Launching the Sundance Institute Short Documentary Fund Focused on Native and Indigenous Storytellers

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Cinematographer PJ Raval and Andrew Okpeaha MacLean at the 2009 Directors Lab with "On the Ice." © 2009 Sundance Institute | Fred Hayes

With the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the partnership of the Guardian, Sundance Institute is excited to launch the Short Documentary Fund for Native and Indigenous voices from around the world.

The Fund will support up to five filmmaking teams with a Native or Indigenous creative in a key position with a $25,000 grant to make a new non-fiction short film. The shorts will have the opportunity to launch on the Guardian’s documentary platform. Applications will be accepted until May 14th, and are available here.

Selected teams will have one year to complete their short from the time the grant is received. In addition to the financial support, each project will be eligible for creative and editorial feedback from Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film and Native and Indigenous Film Programs and the Guardian’s documentary team.

Behind the scenes of Ciara Lacy's documentary "Out of State," which was supported by the Native Program and the MacArthur Foundation.

We are excited to offer this opportunity to support Native and Indigenous storytellers looking to tell stories in the short form. Through our open call for submissions, we hope to engage with filmmakers on the forefront of cinematic innovation and experimentation in both content and form, presenting access-driven stories with journalistic integrity that demand an engagement with our political and cultural environments. All documentary filmmakers who believe they meet the criteria, whether emerging or experienced, known and unknown to our organizations, are invited to apply.

Over the past year, we have identified a lack of Native and Indigenous storytellers whose stories are supported by mainstream media. This collaboration between two of Sundance Institute’s core programs (Documentary Film Program and Native and Indigenous Film Program) and the Guardian’s documentary strand hopes to support Native and Indigenous storytellers in telling their stories with funding, creative support, and the opportunity to launch on a global news platform. We believe that for a truly vibrant society, we need a multiplicity of voice and perspective and we hope this is a step in building a more inclusive culture by amplifying voices that are all too often marginalized.

Apply here by May 14, 2018, and please direct any questions to dfp@sundance.org.

Lead photo:

Cinematographer PJ Raval and Andrew Okpeaha MacLean at the 2009 Directors Lab with "On the Ice." © 2009 Sundance Institute | Fred Hayes