Sundance Ignite

About Sundance Ignite

Sundance Ignite identifies and supports new voices and talent from the next generation of filmmakers and fosters fresh audiences for independent storytelling. The program offers individuals ages 18-25 the Ignite Ticket Package, an exclusive chance to see the newest films at the Sundance Film Festival; the Ignite Fellows Program, a competitive and year-round Festival and industry experience; and Sundance Ignite On Tour, a traveling component designed to engage with students and emerging filmmakers.

Ignite Ticket Package

The Ignite Ticket Package at Sundance Film Festival includes screening tickets, a festival credential and access to exclusive events specially designed to connect emerging filmmakers to festival filmmakers and industry, explore the evolving landscape of financing and distribution, introduce them to the Sundance Institute artist programs and services, and provide opportunities for networking. The Ignite Ticket Package is a reduced cost ticket package open to ages 18-25. The 2018 Ignite ticket package is sold-out.

Sundance Ignite Fellows Program

Check out the 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellows

In partnership with Adobe Project 1324, the yearlong Sundance Ignite Fellowship is open to 18-to-24-year-old emerging documentary and narrative filmmakers. It kicks off with a free trip to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where fellows will be paired with a Sundance alumni mentor and attend special Ignite events. For the rest of the year, fellows work with their mentors, attend select Sundance Institute programs, be eligible for internships, and receive additional creative and professional development opportunities as they develop their craft. They will also receive a complimentary Adobe Creative Cloud subscription from Project 1324.

To become a Sundance Ignite Fellow, check back in Summer of 2018 for the Ignite Film Challenge!

2017 Ignite Fellows

These are the fifteen fellows selected for the 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellowship:

  • Emiliana Ammirata

    Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Emiliana is currently a film production student at Chapman University aspiring to become a female director of narrative and documentary filmmaking. Her interests were first sparked with cinematography and photography, a cinematic aspect that she deeply values and has pursued for most of her studies. Inspired by her country and Latin America, Emiliana hopes to tell uncommon stories that involve forward thinking issues and challenge societal stigmas.

    A mother-daughter relationship is put at stake when both morals and family values are challenged by the human pride.

  • Sachin Dharwadker

    New York
    Sachin Dharwadker is a writer, director, and editor who recently graduated from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Film & Television. His narrative short films have screened at festivals around the world, and he’s currently in post-production on The Alternative, his NYU thesis film. When not creating or consuming motion pictures, Sachin enjoys reading, sports, and daydreaming.

    A girl finds herself caught between this world and the next. Starring Justine Mallier-Giraud and Florent Chako | Written and Directed by Sachin Dharwadker | Produced by Joshua Bogatin | Director of Photography: Peter Pascucci | Editor: Joan Marie Educate | Assistant Director: Gerardo Coello Escalante | Assistant Camera: Jacqueline Hall | Sound Mixer: Will Politan | Filmed on location in Paris, France. All music copyright (c) Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar, obtained and used with permission from the artist.

  • Thea Gajic

    United Kingdom
    Thea Gajic is an actress and filmmaker born and raised in South London. She has performed at The Old Vic, SOHO Theatre and is a member of Old Vic New Voices. Her latest short film Run was chosen as BFI NET.WORK’S Postroom Pick of The Month as well as being selected by Short of The Week where she was applauded as “showcasing not only astute, rounded female characters but a strong directorial voice.”

    "You mock us for rushing; but my love at least we run into things, not away from them." What happens when you walk away from someone who could have changed your life? Within a humorous yet delicate take on male indecision, soft tones and articulate glances quietly assert the indomitable strength of feminine vulnerability.

  • Leah Galant

    New York
    Leah was named one of Variety Magazine's "110 Students to Watch in Film and Media.” Her films focus on social justice themes through powerful individual stories. Projects have included a documentary film about a traveling abortion provider The Provider, that won a College Emmy Award and screened at SXSW and Beyond The Wall, a film about prison re-entry. Leah is currently the inaugural Sally Burns Shenkmen Women Filmmaker Fellow at Jacob Burns Film Center.

    A personal documentary about a mother and her daughter who challenge the narrative of fear through art.

  • Emily Ann Hoffman

    New York
    Emily Ann Hoffman is an animator, filmmaker and illustrator based in NY. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 and has since been doing freelance work while screening at independent film festivals internationally. She is currently working on a new short film as an Emerging Artist Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

    A woman leaves a voicemail late at night.

  • Laura Holliday

    West Virginia
    Laura has created comedic content for Funny or Die, Lifetime/A&E Networks, Fullscreen and others. She is a graduate of Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre LA, The Second City Conservatory Hollywood and Idyllwild Arts Academy. She is completing her BFA in Film Production at Art Center College of Design. Laura is passionate about creating opportunities for women in film and telling stories about Appalachia.

    A comedy about a girl who just spent four years preparing for her future, and now doesn't know what to do next.

  • Alex Kamb

    Throughout his childhood, Alex Kamb always felt an attraction to film. Waiting for his parents to fall asleep, he’d secretly enjoy all-nighter movie marathons on his 7-inch monitor portable DVD player. It wasn’t until late in his high school years that he discovered the emotional therapy that came from creating a film. He’s fallen completely in love with the medium and he aims to pose questions concerning the human experience in all of his films.

    Many people wonder what's next for their loved ones when they can no longer recall who they are. When taking care of those who are slowly losing a lifetime of memories, we desperately search for something to hold on to - that brief moment of recognition full of love, appreciation, and gratitude. This film is for those who refuse to abandon their loved ones in difficult times, even if it means sharing some of the hardship.

