Sundance Institute's Documentary Fund and Awards division is a core element of the DFP, granting between $1 and $2 million per year to support U.S. and international contemporary independent documentary films. With submission deadlines in February and July each year, and other special invitation only opportunities, the Fund reviews 1,700-2,000 proposals annually, and grants about 45-55 projects from filmmakers around the world. When appropriate, select submissions undergo an intensive review process by experts working at the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch, International Center for Transitional Justice, Open Society Foundations and others to inform us on the issues. Granting decisions are informed by recommendations from a committee of film professional and issue area experts. In funding such work, the Sundance Documentary Fund encourages the diverse exchange of ideas that is crucial to fostering an open society and public dialogue about contemporary issues.
The Sundance Documentary Fund accepts submissions in three categories.
- Development (up to $20,000): There is no reel required with an application, but clips, teasers, trailers, or images are highly encouraged. A previous work sample is required.
- Production/Post-Production (up to $50,000): Production/Post-production grants provide funds to projects offering approximately 20 to 75 minutes of edited material for the project being proposed. The reel should convey the narrative and aesthetic approach for the final film. A previous sample work must also be included with the application.
- Audience Engagement (up to $20,000): Audience Engagement grants provide previously granted projects funding for strategic audience and community engagement campaigns.
The Sundance Documentary Fund provides grants to filmmakers worldwide for projects that display:
- Artful and innovative storytelling
- Global relevance
- Contemporary social issue
- Potential for social engagement
The Sundance Documentary Fund is now accepting applications for the fall 2013 round. The application will close at 6:00pm PST on July 9th, 2013. All submissions must be received in our Los Angeles office by this date. To apply click HERE.
For information on the fund and how to apply, please review the materials on the links below. If you have any outstanding questions after reviewing the materials below, you may contact email@example.com
- Proposal Checklist (Development and Production/Post-Production categories)
- Audience Engagement Proposal Checklist (Current Grantees Only)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Fall 2012 Grant Award Recipients
Decisions for the spring 2013 round of funding will be announced in July. Please note, we are unable to provide status updates or feedback on specific projects. Unsolicited updates to projects that applied in the spring 2013 round will not be accepted.