Labs & On-Going Support
When a project receives a grant from the Sundance Documentary Film Program, the team is offered a host of informal and formal support opportunities to nurture the project’s development as well as the artist's career. They are also part of the growing, global Sundance Alumni community. In addition to ongoing consultation with DFP staff for strategic advice and creative feedback, grantees are also eligible for DFP creative Labs and fellowship opportunities. Grantees are also eligible for Sundance Institute cross-programmatic initiatives such as the Women’s Initiative and Catalyst Weekend (both are by invitation only). Grantees can also access services provided by Sundance Institute Artist Services and Alumni Programs.
DFP Creative Labs are unique, artist focused residential retreats that bring together a community of world-class documentary directors, editors and producers from around the world. At each Lab filmmakers work intensively with Advisors and staff in a spirit of experimentation to develop their projects, creative and practical skills in a supportive and nurturing environment.
The DFP hosts four Labs annually including two Edit & Story Labs, the Documentary Music & Sound Design Lab at Skywalker Sound, and the Documentary Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship. In addition we offer three Fellowship opportunities through the Fellows Program at the Sundance Film Festival, the Creative Producing Summit at the Sundance Resort and the newly announced Creative Nonfiction Writer Fellowship. The Edit and Story Labs and Fellowship opportunities are open only to DFP grantees. The Documentary Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship as well as the Music and Sound Design Lab are open to U.S.-based filmmakers. Applications for both Labs will open soon.
DFP Lab Alumni include Laura Poitras (The Oath), Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army), Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson) and Matt Heineman (Cartel Land).
The Documentary Film Program has established a portfolio of innovative field-building creative partnerships and international collaborations that benefit the global documentary community. These strategic initiatives provide funding and networking opportunities for established filmmakers, and support and mentorship emerging international artists. Activities include, convenings, workshops, solicited requests for proposals and one-on-one meetings. Partnerships include:
Art of Nonfiction Initiative
Sundance Institute’s Art of Nonfiction Initiative provides creative and financial support for nonfiction filmmakers employing inventive artistic practice in story, craft, and form.
With a focus on recognizing nonfiction filmmakers as creative artists, Sundance Institute has developed two unique support opportunities for filmmakers: the Art of Nonfiction Fellowship and Fund.
Recipients of the Art of Nonfiction Fellowship and Fund are selected on a yearly basis through a curated invitation-only application process. Considered artists must be living or working in the United States. Unsolicited applications are not currently being accepted.
Sundance Institute’s Art of Nonfiction Initiative is made possible by founding support from Cinereach. Generous additional support is provided by Genuine Article Pictures, Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman.
Advice for Filmmakers
The Sundance Documentary Film program believes that artful storytelling can transform conversations and cultures. Through our non-recoupable grants and artist support opportunities, we seek to engage with fresh voices and veterans in the field who are pursuing financially viable nonfiction projects with clear and forward going storytelling, strong artistic vision and the potential to reach an audience. Our staff can be found attending Forums and Festivals around the globe in the hopes of connecting with filmmakers and artists and we are always available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Support for the Documentary Film Program
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program is made possible by founding support from Open Society Foundations. Generous additional support is provided by Skoll Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Ford Foundation; The Charles Engelhard Foundation; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; Arcus Foundation; The Rockefeller Foundation; The Kendeda Fund; Bertha Foundation; CNN Films; Discovery Channel; National Geographic; Genuine Article Pictures; Time Warner Foundation; Cinereach; Anonymous; Compton Foundation; Sundance Now; Joan and Lewis Platt Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Code Blue Foundation; Joy Family Foundation; PBS; WNET New York Public Media; the J.A. & H.G. Woodruff, Jr. Charitable Trust; Nommontu Foundation; and the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation.
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