  • Vasilis Kekatos portrait

    Vasilis Kekatos

    Vasilis Kekatos was born in 1991 in Greece. He completed his BA in Film Studies at Brunel University of London. He has directed several short documentaries and music videos. His first short film, Retrograde was selected by Drama ISFF and Athens Premiere Nights IFF. He is also the artistic director of SeaNema Open Air Film Festival, a film festival hosted in specially formed areas by the sea. He is currently working on his second short, The Silence of the Dying Fish, which is already funded by ERT National TV Channel. He lives and works in Athens.

    Two men are talking inside a car. One of them is dead.

  • Johanna Nyberg

    Johanna Nyberg is a director born and raised in Uppsala, Sweden currently based in Stockholm. In June 2016 she graduated Beckmans College of Design with a bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication and recently started up production company and directors-duo Cherry Cobra Films together with director Nathalie Hallman.

    Eva performs a stand-up gig and her intention is far from pleasing the audience.Comedians is a short film and BFA graduation project by Johanna Nyberg at Beckmans College of Design, Stockholm, Sweden, 2016. Based on female representation in film, I have explored the subject of humour from a gender perspective. Men still dominate the comedy scene and set the standard for whatwe consider to be funny. Inspired by interviews with female comedians in Sweden I wanted to present their experiences in the field of comedy. Is humour as free and unconditional for women as it is for men?

  • Esteban Cruz Orozco

    Esteban was born in Bogotá, Colombia in October 1994. He is currently a senior in college, studying Audiovisual Communication at Universidad de La Sabana. Film is the way in which he tries to understand what surrounds him and sees it as an agent of self-reflection and transformation for society.

    Resilience is a word that resonates in a country with over 50 years of civil war.

  • Olivia Peace

    Olivia Peace is a filmmaker and visual artist living in Chicago, Illinois. Much of her work deals with themes of surrealism grounded in reality. Her short film Pangaea was Olivia’s final directorial piece while she was a student in the undergraduate film program at Northwestern University, following an animated short Lucid, along with several music videos.

    A lonely girl stranded on a rooftop desperately tries to return her life to a state of equilibrium after she is separated from her family.

  • Tyler Rabinowitz

    New York
    Tyler Rabinowitz is a producer/director and alumnus of NYU Tisch, where he was named one of Variety Magazine's 2015 "Students to Watch.” He’s a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts and TED speaker. As producer, his clients include Universal Music, Republic Records and Crush Music. He has worked for Warner Bros., Sesame Workshop, Avy Kaufman, and YoungArts. His work has screened at the Smithsonian, Kennedy Center and garnered millions of views on YouTube.

    "It’s rare that a song provides listeners with a history lesson. It’s even rarer still that a song would use a history lesson to shed light on some of its country’s most pressing issues, and provide a commentary and call to action. But that’s exactly what singer, writer, and spoken word artist Amy León does in her powerful song “Burning in Birmingham." - Atwood Magazine. In a harrowing reflection on the 1963 Baptist Church Bombing by the Ku Klux Klan, León and four other women channel the four girls killed, and the one who survived, in song and poetry that confronts the atrocious tragedies of the past and lambastes the injustices of today. It's a command to support, to act, and to change.

  • Charlotte Regan

    United Kingdom
    Charlotte is a London-born filmmaker who started off creating no budget rap videos for local artists. Since then she's created over 200 music promos and has worked with artists of all genres from Dot Rotten to Keaton Henson. She recently featured in Pro Moviemaker magazine as Samsung's “One To Watch”' and her short film Standby received its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

    Gary and Jenny share the same cramped "office space" as all beat cops: the front seat of a patrol car. Their evolving relationship is an emotional rollercoaster ride that stands in often-comedic contrast to the procession of thugs and criminals filling the back seat.

  • Minnie Schedeen

    Minnie Schedeen, 21, is a filmmaker from Los Angeles, California who grew up writing stories on her family’s berry farm in Oregon. She studied theater and classical piano in high school before enrolling at USC School of Cinematic Arts to pursue an education in writing and directing. She is fascinated by science-fiction as a means to explore human nature and hopes to pioneer a firm place for women and women’s stories in the genre.

    A man wakes in a bunker unable to remember how he got there, with nothing but a shelf of books and a computer with a single function. Partly inspired by the director's own childhood, PART II is a meditation on being stuck in a single place without knowing if or when circumstances will change. It's a brief chapter in a greater story which asks the question: What's next?

  • Linhan Zhang

    Hong Kong
    Linhan grew up in Beijing and Hong Kong. He got into filmmaking at a young age and since then he has worked in different positions including director, assistant camera, assistant producer, and editor with various international crews. He is currently studying Film & TV at New York University.

    When the older brother suddenly recovers from his injury, he faces the choice of living in permanent limbo or reviving his brother by handing himself over to Grim Reaper.

Sundance Ignite on Tour

Sundance Ignite on Tour travels with films and filmmakers to college campuses, community centers, and arts organizations for screenings, discussions, Short Film Masterclasses, workshops, and case studies. For more information about how to bring Sundance Ignite to your area, please email


Sundance Ignite is supported by Adobe Project 1324; Arison Arts Foundation; The Birth of a Nation Fellowship, founded by the creative and producing teams of the film; and Syracuse University.

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