Indigenous Program

About the Indigenous Program

Sundance Institute’s commitment to support Indigenous artists is woven throughout our history. Indigenous filmmakers have long been involved in the Institute, going back to Larry Littlebird (Laguna/Santo Domingo Pueblo) and Chris Spotted Eagle (Houmas Nation), who participated in the first meetings founding Sundance Institute. Following president and founder Robert Redford’s original vision, the Institute has remained committed to supporting the voices of Indigenous artists.

Fellowships

  • Deadline
    The Full Circle Fellowship application opens on February 8, 2021 at 10:00 am MT. The deadline to apply is February 25, 2021 at 11:59 pm MT.
    Click here to apply

    Notification Date
    Late March 2021

    Eligibility:
    The Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program aims to support the next generation of Indigenous American storytellers through the Full Circle Fellowship, which provides opportunities to explore a career as a filmmaker, such as:

    • Attendance at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival*
    • A set internship at the Native Lab to gain hands-on film production experience*
    • A trip to Los Angeles with a schedule of production facilities tours, meetings with industry mentors, and film screenings.*
    • Mentorship from the Indigenous Program staff.

    Application Requirements:
    This fellowship is open to Native youth ages 18-24 based in the United States, from communities in Michigan, New Mexico, and Mississippi.

    *In-person gatherings pending. There is no application fee. If you have additional questions, please contact indigenous_program@sundance.org.

Labs

The Indigenous Program has built and sustained an indigenous film circle, which now spans over three generations. The cycle of work begins by scouting for and identifying indigenous artists, bringing them through the mechanisms of support at Sundance Institute to get their work made and shown, then bringing the filmmakers and their work back to native lands. The Native Filmmakers Lab has been a vital part of supporting indigenous filmmakers since 2004.

  • Application The 2020 Native Filmmakers Lab application is closed. Please check back next Spring for more information.
    Dates Summer 2020
    Grant Pool Two U.S. based Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Native project; One Canadian-based Indigenous Canadian (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit)
    Location TBD
    Eligibility Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native film artists working in the U.S.; Indigenous Canadian (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) film artists
    Description The Native Filmmakers Lab provides direct support to emerging U.S.-based Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, Alaskan Natives, and a Canadian-based Indigenous Canadian (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit). The lab will support emerging filmmakers through the process of shooting a short film under the guidance of a supervising producer and mentoring director. Fellowship for Indigenous Canadian film artist made possible with support from the Indigenous Screen Office.

Support for the Indigenous Program

The Sundance Institute Indigenous Program is supported by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Oneida Indian Nation, Surdna Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Nia Tero Foundation, SAGindie, New Zealand Film Commission, Indigenous Media Initiatives, Felix Culpa, Sarah Luther, Pacific Islanders in Communications, Susan Shilliday, and an anonymous donor.

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