Film Music Program

About Film Music Program

The Sundance Institute Film Music Program, led by Peter Golub, connects composers and directors, giving them firsthand experience of the collaborative process with the goal of nurturing the development of music in film. At the Sundance Film Festival, the program raises the profile of music in film through a series of concerts, events, and panels.

In light of the financial impact of the pandemic, Film Music Program activity is on pause, and we will not be holding a Film Music and Sound Design Lab in 2021. We are continuing to support composers through our newly imagined Sundance Institute Interdisciplinary Program. This will be the home at the Institute for storytellers working in all forms outside of film and episodic series, including those traditionally served by our New Frontier Lab and Theater programs, which are also being paused for the upcoming year. We are especially interested in identifying and nurturing work generated by composers that embraces theater, film, dance, virtual reality, or other media.

We will continue our year-round work with the Sundance Feature Film and Documentary Programs, facilitating director/composer collaborations and, where possible, providing mentorship to ongoing projects. And though the Film Music Program is on pause for the current year, we will be looking for ways to connect with composers.


Labs

In recent years, Sundance Institute has conducted two labs, one for fiction film and one for documentary. As the line between fiction and documentary has blurred, we feel that artists and composers will benefit from cross-pollination. We now run one lab that brings together filmmakers in both areas. Composers will apply to the program as a whole and, once accepted, will be assigned either a fiction or documentary project to work on during the lab.


  • Application The application for the 2020 Film Music and Sound Design Lab in partnership with Skywalker Sound is currently accepting submissions.
    Lab Dates July 27–August 14, 2020
    Size of Lab Eight fellows
    Location Hosted digitally
    Eligibility The program is focused on supporting accomplished composers from a wide range of musical backgrounds. This may include composers with previous experience writing for film, as well as accomplished composers working outside of film whose work is suitable for film scoring.
    Description The Film Music and Sound Design Lab in partnership with Skywalker Sound brings together fiction and documentary filmmakers, emerging film composers, and sound designers to explore the power sound has to heighten the impact of a film.

Advice for Applicants

Instead of trying to guess what the selection committee is looking for, send music that is uniquely yours, that represents your original voice. Don’t be discouraged if you are not accepted on the first try; it is not uncommon for an applicant to be accepted after several attempts.


Support for the Film Music Program

The Sundance Institute Film Music Program is supported by Time Warner Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, BMI Foundation, Christophe Beck and Jane Wang Beck, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, The Film Music Foundation, and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers).

Join Donor Community