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 Ignite Ticket Package, an exclusive chance to see the newest films at the Sundance Film Festival; the Ignite Fellows Program, a competitive and year-round artist-development program supporting emerging filmmakers with a year of mentorship and program opportunities; and Sundance Ignite traveling programs.

Sundance Ignite Fellows Program

Presented by Adobe, the yearlong Sundance Ignite Fellowship 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, 70 fellows have gone through the program, and six alumni have had their short films selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival.

  • It’s official—the 2020 Ignite Short Film challenge is now closed! We look forward to announcing our ten 2020 Ignite fellows in early June. In the meantime, check out the submissions and continue to engage, learn, and build your community on Sundance Co//ab.

Ignite Ticket Package

The Sundance Film Festival Ignite Ticket Package is an open-access, reduced-cost ticket package open to individuals ages 18 to 25 made possible by Adobe’s support of the Sundance Ignite program. It includes screening tickets, a Festival credential, and events that are specially curated for emerging filmmakers, to connect them with Festival filmmakers and the film industry, help them explore the evolving landscape of financing and distribution, introduce them to Sundance Institute artist programs and services, and expand their creative community. Learn more

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.

2019 Ignite Fellows

Sundance Institute, in collaboration with Adobe, announced the class of 2019 Sundance Ignite fellows in November 2018, chosen from a broad global pool of more than 1,200 applicants. The 15 filmmakers selected for this year’s fellowship hail from three continents, representing seven countries.

  • Daniel Antebi portrait

    Daniel Antebi

    Daniel Antebi began art doing magic at the age of five. Yes, 'is this your card?’ kind of magic. He’s racialized as white and categorized as a CISgender-heterosexual male. However, he’s a Queer-Mexican-Jew whose normative appearance is deceiving. In his work, he hopes to reconcile opposing realities. Daniel makes films, dabbles in poetry and sculpture, but if you ask him, he’s still a magician.

    A Dios

  • Naemi Buchtemann portrait

    Naemi Buchtemann

    Naemi Buchtemann is a German born filmmaker who studies Film Directing at the German Film and Television Academy of Berlin (dffb). She has been awarded the Price of the Global Ethic Foundation and the Price of the Literature Society, Baden Wurttemberg.

    A Way Around introspection

  • Luna Carmoon portrait

    Luna Carmoon

    Luna Carmoon is an SE, London-based filmmaker whose first short film "NOSEBLEED" premiered at the BFI London Film Festival this year also selected to be part of the LFF Network programme this year too. A self-taught writer-director, Luna was one of six filmmakers selected to make a film as part of the "ShortFLIX" initiative searching for underrepresented talent in the UK run by "Creative England" in partnership with “NYT” and “Sky Arts”. Her work is strange and surreal at times.


  • Maya Cueva portrait

    Maya Cueva

    Maya Cueva is an award-winning multimedia producer, specializing in directing and audio producing for documentary films and radio. Her work has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Latino USA, The Atlantic, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, and NBC’s Nightly News. Maya was awarded an Emmy from the College Television Awards and her films have screened internationally and across the U.S. She is also a Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist at the Jacob Burns Film Center.s.

    Only the Moon / Solamente la Luna

  • Kira Dane portrait

    Kira Dane

    Kira Dane is a half-Japanese filmmaker, painter, and native New Yorker. She graduated New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in filmmaking. After graduating from NYU, Kira worked as an associate producer on Humans of New York: The Series, which was nominated for an Emmy award. She is currently an active member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. Embracing sincerity over irony, Kira sets out to tell unexpected and nuanced stories. In addition to being one of this year's winning Sundance Ignite shorts, Mizuko has received an outside grant opportunity that precludes it from being shown online at this time. In its stead, we invite you to enjoy the Mizuko trailer until further notice.


  • Aaron Dunleavy portrait

    Aaron Dunleavy

    Aaron Dunleavy is a filmmaker from Blackburn. His debut student short, Throw Me to the Dogs, won 10 awards on the festival circuit, screening at some of the most prestigious BAFTA and Oscar® qualifying festivals around the world. Aaron's films explore stories of working class youth; with unscripted and improvised performances, street casting and non-professional young actors at the core of his filmmaking approach.

