Sundance Ignite

About Sundance Ignite

Sundance Ignite identifies and supports new voices and talent from the next generation of filmmakers and fosters fresh audiences for independent storytelling. Established in 2015 with founding support from Adobe, the program offers individuals ages 18 to 25 the Young Adult Discount presented by Adobe at the Sundance Film Festival; the Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellowship Program, a competitive and year-round artist-development program supporting emerging filmmakers ages 18 to 25 with a year of mentorship and program opportunities; and Sundance Ignite traveling programs.

Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellowship Program

Presented by Adobe, the yearlong Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellowship Program is open to 18 to 25-year-old emerging documentary and narrative filmmakers. The fellowship begins with a weeklong lab orienting filmmakers to the fellowship and year ahead. For the rest of the year, fellows work with their mentors, attend select Sundance Institute programs, enjoy eligibility for internships, receive additional creative and professional development opportunities, and attend the Sundance Film Festival. The fellows also receive a complimentary membership to Adobe Creative Cloud. To date, 80 fellows have gone through the program, and ten alumni have had their short films selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival.

The 2021 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Short Film Challenge will be open from March 2 to April 6, 2021. Subscribe to our emails (be sure to select ‘Artist Opportunities’) for more information.

2020 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellows

In collaboration with Adobe, Sundance Institute announced the 2020 class of Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellows in July 2020. The fellows were chosen from a broad global pool of more than 1,600 entrants to the Sundance Ignite x Adobe Short Film Challenge. Check out their winning films on Sundance Co//ab!

  • Aurora BrachmanAurora Brachman is a documentary filmmaker and MFA student in Documentary Film at Stanford University. She is also the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in Filmmaking to Kiribati where she directed the docuseries, Between the Tides. She now makes work about the experiences of various marginalized communities and has a deep commitment to collaborative and ethical storytelling. Aurora hopes her work is a small contribution to the development of a more just society.

  • Aurora BrachmanGiselle Bonilla graduated summa cum laude from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Film and Television Production. Her thesis film was presented the Horizon Award for emerging female filmmakers at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Giselle is currently based in Los Angeles working as a freelance director on music videos, some of which have premiered on the digital platforms of Rolling Stone and Fader.

  • Aurora BrachmanJacob Anderson is a Kentucky based writer, director, and cinematographer. He attended Western Kentucky University and graduated with a degree in Filmmaking. Post-graduation, Jacob has become a working cinematographer based in the Nashville, Tennessee area. Recently, he has begun writing and directing his own projects that will explore the boundaries of genre within the American South. Once established, his goal is to bring film opportunities to other budding southern filmmakers in the future.

  • Aurora BrachmanJoeBill Muñoz is a Mexican-American filmmaker. His directorial debut, Follow the Sun, screened in festivals across the country, and was nominated for a student award by the IDA. He has worked for Frontline, the Investigative Reporting Program, and the Associated Press. He is currently an Associate Producer at the Center for Investigative Reporting.

  • Aurora BrachmanKourtney Jackson is a Toronto-based writer and filmmaker. She was the 2018 Emerging Director’s Spotlight winner at the Regent Park Film Festival, where she pitched her experimental documentary, Wash Day. Ever contemplative of the cosmos, Kourtney aims to tell unexpected stories grounded in Afrofuturism, absurdism, and joy. Through film, she continues to explore the histories, nuances, and intersections in her ethnic, cultural, and spiritual identity.

  • Aurora BrachmanMariales Diaz is a queer, gender expansive Dominican immigrant raised in Brooklyn. They create documentaries and narratives focused on exploring human relationships, the conceptualization of the “American Dream,” and intersectionalities within identity. Their storytellings center Black and brown trans and gender expansive folxs. Mariales is a graduate of the SUNY Purchase Film Conservatory, a Fall 2019 Creative Culture Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center, and a 2019 NeXtDoc Fellow.

  • Aurora BrachmanNatalie Archambaud Chao 趙芷妮 is a filmmaker and visual artist who completed her B.A in Film Production at USC in Los Angeles, with a focus in cinematography. She is interested in bridging the gap between realism and poetry in order to tell stories through a more engaged and intentional gaze, one that is not scared to question and see itself in the process.

  • Aurora BrachmanSasha Argirov is a Canadian writer/director based in Vancouver. He is an alum of the School of the New York Times. Sasha is currently developing his debut feature, and his short film, Personals, is soon to begin its festival tour. He likes making films about lonely people in unusual situations.

  • Aurora BrachmanSean is a filmmaker from Fremont, CA, a graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and a Google Creative Lab 5 alum. His work has been viewed millions of times online and has aired on primetime television. Recently, Sean contributed sequences for the feature film, Summertime, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and his short film, 3,000 Miles, was selected as one of Vimeo’s 100 most iconic Staff Picks of the decade.

  • Zenzele OjoreZenzele Ojore is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist from Houston, Texas based in New York City. Her award-winning short films have played at festivals including Sundance (Horizon Award) and SXSW. She received her undergraduate degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2018, and is presently a dean fellow in the graduate film program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
    Zenzele is currently writing the feature length version of her short The South is My Sister’s Skin, as well as developing an upcoming short film that she intends to shoot next summer in Louisiana.

Young Adult Discount presented by Adobe

The Young Adult Discount presented by Adobe at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival is made possible by Adobe’s support of the Sundance Ignite program. With the discount, Festival goers ages 18 to 25 are offered 50% off all tickets and passes while supplies last. At the 2021 Festival, we also hope you’ll join us for Ignite Day on Monday, February 1, when we’ll be offering a curation of free events and screenings for emerging filmmakers.

Young Adult Discount in Utah

In Utah, the Young Adult Discount is supported in part by the CARES Act and the Utah State Legislature through Utah Arts & Museums. As described above, Utah residents ages 18 to 25 are offered 50% off all tickets and passes while supplies last.

Sundance London

Sundance Ignite partners with Adobe on a special event at Sundance Film Festival: London for emerging filmmakers ages 18 to 25. The all-day program includes free screenings, workshops, and a meet and greet with UK-based industry members.


Sundance Ignite is supported by Adobe; Arison Arts Foundation; The Birth of a Nation Fellowship, founded by the creative and producing teams of the film; Southwest Airlines; East West Bank; and Jason Michael Berman.

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