Overview of Opportunities

Labs, Grants, and Fellowships

At the Institute’s core is a commitment to champion the creation of unique work by individual storytellers. Through open applications and by invitation, we offer residential labs, grants, intensives, mentorships with accomplished professionals, and ongoing support to advance the development and production of independent work.

We encourage artists from around the world to apply for our programs.

  • The Documentary Film Program supports the development, production, and presentation of nonfiction films around the world. The Documentary Fund provides one to two million dollars in nonrecoupable financing annually to documentary filmmakers selected through an open application process. The program invites grantees to participate in the Documentary Edit and Story Lab as well as the Music and Sound Design Lab for Documentary Film, and it provides ongoing advice and resources throughout the filmmaking process. Learn More

  • The Feature Film Program embraces the discovery and development of independent filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world, encouraging a rigorous creative process with a focus on original and deeply resonant storytelling. Artists typically enter the program through the Screenwriters Lab (held annually in January) or the Screenwriters Intensive (held annually in March) through open application to the Development Track. Through this platform, eligible artists can also be considered for the Sundance Institute Asian American Fellowship, Feature Film Program Latinx Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant and Fellowship, and FilmTwo Initiative.

    The Feature Film Program (FFP) supports directors with films in post-production through the Editing Residency and Film Music and Sound Design Lab. Projects are selected through open application to the Post Production Track.

    In addition, the FFP advances projects through the Directors Lab (open to first-time feature filmmakers previously supported through the Development Track) and year-round, customized creative and tactical support, mentorship, and granting for program alumni. Learn More

  • Each summer, Sundance Institute’s Film Music Program holds Music and Sound Design Labs for composers and filmmakers working on feature and documentary films. Selected through an open application process, composers gain firsthand experience composing for film while in residence at Skywalker Ranch. Learn More

  • New Frontier at Sundance Institute is a dynamic initiative that identifies and fosters independent artists working at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music, and technology. Since 2007, the New Frontier exhibition at the Sundance Film Festival has provided the highest level of curation in the emerging field, showcasing fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid storytelling with installations, performances, and films. The New Frontier Story Lab provides a space for the creative development of this work. Participation in the lab and the Festival is by invitation only. Learn More

  • Sundance Institute's commitment to supporting Native American artists is woven throughout our history. From labs and fellowships to screenings and gatherings around the world, the Indigenous Program’s offerings are designed in response to the specific needs of Native and Indigenous storytellers. Learn More

  • The Sundance Institute Theatre Program advances the work of risk-taking theatre artists by providing rare developmental opportunities that support artists throughout their careers. By providing a continuum of creative support, we ultimately hope to contribute to a meaningful and engaging cultural dialogue between artists and their audiences. Led by Artistic Director Philip Himberg and Producing Director Christopher Hibma, the program focuses on the development of new work for the stage. In response to the changing needs of the field, the Theatre Program hosts a range of creative labs and retreats throughout the year. Learn More

  • The Creative Distribution Initiative empowers filmmakers navigating the changing business of independent film. The program provides support and insights on creative funding, marketing, and distribution. Learn More

  • Over the past five years, we have witnessed an explosion in the opportunities available for writers developing episodic content for cable and online platforms. We have seen audiences and critics embrace the bold vision and complex characters that are thriving in cable drama and comedy. The internet has become both a place to pilot stories for traditional media and to create entertainment content for the growing audience watching on mobile devices. Learn More

  • The Creative Producing Initiative encompasses a year-round series of labs, fellowships, and events focusing on not only nurturing the next generation of independent producers but renewing the community of veteran producers dedicated to sustaining the vibrancy and vitality of independent film. Learn More

  • Sundance Ignite is a program designed to excite a new generation of audience members and film artists around the power of storytelling. The program offers individuals ages 18 to 24 the Ignite Ticket Package, an exclusive chance to see the newest films at the Sundance Film Festival and the Ignite Fellows Program, a competitive and year-round Festival and industry experience. Learn More

  • Over three days at the Sundance Mountain Resort each September, the invitation-only Catalyst Forum introduces prospective financiers to a slate of 10 to 12 top-notch, Sundance Institute–supported documentary and fiction projects seeking financing. Through project presentations, individually scheduled meetings, and informal social gatherings, investors interface directly with filmmakers, top advisors, and Institute program leadership. Learn More

  • Women at Sundance is dedicated to creating gender equity in American media and innovating ways for women to succeed as storytellers who shape our cultural landscape. We support women filmmakers to grow and sustain their careers through a yearlong fellowship program, an annual financing intensive, and community events throughout the year. We collaborate in the field to activate systemic change through ReFrame, a project that partners with industry insiders to forge gender parity at every level in film, TV, and media. Learn More

  • Our Outreach & Inclusion Initiative builds upon the Institute’s commitment to develop and celebrate voices beyond the mainstream. Working across all of the Institute’s programs, this work reaches into new communities of storytellers and audiences across regions, genres, ethnicities, genders, and orientations. Learn More


Open to all artists and held around the country, free public sessions and workshops offer participants premium resources and expert advice on topics ranging from screenwriting to digital distribution, providing opportunities for artists to be inspired in their storytelling and empowered to advance their projects to the next phase.

Sessions are offered by our Feature Film, Documentary Film, Film Music, Short Film, Creative Producing, Creative Distribution, Indigenous, and New Frontier Programs.

See All Upcoming Sessions

Sundance Co//ab

Sundance Co//ab is a free-to-join global learning and storytelling community for creators, featuring opportunities to get expert advice, personalized feedback, and curated resources while forging new connections with other artists. Learn, share and connect. Join now.

Code of Conduct

All Sundance Institute programs—including our labs, intensives, and sessions— are environments where bold, creative, and distinctive voices are celebrated. Sundance Institute is committed to allowing attendees to experience these programs free of harassment, discrimination, sexism, and threatening or disrespectful behavior. We reserve the right, without notice or refund of any related costs, to limit or revoke access to our programs for those who engage in such conduct. If you are involved in or witness something that violates this code of conduct, please notify someone on our staff, and we will work swiftly and discreetly to take appropriate action. For emergencies, immediately dial 9-1-1.