New Frontier


A bold spirit of innovation has emerged among artists as they seek to engage audiences with narrative worlds that leverage new technologies, visual aesthetics, social media cultures, immersive designs, game theory, transmedia activism and shifts in the boundaries of authorship. In the last decade, the media landscape has transformed and storytellers are both exploring as well as constructing this new terrain, pioneering new connections with audiences and re-structuring story design.

The Labs and Residency programs at New Frontier work to identify and fosters independent artists and creative technologists innovating the art and form of story at the convergence of diverse forms of creative expression; and to build a community of collaborators across diverse disciplines to push the boundaries of story.

New Frontier Story Lab
Application Invitation Only
Dates October 22-28, 2014. 2015 TBA
Size of Lab 6 Projects
Location Sundance Resort, Utah

We invite projects that fit the following criteria:

  • The project tells or co-creates a fiction, non-fiction or hybrid story (or stories).
  • The project provides one or more of the following points of entry: film, gaming, theater, music, visual arts, comics, literature, design and web/mobile native arts.
  • The project innovates story design by using new technologies and platforms to enable the creation of story (i.e. apps, virtual reality technology, holograms, haptic technology, biometric technology, binaural sound, mobile 3D imaging, rotoscope animation, projection mapping, Web GL, augmented reality, geo-locative digital assets); OR low-tech designs that are exploring new methods of storytelling (i.e. immersive experiences, live action role play, participatory design, non-linear story, mixed reality experiences, etc.).
  • The project is a work in progress with at least one component of its story design in advanced development.
  • Applicants must have completed some previous work in one or more fields related to their project.
  • International projects will be considered, but all project materials must be provided in English.
Description With an emphasis on story, this Lab supports artists who are developing interactive, immersive, or experimental projects that aim to create rich and resonant experiences for audiences. The New Frontier Story Lab is open to a wide variety of storytelling disciplines, forms and story designs. 2015 applications will be available to invited artists and creative technologists in April.
New Frontier Artist Residency Program
Application Invitation Only. Fellows are selected from New Frontier alumni pool.
Dates Varies
Size of Lab Varies
Location Varies
Eligibility New Frontier alumni artist

Over eight years, New Frontier has cultivated an alumni community of inventive minds, creative technologists and talented storytellers from a variety of backgrounds. Just like the innovators at the dawn of the film age, New Frontier alumni are creating language, forms and methodologies that will become the standard for the future storyteller.

The Artist Residency program is designed to match New Frontier alumni with sponsor organizations that are also working to pioneer the field by creating tools, providing platforms, congregating communities or audiences, sharing the learning, developing content and experiences, cultivating talent, or utilizing storytelling methodology in their delivery of products and services.

During the residency, a New Frontier artist or artist collective will work with the sponsor organization’s internal team (i.e. technologists, designers, content developers, researchers, community engagement officers, etc.) grantee partners or other stakeholders to concept or develop a project that aims to push the boundaries of story in some manner.

New Frontier Flash Lab
Application Public. No application.
Dates Varies
Size of Lab Up to 200 (varies due to venue)
Location Varies
Eligibility US & International Filmmakers
Description The Flash Lab is designed to inspire participants to expand their creative practices or innovate within their organizations and to further their contribution to the evolution of story. Through the lens of projects and with a focus on the art of story and new technologies available, participants will:
  • Explore field defining projects,
  • Discuss the technological and cultural shifts that enabled these projects,
  • Learn about emerging creative practices and tools,
  • And be in direct conversation with New Frontier pioneers.

Support for New Frontier

Sundance Institute New Frontier Initiative is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Microsoft, The Rockefeller Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Ford Foundation.

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