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Submitting Your Project to the Sundance Film Festival

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Submitting Your Project to the Sundance Film Festival

Thank you for your interest in submitting your project to the Sundance Film Festival. You may complete the application on FilmFreeway. Please be sure to read the most current versions of our FAQ document and Rules & Regulations before you begin the process. The deadline dates and submission fees for 2022 Festival consideration are listed below.

2022 Sundance Film Festival

Deadlines & Entry Fees

Early

Official

Late

Features

Aug 13

$65

Sept 6

$85

Sept 27

$110

Shorts
Episodic
New Frontier Projects

Aug 6

$40

Aug 23

$60

Aug 13

$80

Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization that provides a wide variety of programs and initiatives for independent artists and storytellers working in film, theatre, and digital media. Fees from Festival submissions help us keep the process as rigorous and democratic as possible and to further support the independent creative community. For more information about Sundance Institute’s other programs, please visit us at www.sundance.org.

Submission Categories

Each year, we select a slate of feature films, short films, episodic projects, and New Frontier exhibition and performance projects to play within each of our Festival programs. Before you begin your submission, please read carefully the eligibility requirements for each category below and select the one that best suits your project:

U.S. Narrative Feature Films

Any narrative or non-scripted work of fiction originating from within the United States with a running time of 50 minutes or more. In order to qualify as a U.S. Narrative Feature Film, the submitted project must be either scripted or improvisational fiction, or a fictionalization of actual events, and at least half of the project’s financing must originate from within the United States. Only films retaining world premiere status are eligible for open submission to this category. Completed films that have been or will have been exhibited theatrically or otherwise made available to the general public, either for free or for purchase, prior to February 1, 2021 are not eligible to submit to this category. This includes, but is not limited to, public theatrical exhibition (festival or otherwise), television broadcast, home video, or any digital platform. Films that were previously invited to but did not participate in other festivals or events (live or digital) are still eligible to submit to this category.

U.S. Documentary Feature Film

Any nonfiction film originating from within the United States with a running time of 50 minutes or more. If your documentary contains re-enactments or other fictionalized depictions of actual events, you may submit it to this category, but we will ultimately decide which of our Festival programs is best suited for your project, if accepted. In order to qualify as a U.S. Documentary Feature Film, at least half of the submitted project’s financing must originate from within the United States. Only films retaining world premiere status are eligible for open submission to this category. Completed films that have been or will have been exhibited theatrically or otherwise made available to the general public, either for free or for purchase, prior to February 1, 2021 are not eligible to submit to this category. This includes, but is not limited to, public theatrical exhibition (festival or otherwise), television broadcast, home video, or any digital platform. Films that were previously invited to but did not participate in other festivals or events (live or digital) are still eligible to submit to this category.

International Narrative Feature FIlm

Any narrative or non-scripted work of fiction originating from outside of the United States with a running time of 50 minutes or more. In order to qualify as an International Narrative Feature Film, the submitted project must be either scripted or improvisational fiction, or a fictionalization of actual events, and at least half of the project’s financing must originate from outside of the United States. Only films retaining international premiere status are eligible for open submission to this category. Completed films that have been or will have been exhibited theatrically (festival or otherwise) outside of the film’s country or countries of origin prior to February 1, 2021 are not eligible for open submission to this category. Films that have been or will have been made available to the general public in a non-theatrical form, either for free or for purchase, prior to February 1, 2021 are not eligible to submit to this category. This includes, but is not limited to, television broadcast, home video, or any digital platform in any country or countries. Films that were previously invited to but did not participate in other festivals or events (live or digital) outside of their country or countries of origin are still eligible to submit to this category.

International Documentary Feature Films

Any nonfiction film originating from outside of the United States with a running time of 50 minutes or more. If your documentary contains re-enactments or other fictionalized depictions of actual events, you may submit it to this category, but we will ultimately decide which of our Festival programs is best suited for your project, if accepted. In order to qualify as an International Documentary Feature Film, at least half of the submitted project’s financing must originate from outside of the United States. Only films retaining international premiere status are eligible for open submission to this category. Completed films that have been or will have been exhibited theatrically (festival or otherwise) outside of the film’s country or countries of origin prior to February 1, 2021 are not eligible for open submission to this category. Films that have been or will have been made available to the general public in a non-theatrical form, either for free or for purchase, prior to February 1, 2021 are not eligible to submit to this category. This includes, but is not limited to, television broadcast, home video, or any digital platform in any country or countries. Films that were previously invited to but did not participate in other festivals or events (live or digital) outside of their country or countries of origin are still eligible to submit to this category.

U.S. Short Films

Any film or video project originating from within the United States with a running time of less than 50 minutes, including credits. This includes scripted or improvisational fiction, nonfiction or documentary, experimental film or video, animation, music video, or any other short-form film or video project. In order to qualify as a U.S. Short Film, at least half of the submitted project’s financing must originate from within the United States. Short films have no premiere requirements or prior screening restrictions that impact Festival eligibility. Films that have been screened at any number of festivals or other public theatrical exhibitions, broadcast or streamed on television or the Internet, and/or released via any home video or other public distribution platform anywhere in the world are eligible for this category.

