Development and Post-Production Tracks
For fiction feature writers, directors, writer/directors, or writer/director teams, there are two tracks to apply for support from the Feature Film Program: the development track (for projects in the screenplay development stage) and the post-production track (for features in picture edit). There is one application for both U.S. and international applicants; regardless of where you are based, you can submit your work using this application.
The development track has one open application that allows your fiction feature work-in-progress screenplay to be considered for the following programs, fellowships, and grants:
- Screenwriters Lab (held annually in January)
- Screenwriters Intensive (held annually in March)
- FilmTwo Fellowship (Intensive held annually in March; for filmmakers developing their second fiction feature)
- Sundance Institute | Comedy Central Comedy Fellowship
- Sundance Institute Asian American Fellowship
- Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Latinx Fellowship
- Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant and Fellowship (for projects with scientific and/or technological content)
Our application includes questions to determine your eligibility for each program and fellowship, and you will automatically be considered for all programs and fellowships for which you are eligible. (There is no open application for the Directors Lab, which is typically populated by projects that have been supported through a previous development program.)
Applications for the 2021 development track will open at 8am PT on May 4, 2020, and close at 6pm PT on June 4, 2020. You can find a link to the application here.
Development Track Programs and Fellowships
As part of our response to the COVID-19 situation, we have made changes to our 2020 Post-Production Track programs. For summer 2020 only, we will not be holding in-person Labs and we will not be accepting applications for the Editing Residency. Applications for directors to participate in the Film Music and Sound Design Lab (to be hosted virtually) will be accepted by invitation only.
The post-production track has one application that allows a fiction feature film in picture edit to be considered for two programs:
- Editing Residency (held annually in June, attended by both the director and editor)
- Film Music and Sound Design Lab (held annually in July, attended by the director)
The application allows you to choose whether you would like to be considered for one or both programs. There is one application for both U.S. and international applicants.
Past projects supported through post-production track programs include The Fits, Crown Heights, Keep the Change, Nancy, American Animals, Un Traductor, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, and Frank & Lola, among others.
Post-Production Track Programs
FFP Fund: Ongoing Alumni Support
Every year, Sundance Institute provides more than $400,000 in financial support to Feature Film Program alumni through a robust program of fellowships and direct artist granting designed to give lab-supported projects momentum at critical junctures in their development, pre-production, post-production, and distribution/marketing stages. These fellowships and grants are funded through a group of partnerships with very generous foundations, film industry companies, and individuals committed to the work of sustaining artists and advancing their work along their entire journey to connect with audiences. The Feature Film Program staff work together with our partners to award funds, considering impact, timing, urgency, and quality of work as key criteria.
International WorkIn 1990, the Feature Film Program made a commitment to support a vibrant exchange and dialogue across cultures by including the work of international filmmakers as part of its core program. Our labs have been enriched by developing artists and projects that are deeply rooted in the personal and cultural history of filmmaking voices from all over the world. Through our U.S.-based labs for screenwriters and directors; international labs for screenwriters; tailored, year-round creative and strategic support; as well as various awards and fellowship programs, the Feature Film Program has supported artists from over 70 countries. To expand upon its legacy of Screenwriters Labs in Brazil, Cuba, Greece, India, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, and Turkey, among others, the Feature Film Program is leading a cross-Institute initiative to support the next generation of filmmakers. We are building a multiyear program in Latin America and the Middle East/North Africa region to support artists working across fiction and nonfiction filmmaking, as well as episodic and emerging media formats. In the coming years, this work will expand throughout the Global South.
Between all the programs, FFP has supported international artists from over 60 countries making their first and second feature films, including:
|Guillermo del Toro Mexico
Alfonso Cuarón Mexico
Ritesh Batra India
Jonas Carpignano Italy
Rama Burshtein Israel
Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre France
|Walter Salles Brazil
Lynne Ramsay UK
Andrea Arnold UK
Haifaa Al Mansour Saudi Arabia
Hany Abu-Assad Palestine
Andrey Zvyagintsev Russia
Continuum of Support
Mentoring, Connections, Advocacy
In an increasingly complex landscape for independent films, we recognize the need for sustained support for filmmakers through every phase of the filmmaking process. In keeping with the Institute's commitment to provide long-term assistance to our alumni following participation in a lab, the Feature Film Program provides access to a customized suite of support designed to help filmmakers realize the promise of their project and to offer strategies and resources to help the project reach its audience. In addition to ongoing creative and strategic support, the FFP offers access to a range of Sundance Institute’s signature programs and initiatives:
Advice for Applicants
The labs of the Feature Film Program are designed to give aspiring independent artists the skills and knowledge they need to develop their craft and advance their projects. While the specific criteria for participation differs across our various programs, for all of our initiatives we are seeking passionate, bold, risk-taking artists compelled to see their vision realized from script to audience engagement. We value filmmakers’ personal connection to the material, clarity of vision, and commitment to a rigorous creative process.
Support for the Feature Film Program
As of December 2019, Sundance Institute is deeply grateful to the following donors for their generous support of the Feature Film Program over the past year:
explore.org, a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation
Universal Filmed Entertainment Group
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Sandra and Malcolm Berman Charitable Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund
NHK/NHK Enterprises, Inc.
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Philip Fung—A3 Foundation
Directors Guild of America
Writers Guild of America West
Rosalie Swedlin and Robert Cort
Deborah Reinisch and Michael Theodore Fund
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