The letter must be received and uploaded by the deadline in order for nominee to be considered.
Native Producing Program


Grants & Fellowships

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.


Advice for Applicants

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.


Support for the Producing Initiative

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.