Important Dates & Deadlines
Upcoming Dates & Deadlines
Post Acceptance Form Step 1
+ director headshot & film stills
Post Acceptance Form Steps 2 & 3
Nov. 17 (Features)
Nov. 22 (Shorts)
Remaining Materials & Meet the Artist Video
Nov. 17 (Features)
Nov. 22 (Shorts)
Record digital intro and Q&A with Sundance team
Before December 20
Festival Program Announced & Festival Program Guide Live
Stipend information + participation agreement
Dec. 20 (Shorts)
Jan. 7 (Features)
Jan. 20- Jan. 30
Post Acceptance Form & Materials Needed
Post Acceptance Form & Materials Needed
Our Post Acceptance Form will show you your project information from FilmFreeway that you may confirm or edit. It will also prompt you to provide new information. Please make sure that all the information is entered accurately.
Step 1- Program Announcement Information:
- Film/Project Title
- Film Type
- Screenwriter(s) (up to 3)
- Country of Origin
- Principal Cast (Up to 6)
- Producers (Up to 6 names) *Optional for press release
Step 2 - Film Information & Main Contacts:
*10 credit titles with up to 24 total names.
- Film Internet / Social Media Links
- Main Contact
- Premiere Status
- Main Publicist Contact
- Year Finished
- Public Contact
- Screening Format
- Post Festival Contact
- Aspect Ratio
- DCP/File Technical Contact
- Sound Format
- Director(s) Contact Info, Demographic Info
*60 words or less/100 words total for multiple directors
- Run Time
Step 3 - Team Contacts & Additional Info :
- Sales Agent(s)
- Community and Student Outreach Questions
- Film History
- Production Questions
- Film Stills – REQUIRED
- Director Headshots – REQUIRED
- Digital Poster – REQUIRED
- Clips & Trailers – OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED
- Digital Press Kit – OPTIONAL
Meet the Artist Video:
We ask that ALL filmmakers create their own Meet the Artist video to be featured on your film’s project page in our Festival Program Guide 30 seconds and 2 minutes max. It can be as simple as a voiceover that includes stills and clips from your film—or can be as adventurous as you see fit. Feel free to get creative! Export videos in H264 format.
Sundance Film Festival Official Selection Laurels
Congratulations, and welcome to the Sundance family! We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share your work with our audiences, and we can’t wait to celebrate your original voice, unique story, and innovative storytelling.
One way you can ensure that the Sundance Film Festival remains a vital and exciting platform is to promote your connection to the Festival in your project’s press and marketing activities. Our official laurels are a simple way that you can do this, and we ask that you make every effort to use these laurels properly. Please share the following guidelines with your publicity and marketing teams, producers, distributors, etc. to help us ensure that the Festival is accurately represented.
We ask for your cooperation in keeping your acceptance confidential until our announcement. Please do not share your news (or this official selection laurel) verbally, in writing, or online (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any social media) until we notify you that our public announcement has been made.
Guidelines for Proper Use of Sundance Film Festival Laurels:
- The laurels include the trademark name “Sundance Film Festival” and may be used ONLY for Sundance Film Festival official selections and award winners.
- The laurels should not be used to indicate selection or awards from any other festival(s) in which your film/project may play, and may not contain the names(s) of any other festival(s).
The laurels may be altered slightly to conform to the artwork of a
film’s/project’s promotional materials but we ask that the laurel
leaves and the “Sundance Film Festival” name remain unaltered.
- The Sundance Film Festival official selection laurel leaves are designed in accordance with Sundance Institute’s brand identity and should be used without substantial alterations in the film’s/project’s promotional materials.
- “Sundance Film Festival,” as a trademark name, may not be shortened to “Sundance” within the film’s/project’s promotional materials.
- Any altered laurels must be approved in writing by Sundance Institute before promotional materials are released. Please email your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contribute to the Festival zeitgeist and share your experience! As an official Festival artist, you have a unique perspective on the event, and our social channels have the most eyeballs on them during the Fest.
Ensuring that you are able to remain present and enjoy the Fest for yourself is our top priority, but when reasonable it would be great to have your voice added to the Festival story online by sharing your experience. If you do share Festival moments on social media, make sure to tag our accounts and use #Sundance for a possible share by us.
Official Hashtag: #Sundance
- Twitter: @sundancefest(Festival) & @sundanceorg (Institute)
- Instagram: @sundanceorg
- Facebook: @sundance
- TikTok: @sundanceorg
Capture a photo or short video that is particularly awesome or interesting? You can also email it to email@example.com for possible inclusion on our social channels. Make sure to provide:
- Photo/video credit
- Names of people featured
- A bit of context about what is happening in the content
- Any relevant social media handles to tag on Twitter and Instagram
Thank you, and congratulations on being a part of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival!
