Creative Documentary Labs
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program offers a range of support to projects that have received a grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund. Grantees are eligible for Creative Documentary Labs and Fellowships. Creative Labs bring together world-class directors, editors and producers to bring DFP grantee films to a new level of excellence. They are intensive residential retreats where the art of nonfiction storytelling is engaged with rigor and candor. The DFP hosts five Labs annually, including the Documentary Edit and Story Lab, Composers + Documentary Lab, Documentary Creative Producing Lab, and the New Frontier Story Lab. Since 2004, the Lab has supported over 200 artists from around the world.
In addition to creative Labs, industry-oriented Fellowships are organized at the Sundance Film Festival and at the annual Sundance Institute Creative Producing Summit. Work-In-Progress screenings are generally held in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum and with the Ford Foundation “First Look” Screening Series in New York.
Application guidelines for the Sundance Documentary Fund can be found here.
Documentary Edit and Story Labs
In 2013, the DFP will host two Documentary Edit and Story Labs at the Sundance Resort in Utah, hosting nine grantee projects. Lab dates are Friday, June 21 - Saturday, June 29 and Friday, July 5 - Saturday, July 13. The structure and focus of the Labs are identical. A second Lab was added for the purpose of deepening support to DFP grantees. Projects (director/editor teams) are paired with seven Creative Advisors and DFP staff to advance their works-in-progress by focusing on story editing, character development and dramatic structure.
Edit and Story Lab Alumni include Natalia Almada (El General), Laura Poitras (The Oath), Michael Collins (Give Up Tomorrow) and Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army).
Creative Producing Lab: Documentary
Sundance Institute’s Creative Producing Initiative is a cross-programmatic initiative that supports feature and documentary film producers. The Creative Producing Lab: Documentary runs from Monday, July 29 - Friday, August 2. Six projects will attend this five-day Lab, conceived to develop and support the next generation of independent documentary producers.
Creative Producing Lab: Documentary Alumni include Marty Syjuco (Give Up Tomorrow), Alison Klayman (Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry), and Yoruba Richen (The New Black).
Composers + Documentary Lab
The 2013 Composers + Documentary Lab is a jointly programmed Lab with the Film Music Program led by Peter Golub. The Lab will run Sunday, June 2 - Monday, June 10 and pairs four projects (directors only) with emerging film music composers. Director-composer teams are paired in advance and will select and score scenes from their work-in-progress. Concurrently, projects also receive feedback on story, structure, and character development with Creative Advisors (Directors, Editors, and Composers) and Institute staff.
Composers + Documentary Lab Alumni include Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath (Nerakhoon: Betrayal), Angad Bhalla (Herman’s House), and Bernardo Ruiz (Reportero).
New Frontier Story Lab
The New Frontier Story Lab, now entering its third year, is inspired by New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival. The New Frontier Story Lab is the newest program at Sundance Institute offering interdisciplinary support to artists working at the convergence of film, art, and new media technologies. With the philosophy that story is at the heart of all narrative endeavors, this Lab supports artists who are developing interactive, immersive, or experimental projects that aim to create rich and resonant experiences for audiences. Projects supported by this Lab can take many forms, but the common goal is this: while each story thread or media (i.e. film, game, mobile app, animation, comic book, performance) can be experienced individually, the narrative and emotional connections between them magnifies the power of story and creates a more engaging and participatory experience.