Native American and Indigenous Film Program

About Native Program

Sundance Institute's commitment to supporting Native American artists is woven throughout our history. Native American filmmakers have long been involved in the Institute, going back to Larry LittleBird (Taos Pueblo) and Chris SpottedEagle (Houmas Nation) who participated in the first meetings founding Sundance Institute. Following President and Founder Robert Redford's original vision, the Institute has remained committed to supporting the voices of Native American artists.


The Native Program has built and sustained an Indigenous film circle. The cycle of our work begins by scouting for and identifying Native American and Indigenous artists, bringing them through the mechanisms of support at Sundance Institute to get their work made and shown, then bringing the filmmakers and their work back to native lands. The Native Lab Fellowship has been a vital part of supporting Native filmmakers full-circle since 2004. Four projects were selected annually for the Fellowship from a national competition and supported in two phases over the course of a year. Starting in 2015 the Fellowship will be restructured to pilot a Shorts Production Fellowship for emerging Native American filmmakers.

Native Lab Shorts Production Fellowship
Application By Invitation
Dates TBD for FY15
Size of Lab 2 projects
Location TBD
Eligibility Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native film artists working in the U.S.
Description Fellowship to provide direct support to emerging Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native film artists working in the U.S. The Fellowship will support first time filmmakers through the process of shooting a short film under the guidance of a Supervising Producer and mentoring Director.


Time Warner Native Producing Fellowship
Application Open Application
Dates Sundance Film Festival January 26-30; Sundance Producers Summit August 2015
Grant Pool 2 Projects
Location Sundance Resort, Utah
Eligibility Native American producers
Description Identifies emerging Native producers and supports their professional development and the advancement of their projects. Supports attendance at Creative Producing Summit and includes a grant to help advance their project after the Summit.
Full Circle Fellowship supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Application By Invitation
Dates TBD
Grant Pool 4 to attend Festival, 2 to attend Shorts Production Lab
Location Sundance Resort, Utah
Eligibility Native American youths (18-24) to be selected from communities in Michigan and New Mexico
Description 2 opportunities: Fellowships to attend the Sundance Film Festival and Fellowships to attend the Native Shorts Production Lab.
Native Workshop
Application TBD
Dates TBD
Grant Pool Aprox. 20 Projects
Location St. Paul
Eligibility TBD
Description Full-day workshop in St. Paul

Support for Native Program

Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program is supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Ford Foundation, SAGIndie, NBCUniversal, Cindy and Alan Horn, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and CBS.

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