Night Vision In-Theater
Sundance Film Festival is not responsible or liable for protecting the films/projects we screen from piracy. We make best efforts to educate our audiences of the ramifications of filming any content during the Festival screenings. Film/project teams who hire private security to use night vision equipment must contact their Artist Relations Liaison to connect them to our Security Team at least 2 weeks in advance so arrangements may be made to access the theaters during the requested screening times. Your liaison will put you in contact with a local provider for night vision services if needed. This expense would be the responsibility of the film/project team representative.
Team Filming In-Theater
The use of cameras and other recording equipment is strictly prohibited during any screening. Cameras may be used during Introductions and Q&As only. If members of your team are recording your experience at the Festival with small personal cameras, or phones, we ask that you use discretion in public places and Festival venues. Theater and venue managers reserve the right to ask you to stop filming if they feel it is disruptive to their patrons or venue. The use of cameras and other recording equipment is strictly prohibited during any screening. Cameras may be used during Introductions and Q&As only.
A Digital Piracy vendor, WebSherrif, will monitor torrent sites for pirated copies of festival films. If a pirated copy of a festival film is found, the user whose forensic watermark appears within the copy will be determined and Sundance will disable the user’s account. Our vendor will take the appropriate actions and steps to advise removal of the pirated copy of the festival film, if a forensic watermark is not available because of in-theater filming.
Digital Rights Management
All films will be protected by DRM (digital rights management), namely Microsoft Playready, Apple Fairplay and Google widevine, to ensure playback can only occur on an authenticated video player. This ensures users who should not have access to screen the film will be prevented from screening the film. The technical DRM workflow works as follows:
- The film content is encrypted and packaged for delivery.
- When a customer clicks play, the video player requests a key to access the content from a license server. The server determines whether the video player and device are authorized before giving a response containing a decryption key.
Forensic & Visible Watermarking Online
Films will be embedded with forensic watermarking, an imperceptible embedding of information directly within content that identifies the user accessing the content. Forensic watermarks make each genuine copy of the content unique and can be extracted from pirated content to trace leaks back to the source Sundance user email address and take anti-piracy action. The forensic watermarks are imperceptible to the consumer, causing no degradation of the viewing experience. We use NexGuardforensic video watermarking, provided by NAGRA, to implement this protocol.
Visible watermarking is the overlay of information directly within content that identifies the user accessing the content. Our standard visible watermarking will appear in a corner of the screen for 20 seconds every 15 minutes.
Our security protocols are best-in-class, shown through our successful screenings since March 2020. The details are as follows:
- Film Access: Our VOD windows are governed by our custom solution, only granting users access to a film between certain times. This feature has been used for all of our online screening events, including Sundance Film Festival 2021.
- Digital Rights Management: DRM is an out-of-the-box feature from Shift72.
- Geoblocking: In order to deliver the geoblocking protocol, our development team worked alongside Shift72 to build our custom solution, accommodating international access for select passholders. This feature was successfully rolled out with Sundance Film Festival 2021.
- Forensic & Visible Watermarking + Piracy Monitoring: These watermarking capabilities were requirements in our video player selection process. We use Web Sheriff for piracy monitoring & actioning.
As a member of our Festival community, we expect you to help create an inclusive and respectful environment that is welcoming to all by committing to being:
- Inclusive and respectful of people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, age, physical appearance and body size, language spoken, and immigration or economic status by refraining from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior or speech.
- Intentional with your words by abstaining from hate speech.
- Attentive to personal boundaries by refraining from unwelcome sexual attention, harassment, stalking, or unwanted physical contact of any kind.
- Respectful of moderators, other artists, and audience members by refraining from sustained or repeated disruption of any events.
For more information on our Community Agreement and how to report violations, visit us at sundance.org/community-agreement.
The best advice I ever got at Sundance: Try to have at least one meal a day with someone you like (regardless of what they can do for you and your movie)!
- Book your lodging EARLY! Get on it as soon as you are accepted. Get a place near a bus stop and enjoy the festival as much as you can. We stayed longer to enjoy the calm before & after the storm of our premiere.
- Stay on top of your deadlines, and there are a LOT of them. There is a lot of prep work, between finishing your film and getting all the materials in for the Festival, so stay organized and on it! Make sure your team’s main contact is someone that you trust andis really capable, it will save you so much stress.
- Bring lots of warm clothes and be ready to meet people and make conversations about films and festival experiences! Oh, and bring business cards - and prepare to hand them out like candy.
To do at Fest (In-person and Online)
- The Director's Brunch was by far the highlight of the week. There's nothing more motivating than hearing directors talk about the path they took to where they are. People making great features for only hundreds of dollars and putting their all into what they do is an inspiration.
- Utilize the Artist Relations Box Office to get tickets! There are often tickets available there that aren’t available to the public. Plus, it’s a nice place to hang out and run into other filmmakers.
