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Now Open: Sundance Institute Artist Opportunities for May 2021

Writer-director Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. (right) brought “Wild Indian” through the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab.

By Virginia Yapp

Fiction or nonfiction, beginner or auteur, U.S. or international — wherever you find yourself in your creative journey as an independent storyteller, the Sundance Institute has an artist support program for you. Welcome to our monthly digest of upcoming artist opportunities, where we round up all of our open applications along with the latest free events scheduled on Sundance Co//ab, our online learning platform.

Among May’s open applications? Over the years, the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab has incubated fiction feature projects like Pretty Woman, Wild Indian, Devil in a Blue Dress, Mi Vida Loca, Slums of Beverly Hills, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Diary of a Teenage Girl — could your story be next? Apply to our Feature Film Development Track by May 17 to find out. And on Sundance Co//ab on May 15, don’t miss out on an evening with David Lowery (writer-director of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, along with A24’s upcoming The Green Knight), presented by Frame.io.

Scroll on to see what May has in store for you at the Sundance Institute, and make sure you’re signed up for our artist opportunities newsletter.


All of the information on the Sundance Institute’s upcoming labs, grants, and funds, can be found on our deadlines page.

The Feature Film Program Development Track

The development track has one open application that allows your fiction feature work-in-progress screenplay to be considered for our Screenwriters Lab, Screenwriters Intensive, Comedy Fellowship, and Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant and Fellowship. Applications are due May 17. Apply now.

NEW: The Sundance Institute x Stars Collective Granting Fund

This fund supports Black, Indigenous, BIPOC, and women filmmakers working on fiction and nonfiction projects that are currently being supported by the Sundance Institute through our labs and granting programs. Applications are due July 16. Apply now.

The Sundance Institute Preservation Fund

The Sundance Preservation Fund was established to help protect and preserve independent stories that are vital to both the history of independent storytelling and the heritage of the Sundance Institute. The fund provides grants to support preservation and restoration efforts of Sundance-supported projects and empower independent storytellers with resources to develop a sustainable long-term preservation strategy. Applications are due July 17. Apply now.


Sundance Co//ab is our inclusive online learning community platform for creators around the globe. We invite artists from around the world to learn from each other, our advisors, and our staff; develop and share their work in progress; and connect in a creative community dedicated to the art of storytelling and elevating independent voices. Create your account now and explore all of the upcoming free events we’ve got planned for May 2021.

MAY 2: Close-Up Webinar

Join Close Up, a unique documentary development program for filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa, for a powerful conversation on three untold stories from Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey. Three film teams will discuss their works-in-progress, creative process and challenges in making documentaries in MENA. Get details here.

MAY 15: From Script to Screen with David Lowery

David Lowery is an award-winning writer/director/editor and Sundance Institute lab and Festival alum with a body of work that ranges from indie films to Disney productions and the soon-to-be released The Green Knight for A24. Join us for a special session as David takes us from his early days as a young auteur to his present-day career as a director who juggles multiple films from across the globe. Presented by Frame.io. Get details here.

MAY 21: Post-Production Master Class

In this live three-hour master class, we’ll break down the independent fiction producer’s role during post-production. During the event, we’ll review key terminology, illuminate the workflow timeline/structure, identify essential creative collaborators and their responsibilities, and share tips and takeaways from experts that empowers producers in this important stage of the filmmaking process. Get details here.


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