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Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab

A year-long program designed to nurture emerging producers with project-specific support through Labs, grants, and long-term advisor relationships.

The Sundance Creative Producing Fellowship was conceived to develop and support the next generation of American independent producers. For over 30 years, Sundance Institute has offered in-depth year-round programs for feature screenwriters and directors. In an increasingly competitive and complex marketplace, the health and excellence of the independent film movement hinges on sophisticated creative and strategic producers with whom these directors and writers can collaborate.

The Fellowship focuses on the holistic producer, who identifies, options, develops, and pitches material; champions and challenges the writer/director creatively; raises financing; leads the casting/packaging process; hires and inspires crew; and navigates the sales, distribution, and marketing arenas. The Program is designed to hone emerging producers’ creative instincts and evolve their communicating and problem-solving skills at all stages of realizing a project.

Six producers will be selected for a one-year fellowship, with Fellows supported to participate in the following:

  • Feature Film Creative Producing Lab
  • Creative Producing Summit
  • Sundance Film Festival attendance (screenings, curated meetings, and networking opportunities)
  • $5,000 living stipend
  • $5,000 pre-production grant
  • Year-round mentorship from two industry Advisors
  • Community building among Producing Fellows
  • Year-round support from Sundance Institute staff

Fellows will attend a five-day lab focused on creatively strengthening their projects from script to screen. Through a series of one-on-one sessions with Advisors, as well as group sessions, Fellows will explore their own creative take on the project and develop skills and a process for evaluating, developing, and implementing their material to reflect these ideas. Scripts will be discussed alongside issues, such as creative imperatives, marketplace valuation, and production challenges. Case studies will be used to explore creative issues in preproduction, production, and editing processes, while techniques in communicating with writer/directors and potential production partners will also be addressed.

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.

FAQ

If you have additional questions regarding eligibility or about how to about apply for the Creative Producing Fellowship, click here for our FAQ

Timelines

The timelines for the 2014 Creative Producing Fellowship are as follows:

Selection Process

Nov 4, 2013   Application available online
Feb 7, 2014   Application closed
March 28, 2014   Notification of second round selections. Invitations are made on a rolling basis, and you should be prepared to submit a full draft of the script along with directing and producing samples beginning  March 1st.
June 13, 2014   Notification of final selections

Fellowship Year

July 1, 2014   Start of 2014 Fellowship
July 28 - Aug 1, 2014   Creative Producing Lab (Sundance Resort, Utah)
Aug 1 - 4, 2014   Creative Producing Summit (Sundance Resort, Utah)
Jan 22 - Feb 1, 2015   Sundance Film Festival (Park City, Utah)
June 30, 2015   End of 2014 Fellowship

Alumni

Click here to view the press release for the 2013 Creative Producing Fellows.

How to Apply

The application for the 2014 Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab is closed, as of February 7. Applicants will be notified of selection by June 13, 2014. Applications for the 2015 Fellowship will open November 3, 2014.

If you have any further questions please email producers@sundance.org.

Giving Back to Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization funded by foundations, corporations, film industry sources, individuals, government agencies, and earned income such as ticket sales at the Film Festival. The Institute was founded by Robert Redford as a way to give back and support other film and theatre artists by providing them with an opportunity to develop their projects and skills. 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.