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.


Sundance Institute + IAIA Native Writers Workshop
Application Closed
Dates July 15-19, 2015
Size of Workshop 6 projects
Location Institute of the American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Eligibility Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native film artists working in the U.S.
Description The Native Program is establishing a new Writers Workshop in partnership with the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Department of Cinematic Arts and Technology (IAIA) to support writers working in short films and television pilots. This workshop will be hosted on the IAIA campus in Santa Fe, NM from July 15-19, 2015 where four projects will be chosen from a national competition and brought to the IAIA campus for intensive workshopping and feedback under the guidance and mentorship of established writers for film and television


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 Filmmaker Lab
Application By Invitation
Dates July 10-14, 2015
Grant Pool 2 projects
Location Santa Fe, New Mexico
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.


Full Circle Fellowship Supported By The W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Application The deadline for this application was September 1, 2015.
Dates 2016 Sundance Film Festival
Grant Pool 4 to attend the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and other TBD Native Program events
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.
Time Warner Native Producing Fellowship
Application Application open. Deadline: October 2, 2015
Dates 2016 Sundance Film Festival; Sundance Producers Summit August 2016
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.

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Upcoming Events

August 20 - FNX season 2 premiere and Class X Youth Awards

Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Program Presents: FNX season 2 premiere and Class X Youth Awards
Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe, NM

Thursday, August 20, 4:30 - 7 pm
4:30 PM. Screening
6:00 PM. Awards Presentation and Reception

August 22 - LaDonna Harris: The Art of Self Determination Contemporary Indigenous Discourse Series

LaDonna Harris: The Art of Self Determination Contemporary Indigenous Discourse Series
Allan Houser Art Park, Santa Fe, NM

Saturday, August 22, 3-5 PM
3 – 4p.m. Panel Discussion
4 – 5p.m. Reception

MoCNA creates a forum in the Southwest for Indigenous peoples to share knowledge and strategies for advancing tribal self-determination within an era of intense globalization. This panel will consider the impact of LaDonna Harris who has led an extensive life of Native political and social activism, and is now passing on her traditional cultural and leadership values to a new generation of emerging Indigenous leaders. Featuring leading Indigenous thinkers, LaDonna Harris, President of Americans for Indian Opportunity; Kevin Gover, Executive Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution; Mark Macarro, Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians; Laura Harris, Executive Director of Americans for Indian Opportunity; and Bird Runningwater, Director, Native American and Indigenous Programs, Sundance Institute. Moderated by Andrea R. Hanley, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Membership + Program Manager. This program highlights LADONNA HARRIS: INDIAN 101, a documentary by filmmaker, Juliana Brannum which will be shown in the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Helen Hardin Media Gallery from August 20 - October 20.

Support for Native Program

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