International Short FIlm

Any film or video project originating from outside of the United States with a running time of less than 50 minutes, including credits. This includes scripted or improvisational fiction, nonfiction or documentary, experimental film or video, animation, music video, or any other short-form film or video project. In order to qualify as an International Short Film, at least half of the submitted project’s financing must originate from outside of the United States. Short films have no premiere requirements or prior screening restrictions that impact Festival eligibility. Films that have been screened at any number of festivals or other public theatrical exhibitions, broadcast or streamed on television or the Internet, and/or released via any home video or other public distribution platform anywhere in the world are eligible for this category.

Episodic Content

Any live-action, documentary/nonfiction, or animation project presented in or intended to be presented in a multi-episode format. This includes pilots, pilot presentations, webseries, docuseries, limited series, anthologies, or any other film or video project that was created to unfold over multiple episodes. Episodic projects may originate from anywhere in the world and you may submit single or multiple episodes of the same project, as long as all episodes play continuously in one single video file for digital upload and do not exceed 10GB in size. We accept both short-form and long-form content, with no restrictions regarding minimum or maximum episode or series length. Projects originating from within the United States are not eligible to submit to this category if the submitted content has been or will be made available in its entirety to the general public via any public theatrical exhibition or any broadcast, home video, or digital platform prior to February 1, 2021. Projects originating from outside of the United States remain eligible if any or all of the submitted content has been released only within the project’s country or countries of origin or not released at all. If some but not all of the episodes have been exhibited theatrically or made available via any other public platform, you may only submit episodes that have not been exhibited theatrically or otherwise released to the public. For example, if the first season of your series is available online, you may only submit episodes from a subsequent season that have not been released to the public in any form.

New Frontier Projects

A wide range of innovative works and immersive experiences will be considered for the Festival’s New Frontier program. These works may include VR/AR/MR/XR projects created for a variety of platforms, media installations, live cinematic performances, custom digital platforms, or any combination of those elements. We request that you provide documentation that outlines any specific logistical, spatial, or equipment needs for your project. Specific instructions for submitting different file types are contained within the application. We encourage the diverse creative community of storytellers and technologists to submit inventive works of fiction, documentary, and interactive projects for consideration. Projects may have previously been exhibited or performed at other festivals, industry trade shows, and/or events/conventions and still retain their eligibility for submission to this category. However, we do take premiere status into consideration for all submitted projects. If your project includes immersive, interactive, or live performance elements, you should select the “VR / XR / Immersive” category when you create your project page on FilmFreeway. If your experimental film or video project does not include any of these elements, please select one of the feature or short film categories listed above. Questions regarding this specific program should be directed to newfrontier@sundance.org.

International Submissions

Celebrating independence, creativity and risk taking, the Sundance Film Festival plays a vital role in discovery of new films and new voices from around the world. The World Cinema competitions are specifically dedicated to identifying emerging international talent and connecting them with audiences and industry in the United States.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

The World Cinema Dramatic Competition showcases a selection of new films from emerging filmmakers. Submitted films must be World Premieres or International Premieres (films that have not screened outside their country of origin) and must have a running time of 50 minutes or more. Accepted films are eligible for jury prizes and an audience award. Among the films premiering in competition since the first edition in 2005: Animal Kingdom, The Maid, Once, Mermaid, Megane, An Education, Madeinusa, Son of Babylon, Drained, Bronson, 13 Tzameti, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, Little Red Flowers and Happy, Happy.

World Cinema Documentary Competition

The World Cinema Documentary Competition showcases a selection of new films from visionary documentary filmmakers around the world. Submitted films must be World Premieres or International Premieres (films that have not screened outside their country of origin) and must have a running time of 50 minutes or more. Accepted films are eligible for jury prizes and an audience award. Among the award-winning films premiering in competition since the first edition in 2005: Man on Wire, Up the Yangtze, Grizzly Man, Senna, Manufactured Landscapes, Searching for Sugar Man, Bus 174Black Power Mixtape, 5 Broken Cameras and Afghan Star.

Non-Competition Sections

In addition to the competition sections, international films are also considered for the following sections: Midnight (genre films), New Frontier (experimental films), and Premieres (world premieres from established filmmakers). Over the years, acclaimed international works like Bloody Sunday, Whale Rider, Cronos, Motorcycle Diaries, Carne, Dead/Alive, Goodbye Lenin, Calvary, Cube, Zidane, Open Hearts, Haute Tension, Intacto, Shine, Time Crimes, Away from Her, Four Weddings and a Funeral, March of the Penguins, and Run, Lola, Run have emerged from the Festival.

We do not accept open submissions for the Spotlight category (films that have screened at other international festivals).

You may not apply to a specific Festival program. Instead, please indicate whether the film is as an International Narrative Feature or International Documentary Feature when you submit via FilmFreeway.

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