    Alfie, the Odd Job Boy of Clithero

  • E,ily Gularte portrait

    Emily Gularte

    Emily Gularte is a Guatemalan writer and director. She is a film student at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. She has been the director and screenwriter of many short films, educational films, as well as commercials and music videos. She was a head writer on a children's animated web series and was the director of the show's voice-actors. Additionally, she has produced several videos for the Oslo Freedom Forum run by the Human Rights Foundation.

    Lizard (Lagartija)

  • Yusuf Kapadia portrait

    Yusuf Kapadia

    A recent NYU Tisch graduate, Yusuf Kapadia is a skilled filmmaker forging a career in documentary. He is currently an Assistant Editor on Stanley Nelson’s Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (w.t.), and in post-production on his own film, a portrait of a family supporting their child on the autism spectrum. An avid cyclist, Yusuf spent his college years racing with the NYU cycling team. He enjoys riding mountain or road whenever he can.

  • Kerry LeVielle portrait

    Kerry LeVielle

    Kerry LeVielle is a Hudson Valley based filmmaker. Her work explores the experience of women and the nuanced intimacy of their impassioned journeys to “come of age.” Kerry graduated from SUNY Purchase College in 2017. After graduating, she was a recipient of the Fall 2017 Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellowship in the Creative Culture Fellowship Program at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she directed two short films, Niskyland and Playhouse.


  • Racael Moton portrait

    Rachael Moton

    Rachael Moton is a Philadelphia based writer and director. She attended Temple University where she graduated with a degree in Film and Media Arts. She is passionate about telling stories that center on women and people of color and wants to create work that promotes empathy. She currently works at a non-profit, The Creative Mind Group, as an administrative manager and program director.

    Dad's Dead Damnit

  • Lance Oppenheim portrait

    Lance Oppenheim

    Lance is a filmmaker whose work has screened at over 65 film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, and featured by The New York Times (as three op-docs), the Smithsonian, The Atlantic, Vimeo (staff pics), Short of the Week, and PBS national broadcast. He received two nominations at the 2017 Cannes Young Directors Award and is the youngest contributor to the New York Times Op-Docs. Lance attends Harvard University and is currently in post-production on his first feature length documentary.

    Long Term Parking

  • Frida Perez portrait

    Frida Perez

    Frida Pérez is a Dominican-American filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She's a recent graduate of Brown University with an Honors Degree in Modern Culture and Media (Production Track) and Political Science. Frida currently works as an assistant at Point Grey Pictures. She previously worked at UTA and has held internships at Comedy Central, Women Make Movies, William Morris Endeavor, Pretty Matches Productions, in addition to working as an AC, AD, and PA on several independent shorts.

    White Noise

  • Eli Salameh portrait

    Eli Salameh

    Eli Salameh is a film director born in Lebanon. He graduated with Honors from the Lebanese University- Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture II in 2018 with a Master’s degree in Film directing. He is now a Master student in Cinematography. His short academic films are “FLY MY LOVE”, “ARYAN” and “THE BOY WHO WORE THE SUN”. “EXIT BEIRUT” is his recent short film submitted to the Sundance Ignite Film Challenge.

    Exit Beirut

  • Cai Thomas portrait

    Cai Thomas

    Cai Thomas is a Liberty City native whose curiosity was born and nurtured in the “Moonlight” neighborhood. She’s a Chicago based filmmaker interested in stories at the intersection of identity, self-determination and location. She is a NextDoc 2018 Fellow and was a Berlin Capital Fulbright awardee in 2017. She spent two seasons as a production associate on CBS Sunday Morning. A graduate of Boston College, she was a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar.


  • Azizi Zoromba portrait

    Aziz Zoromba

    Aziz Zoromba is a Canadian filmmaker of Egyptian descent. He is currently finishing his BFA at the Mel Hoppenheim Film School. His first short film, Leila (2017), which he wrote and directed, was selected and presented at the Toronto International Film Festival as part of Canada's Top 10. His most recent short film, Amal (2018), premiered at the Festival du nouveau cinéma in October.



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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