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International Outreach FAQ

1. I am an independent filmmaker who is not from one of your regions of focus, but I still want to apply to the Screenwriters Lab. How can I apply?
While we do consider filmmakers from other regions, our international outreach for the Screenwriters Lab focuses on select regions, usually developing regions that we feel will benefit the most from our support.

The current regions of focus include:

  • Eastern Europe
  • Southeast Asia
  • Northern Africa
  • Central America
For filmmakers living in a current region of interest, apply for the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab by downloading and completing the APPLICATION FORM. If you live outside the regions of focus, please send a letter of inquiry to  You will need to include the following:

  • Biography or CV for the writer and director
  • Brief description of the project
  • Brief Artistic Statement
2. I am a Canadian or Australian filmmaker. Does this mean I am International?
Yes. We're sorry that you are not included in our regions of focus. Sometimes, we do make the rare exception of inviting a project that is not from our regions of focus if the project is truly extraordinary or unique. If you would like to apply anyway, please know that we have very limited resources and will only get to your project if prospects in our priority regions have been covered.
3. How do I apply to the Directing Lab?
Application to the Directors  Lab is by invitation only to the directors of projects that have been developed at the Screenwriters Lab. The first step is to apply for the Screenwriters Lab.
4. How is the International Application process different from the US application process?
While we provide the same amount of support for international projects that are invited to the lab, we do have a different application process. We require previous directing work samples of the applicant(s). If the work is not in English, it must be subtitled in English.
5. I have a project I want to submit for the Screenwriters Lab, but it is still in treatment form. If I don't think I will be able to have a draft in screenplay format to submit by the deadline, can I submit my treatment for consideration?
No. Even though we only require the first five pages of your script for the first round of selection, we need to receive a completed draft of a screenplay in order to consider your project for the Screenwriters Lab. You will hear back from us VIA EMAIL on or before August 15, 2014 letting you know if you have progressed to the second round of the application. If you have, you will have approximately two weeks from the date we contact you to upload the full, completed screenplay via online. This does not mean the final draft; however we do ask that the script is in standard format.
6. Whom should I ask to write my recommendation letter?
A prominent or experienced filmmaker, producer, distributor, or film festival programmer who knows you and your work as a filmmaker. We would prefer a recommendation from a professional in your country but we will accept someone who works with international filmmakers from somewhere else as well. Although we will accept recommendations from your own producer, we prefer that you find someone outside of your production to write your recommendation.
7. I am from one of the regions of focus but don't reside there anymore. Can I still apply?
Yes, but generally we are looking for projects that take place in the region that the filmmaker is from with a story from the region. We want to support storytelling that is authentic and culturally specific. You should be a citizen or resident of the region you represent, and typically the film is also in that country's language.
8. I have three feature scripts that I would like to make. Can I send you all three of them?
No. We don't have the resources to read more than one script from each applicant. Please select the script that you are the most focused on and passionate about, and/or the one that takes place in or is about the region of focus.
9. Can I submit my script in my native language?
Unfortunately, no. Please submit an English translation of your script to be considered for the Screenwriters Lab.

If you have read this FAQ and the application guidelines and have additional questions, please contact the program at