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Feature Film Program Fund

Every year, Sundance Institute provides over $400,000 in financial support to Feature Film Program Alumni through a robust program of fellowships and direct artist granting designed to give Lab-supported projects momentum at critical junctures in their development, pre-production, post-production and distribution/marketing stages. These fellowships and grants are funded through a group of partnerships with very generous foundations, film industry companies and individuals committed to the work of sustaining artists and advancing their work along their entire journey to connect with audiences. The Feature Film Program staff team works together with our partners to make these strategic decisions considering impact, timing, urgency and quality of work as key criteria.

Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant and Fellowship

Alfred P. Sloan

To support the development of screenplays with science or technology themes, Sundance Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provide opportunities for both emerging and established filmmakers through granting and fellowships. Established in 2005, the Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant is an annual cash award for a science- or technology-related project that is at an early stage, such as full treatment or early screenplay draft. Additionally, one Fellowship is awarded annually to an emerging screenwriter to support the ongoing development of a narrative, feature-length screenplay with science or technology themes. Click here to learn more about the films that have participated in the Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant and Fellowship over the last ten years, click here to learn about applying. The 2015 Sundance/Sloan Grant Application is currently open. Click here to apply.

Time Warner Fellowship Program

The Time Warner Fellowship Program was established as a way for Time Warner to support emerging and diverse artists selected from Feature Film Screenwriters and Directors Lab fellows. The grant provides up to $6,000 to support artists whose work uniquely positions and advances the concept of storytelling. The Time Warner Fellows are chosen for the uniqueness and diversity of the project's voice and narrative, and the timeliness of the story and its perspective. These artists will be developing projects that highlight the role of storytelling in specific aspects of the creative process, show its importance in personal vision and perspective, and present it as a central component in embracing the diversity of our common experience. Past Time Warner Fellows include Malik Vitthal and Ismet Prcic (Imperial Dreams), Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale), Dee Rees (Pariah), Andrew MacLean (On the Ice), Elgin James (Little Birds), and Cherien Dabis (May In The Summer). The 2014 Time Warner Fellow is Angelica Nwandu with her project Night Comes On.

Sundance Institute|HP Fellowship

With a generous contribution from HP, the Sundance Institute|HP Fellowship is offered to filmmakers selected for the Labs program. Sundance Institute|HP Fellows are distinguished by projects that demonstrate a passion for technology and innovation in independent filmmaking. HP Fellows receive a cash grant to sustain the critical moments in the creative process as well as full, ongoing technology support.

HP, like Sundance, view the Labs as the start of a filmmaker's journey and are committed to helping them bring their creative vision to life.

The Inaugural Sundance Institute|HP fellowship was awarded to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for their project Swiss Army Man.

Sundance Institute/Asian American Feature Film Fellowship

The Asian American Feature Film Fellowship (formerly known as the A3 Foundation Fellowship) aims to further the presence of Asian American voices in independent film as an extension of Sundance Institute¹s ongoing commitment to support a diverse group of emerging artists. Made possible in part by the A3 Foundation, the fellowship will support an Asian American writers (or writer-directors) through the development of their feature screenplay through participation in a 2015 Screenwriters Lab, Screenwriters Intensive, orCreative Producing Summit. We utilize the application process for the January Screenwriters Lab to source potential Fellows and projects. For additional information regarding the Screenwriters Lab click here, the Screenwriters Intensive click here, or the Creative Producing Summit click here.

For further inquiries regarding this Fellowship, please email

The Sundance Institute / RT Features Fellowship

The Sundance Institute / RT Features Fellowship is presented to a Directors Lab Fellow in recognition of their unique voice and vision. Following the Labs, the Fellowship enables the director to focus on moving their feature project forward with tailored support from Sundance staff and advisors on both creative and strategic fronts. RT Features is an internationally recognized feature film production company based in Brazil which supports the development, production and financing of both Brazilian and international work. This year’s RT Features Fellow is Geremy Jasper (Patti Cake$). Previous Fellows include Meredith Danluck (State Like Sleep) and Ariel Kleiman (Partisan).

Sundance Institute / Red Crown Producer’s Award

With generous support from film development/production/financing company Red Crown Productions, the Sundance Institute / Red Crown Producer’s Award is a $10,000 grant awarded to an emerging producer whose film premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. The 2014 Producer’s Award was given to Elisabeth Holm (Obvious Child).

Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award

The Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award recognizes and supports emerging independent filmmakers from four different regions annually. Winning filmmakers each receive a cash award of $10,000 and attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for a specially curated five-day program, which includes targeted creative and industry meetings, screenings and panels.

Following the festival, Feature Film Program staff and creative advisors provide ongoing creative and strategic support, which may also include the opportunity to participate in one of the Sundance Institute Creative Labs in Screenwriting, Directing, Composing, and Producing.

In its relatively short history, the award has provided the crucial support to allow 5 films to complete production, with 4 more poised to start production in 2014.

Past award-winners include, Talya Lavie’s Zero Motivation (Israel), which received the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Ariel Kleiman’sPartisan (Australia), Dominga Sotomayor’s Late To Die Young (Chile), and Jonas Carpignano's A Chjana (Italy).


Recipients of the 2014 Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award

  • Tobias Lindholm (Denmark) / A War
  • Hong Khaou (Vietnam-UK) / Monsoon
  • Neeraj Ghaywan (India) / Fly Away Solo
  • Ashlee Page (Australia) / Archive

Sundance Institute hopes to continue its Global Filmmaking Award in 2015. Please check our website periodically for updates.

