2020 Feature Film Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship
February 11, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. PST
Creative Producing Lab: July 26–30, 2020
Sundance Film Festival: January 21–31, 2021
The Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship: Feature Film is a yearlong program designed to nurture emerging producers with project-specific support through the Creative Producing Lab, Sundance Film Festival attendance, $10,000 in grant support, year-round mentorship from one industry mentor, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute staff. The program is designed to hone emerging producers’ creative instincts and evolves their communicating and problem-solving skills at all stages of their next feature film project.
There is a separate lab and fellowship for producers working on a documentary film. More information can be found about support for nonfiction projects on the Documentary Film Program page.
Candidates must have produced at least one short or feature-length narrative or documentary film, but no more than two narrative features total as lead creative producer. This does not include co-producer, associate producer, or executive producer credits.
Candidates must have a completed, legally optioned, scripted narrative project in hand with a director attached to the project.
Candidates may not be involved as a writer or director of the submitted project.
Candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be filmed internationally.
Applicants will need to provide the following information and materials via the online application by February 11, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. PST:
Contact info: We will use the email address you provide to correspond with you moving forward. Please make sure firstname.lastname@example.org is cleared in your spam filter! For technical questions, please contact email@example.com.
Project Logline (75 words max)
Project Synopsis (750 words max)
Director’s Artistic Statement (500 words max): This statement should detail the director’s creative intent for the film, which can include the genesis of the story, particular themes of interest, and visual style.
Additional information (optional; 500 words max): This should include any additional information such as status of the project, attachments, or other producers attached who are not applying for the fellowship and their role on the project.
Bios (300 words max each): Bios should be included for the applying producer(s), the screenwriter(s), and the director(s). Please specifically list all notable credits, accolades, education, and experience. For any previous work listed, please note the format of the work (i.e., short film, feature, or episodic; fiction or nonfiction).
Essay questions (500 words max each): You will be asked to answer a series of seven essay questions that will allow us to better understand your point of view as a producer and also why you want to make the project you are applying with. Click here to view the essay questions.
Letter of recommendation: You will be asked to upload a PDF of one letter of recommendation. Your recommender should be someone familiar with your prior creative work, such as a filmmaking colleague or professor, but does not necessarily need to be someone familiar with your submitted project. The recommender should not be attached to the project in any position. (For example, the recommender cannot be the writer, director, co-producer, cinematographer, etc.) If you are applying as a team, you can submit one joint letter or separate letters. Your letter must be uploaded by the deadline in order for you to submit your full application.
Application fee of $40 (credit card only)
No scripts or additional materials are accepted at this stage.
Applicants will be notified on a rolling basis as to whether or not their application is progressing to the next stage of the selection process. Please be prepared to submit the following materials, should you be selected for the second round beginning March 2, 2020:
Full script: Upload a PDF file of the most current draft of your script.
Directing sample: You will be asked to provide a link (and password, if applicable) to one directing sample for the director attached to your project, if such a sample is available. This sample should be recent and relevant to the project you are submitting, and it should also be a complete work (i.e., not a compilation reel). If your project has more than one director, please submit a sample that reflects their work as a team, if possible.
Producing sample: You will be asked to provide a link (and password, if applicable) to a producing sample that is recent and relevant to the project you are submitting. If you are submitting as a producing team, you can upload one sample that represents the team or two individual samples. Please submit complete works, not compilation reels.
All applicants will receive notification of their application’s first-round status via email no later than March 19, 2020. For those advancing to the second round, notification of final status will be sent via email on or before June 5, 2020. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unfortunately unable to provide any feedback on individual projects. If you have additional questions about the 2020 Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship: Feature Film, click here for our FAQ.
If you have further questions after reviewing our FAQ, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The timeline for the 2020 Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship is as follows:
November 5, 2019
Application available online
February 11, 2020
Application closes at 5:00 p.m. PT
March 19, 2020
Deadline for notification of first-round status
Invitations to the second round are made on a rolling basis, and you should be prepared to submit a full draft of the script along with directing and producing samples beginning March 2, 2020.
June 5, 2020
Deadline for notification of final selections
July 1, 2020
Start of the 2020 fellowship
July 26–30, 2020
Creative Producing Lab (at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah)
January 21–31, 2021
2021 Sundance Film Festival (in Park City, Utah)
June 30, 2021
End of the 2020 fellowship
Should you be selected to participate in the 2020 Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship: Feature Film, you will be asked to continue the spirit of giving back. Since securing funding for the Institute’s programs is a consistent challenge, we request that lab alumni whose projects are produced contribute to the Institute’s work to support new generations of emerging filmmakers. Projects supported by the Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship are asked to contribute 0.25% of their production budget calculated after the first $1 million (e.g., if your film is produced for $1.2 million, the fee due to the Institute would be $500).
Additionally, lab alumni are asked to recognize the fellowship with this credit: “Developed with the assistance of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship.” Any revenue that is designated to Sundance Institute is allocated to the Feature Film Program and is used on an annual basis to provide critical support for the labs. Your ability to give back really makes a difference.