- See other films, especially docs. There’s nothing that can put it all in perspective more than watching a heartfelt documentary, made on a small budget to remind you about why you became a filmmaker.
- Participate in VR or any form of virtual socializing offered on the platform. It is scary at first especially for us homebody types, but it is rewarding. Force yourselves to NOT BE SHY! Virtual gatherings are a great place for a shy filmmaker to connect more.
- Be present on social media - whether through Twitter or Instagram, that is where a lot of conversation directly with your audiences can take place there (Industry too). Make yourself available and engaged, especially if you aren’t there in person - create your own buzz for your film.
- Definitely schedule some time to do something non-festival related - ski, massage, hike - that kind of thing. And enjoy the music related stuff - a great change of pace. Also check out films at random - can be very rewarding. Early morning screenings can be weirdly fun too! Drink lots of water, it's so damn dry. Moisturize! Remember to have fun, even if you're working. Say hi to everyone! Go for it.
- Get to know your fellow filmmakers. They're every bit as nervous and excited as you are. Chances are you will meet people you'll know the rest of your life. Don't be a jerk. Nobody likes that. And thank, thank, thank the volunteers and the staffers. It's really their festival -- you're just lucky to be a guest there! Have fun.
- Sundance is an amazing place to meet incredibly talented and connected people from all facets of the industry. In fact, you will not find another festival more geared towards getting you to meet other filmmakers, press, producers, actors, etc. Avail yourself to all that the organizers offer and you will be hard pressed to ever find an event that will make you feel better about yourself and your chosen field.
- Sundance is about making the most of this unheralded opportunity to advance your career. Whether that means selling your film or getting your work noticed or film publicized or meeting and schmoozing everyone from big-time heavyweights to up-and-coming future filmmakers, I feel you absolutely MUST take advantage of everything the festival has to offer.
- Be nice to everyone. Staff, other filmmakers, volunteers, people on the bus, people in line, people sitting next to you at screenings, etc. If you're a dick, no one will want to help you, and you won't know who the cool people are; everyone looks like a schlump at the festival. Believe it or not, the best contacts you make will probably be random people you meet on the street, so don’t put people off with your ego.
- Remember that the people who work for the festival do it out of love. They don’t do it for the money. Most are volunteers. They love films, they love the festival and they are true pros. Let them know how you feel. It lifts the whole experience.
- A big tip for fist-time producers/ directors at Sundance is to get to know the Sundance staff members well and keep close in contact with them throughout the festival. They are exceptionally kind and dedicated people. They normally have solutions for all your problems and concerns!!
- Be yourself, be confident but not smug or conceited, relax, project, add humor and if there's a great pertinent story that's short, tell it. Make your intro short, to the point and thank the people at Sundance that bust their asses for you. Not just the programmers, but also your liaisons that never get the recognition they deserve.
- Don't drink too much. There's an incredible amount of cold, tasty beer available in Park City. Damn they're good. But don't overdo it. Every day at Sundance is a big day and you don't want to be hung over.
- Have a great time and don't get sick! Make sure you sleep and take lots of socks and warm waterproof shoes. This all sounds obvious but any sense of reason seems to slip away from most after the first day.
The biggest piece of advice I could give is probably the same every Sundance veteran would give to every Sundance virgin: relax, enjoy, it may be your first time, but hopefully, it won't be the last!
In summer 2020, we expanded our Alumni Program to include artists, advisors, mentors, Festival jury members, and select industry professionals with ties to the Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Co//ab, and various Festival artist programs. Now known as Sundance Institute Collective, the group exists to offer increased networking opportunities, artist resources, and beyond.
Through the Collective, we offer a continuum of support to artists throughout all stages of their careers, providing comprehensive resources and experiences that range from applying for granting and industry access to professional development and peer-to-peer mentorship.
Preserve Your Work
The work you create is vital to both the history of independent storytelling and the heritage of Sundance Institute, and we strive to protect and preserve your stories. In addition to providing a safe and secure home for your film, we offer tips and guidelines to help ensure your work is not lost, no matter the medium or platform you use.
Please help us protect your stories by taking advantage of our services and contacting our knowledgeable staff. Digital preservation is ever-evolving, so always feel free to ask questions and share your findings with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give Back + Get More with Sundance Circle
Sundance Circle is a vibrant community of supporters passionate about independent artists and new ideas whose support is essential to the vitality of the Sundance Institute’s programs. Consider joining Sundance Circle to become part of the community and help support artists like yourself on their own journey to the Sundance Film Festival.
Sundance Circle donors will have the exclusive opportunity to enjoy the 2021 Festival with our new All-Access Pass, which offers guaranteed access to the full program via live-online premieres, similar to a traditional Festival, and will also allow you the flexibility to watch all of the features on-demand after the premiere. Visit Sundance Circle to learn more.