Sundance/NHK Award

In 1996, the Sundance/NHK Award was established by Sundance Institute in partnership with NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) to celebrate 100 years of cinema and to honor and support emerging independent filmmakers whose originality, talent, and vision contributes significantly to the future of world cinema.

One international filmmaker is selected each year and commemorated with an announcement at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for creative and strategic meetings at the festival with established filmmakers, and guidance by FFP staff throughout the life of the project.

2010 winner Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress (Quvenzhané Wallis).

Recipient of the 2014 Sundance/NHK Award

  • Mark Rosenberg / Ad Inexplorata

Other films which have been supported by the Sundance/NHK Award include: Cherien Dabis’s May in the Summer (Palestine), Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Elena (Russia), Cruz Angeles' Don't Let Me Drown (U.S.), Gyorgi Palfi's Taxidermia (Hungary), Rodrigo Moreno's El Custodio (Argentina), Lucrecia Martel's La Ciénaga (Argentina), Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll's Whisky (Uruguay), and Walter Salles' Central Station (Brazil). Made early in these directors' careers, each of these films were instrumental in launching the work of emerging filmmakers in their respective countries.

Press Release - 2014 Sundance/NHK Award

Maryland Film Fellowship

Presented in partnership with the Maryland Film Office, the Maryland Film Fellowship provides a Directors Lab Fellow with a $10,000 bridge grant as a means to move his or her project forward during the crucial phases of advanced development and preproduction. The 2013 Maryland Film Fellows are Jyson McLean and Ian Hendrie (Mercy Road). Past Maryland Film Fellows include Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Jody Lee Lipes (Confederacy), Rodrigo Garcia (Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her) and Tanya Hamilton, whose film Night Catches Us premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Adrienne Shelly Women Filmmakers Grant

The Adrienne Shelly Women Filmmakers Grant was established to support the advancement of talented women filmmakers as they focus on the next crucial steps of their filmmaking process. The Adrienne Shelly Foundation provides a $5,000 grant to be awarded annually by the Sundance Institute to a filmmaker coming out of the Feature Film Program's June Directors Lab. The Adrienne Shelly Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the memory of the late writer/director/actor Adrienne Shelly.

The 2013 Adrienne Shelly Filmmaker Fellow is Meredith Danluck (State Like Sleep). Previous recipients include Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance), Chloe Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me) and Dee Rees (Pariah).

Zygmunt and Audrey Wilf Foundation Award

The Zygmunt and Audrey Wilf Foundation Award is presented to a Feature Film Directors Lab Fellow in recognition of the filmmaker's unique voice and talent. The Award provides a cash grant to the filmmaker to help provide momentum and support in moving their feature film project forward. Past award recipients include Fellipe Barbosa (Casa Grande), Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance), Ry Russo Young and Lena Dunham (Nobody Walks), Carson Mell (Ajax), and Carlo Mirabella Davis (On Evil). The most recent fellows include Malik Vitthal (Imperial Dreams) and Jyson McLean & Ian Hendrie (Mercy Road).

Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship

As Associate Director of the Institute's Feature Film Program, Lynn Auerbach made a profound difference in the lives of the many screenwriters and filmmakers who came to know her. To honor her memory, this Fellowship provides concentrated support to one screenwriter being supported by the Feature Film Program. The Auerbach Fellow receives a cash stipend, dedicated yearlong mentorship from two Screenwriting Advisors, and a produced reading of her or his screenplay. The 2014 Lynn Auerbach fellow is Ashlee Page (Archive). Past Lynn Auerbach fellows include Ray Tintori (Cabal), Marielle Heller (Diary of a Teenage Girl), Ismet Prcic and Malik Vitthal (Imperial Dreams) James Ponsoldt (Refresh, Refresh) Jonathan Wysocki (All Fall Down) Keith Davis (The American People) Jake Mahaffy (Free in Deed), Myna Joseph (My Favorite Nightmare), and Victoria Mahoney (Yelling to the Sky).

The Sally Menke Memorial Editing Fellowship

In memory of Sally Menke's artistry and love of mentoring, Sundance Institute created the Sally Menke Memorial Editing Fellowship, to support an emerging narrative editor in furthering their craft, expanding their artistic community and providing momentum to their editing career.

Selected annually, the Sally Menke Editing Fellow will work as an Editor at the Sundance Institute June Directors Lab, focusing on editing the workshop scenes of two directors selected for the Lab. The Fellow will also have the year-round opportunity to work with two established editors as mentors.

The Sally Menke Editing Fellowship is designed to support an emerging narrative editor who has edited at least one narrative film (no more than four), and any number of shorts, documentary films, industrial films, or webisodes. Additionally, the ideal candidate is committed to continuing a career in editing, passionate about the creative process and is open to exploration and experimentation in the editing room. The 2014 Sally Menke Editing Fellow is Alex O’Flinn. Past recipients of the Editing Fellowship include Julia Block in 2011, Debbie Berman in 2012, and Joe Krings in 2013.

The 2014 deadline for Sally Menke Fellowship applications has passed. Sally Menke Fellowship applications are considered by invitation or recommendation only and the selection process for 2015 applicants will begin next February. For more information, please contact Cristen Aery at