Artist Accelerator

Established in 2021, the Artist Accelerator Program works with artists and industry to create a more transparent, equitable, and sustainable independent film and television ecosystem.

Through yearlong fellowships and scholarship track opportunities, which bring together underrepresented artists working across fiction and nonfiction film and television, the program aims to cultivate creative and professional growth, provide unrestricted artist grants, and bespoke project consultancies. Opportunities are offered through the generous support of The Asian American Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, Gold House, and our board members Lyn Lear and Cindy Horn. 

Additionally, the program offers non-recoupable grants to Sundance Institute-supported artists and projects through partnerships with The Walt Disney Company and Gold House. 

The Artist Accelerator Program also engages in industry innovation and field leadership through partnerships and collaborations with artist support organizations, government agencies, and artist collectives.

Fellowship & Scholarship Programs

Artist Accelerator Program offers year-long opportunities for artists to build community, receive bespoke project support, access funding and grow professionally.  

Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Scholarship

Launched in 2022, the Sundance Institute Asian American Foundation Fellowship and Scholarship provides 12 emerging Asian-American artists with professional development, opportunities to connect with like-minded creatives to develop and grow one’s network and Collab Community packages. Our goal is to have a positive impact on Asian-American representation in independent media and to strengthen connections to other organizations working in the space. The Program consists of two strands: the Sundance Institute Asian American Fellowship and the Sundance Institute Asian American Scholarship.

The Asian American Fellowship and Scholarship is developed with support from The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), and additional support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Latine Fellowship and Scholarship

Launched in 2022, the Sundance Institute Latine Fellowship and Collab Scholarship provides 10 emerging Latine artists with professional development, opportunities to connect with like-minded creatives to develop and grow one’s network, and Collab Community packages. 

The program aims to positively impact Latine representation in Sundance Institute programs and independent media. The Program consists of two strands: the Sundance Institute Latine Fellowship and the Sundance Institute Latine Collab Scholarship. 

Developed with funding support from Lyn Lear and Cindy Horn, and additional support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Funding Opportunities

Artist Accelerator Program provides non-recoupable grants for projects which have been previously supported by a Sundance Institute Program (Feature Film Program, Documentary Film Program, Episodic Program, Ignite Program, Indigenous Program, and the Artist Accelerator Program). Each fund prioritizes projects where grants would have the most impact and be catalytic to the project reaching its next step.

The Sundance Institute | The Walt Disney Company Project Advancement and Completion Fund

Launched in 2022 with the generous support of The Walt Disney Company, this fund provides a $25,000 grant to fiction directors from traditionally underrepresented communities. This non-recoupable fund aims to leverage a project’s momentum and provide directors an opportunity to move their projects from development and into production. In addition to the financial support, grantees receive access to Artist Accelerator and Sundance ELEVATE programming and the opportunity to meet with Disney executives to build their networks.

Sundance Institute Completion Fund

The Sundance Institute Completion Fund in partnership with Zions Bank provides unrestricted grants to BIPOC and Women filmmakers working across fiction and nonfiction. Applicants must be planning to premiere their film in the first six (6) months of the calendar year to be eligible. Selections are by invitation only and open to nominated candidates that are receiving support via an Institute Program.

Industry Innovation

The Artist Accelerator Program also engages in industry innovation and field leadership through partnerships and collaborations with artist support organizations, government agencies, and artist collectives.

The Non-Fiction Core Application Proposal Checklist

The Non-Fiction Core Application (v.2022)  is a collaborative field-wide effort by funders, producers, fiscal sponsors, artist collectives and artist support organizations to standardize a set of questions that are used in non-fiction funding, fiscal sponsor or artist support opportunities. Led by Sundance Institute, in partnership with the IDA, the goal of Non-fiction Core Application Proposal Checklist Initiative to alleviate the burden of proposal re-writing on applicants, foster greater access to sources of creative and financial support and build toward a more equitable and transparent nonfiction field.

Featured Projects

DÌDI (弟弟)

The Sundance Institute | The Asian American Foundation Fellowship

The Sundance Institute | The Walt Disney Company Project Advancement & Completion Fund

THE STARLING GIRL

The Sundance Institute | Zions Bank Project Advancement & Completion Fund

FANCY DANCE

The Sundance Institute | Zions Bank Project Advancement & Completion Fund

TODAS LAS FLORES

The Sundance Institute Humanities Sustainability Fellowship

To read more about artists we have supported previously, see below:

To read more about artists we have supported previously, see below: