2021 Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship: Feature Film
February 18, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. PST
Creative Producing Lab: July 26–29, 2021
Creative Producing Summit: July 30–August 1, 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 and Creative Producing Summit, grant support, year-round mentorship from an industry mentor, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute staff. The program is designed to hone emerging producers’ creative instincts and evolve 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 the lead creative producer. This does not include co-producer, associate producer, or executive producer credits.
Candidates must have a completed, legally optioned, scripted narrative feature-length 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 18, 2021, at 6:00 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 and their personal connection to the material.
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 roles 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 (e.g., 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 sample essay questions.
Letter of recommendation: You will be asked to upload one letter of recommendation in PDF form. Your recommender should be someone familiar with your prior creative work, such as a filmmaking colleague or professor, but they do 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)
Please note: 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:
Full script: Upload the most current draft of your script in PDF form.
Visual materials (optional): If you have visual materials such as a lookbook or project deck, you may upload a PDF of no more than 40 MB.
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 25, 2021. For those advancing to the second round, notification of final status will be sent via email on or before June 15, 2021. 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 2021 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 2021 Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship is as follows:
November 18, 2020
Application available online
February 18, 2021
Application closes at 6:00 p.m. PT
March 25, 2021
Deadline for notification of the 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 8, 2021.
June 15, 2021
Deadline for notification of final selections
July 5, 2021
Start of the 2021 Fellowship
July 26–29, 2021
July 30–August 1, 2021
Creative Producing Lab (at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah)
Creative Producing Summit (at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah)
June 30, 2022
End of the 2021 fellowship
Should you be selected to participate in the Creative Producing Fellowship, 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 Fellowship agree to sign an agreement stipulating that (a) they will make a contribution to Sundance Institute of 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). (This number may increase to 0.5 or 0.75% through the project's participation in the Screenwriters Lab, Directors Lab and/or Institute-affiliated grant support exceeding $10,000), (b) Sundance Institute will receive 1% of 100% of the film’s net receipts, and (c) Sundance Institute will receive a credit line and logo placement in the film’s end titles,“This film was supported by the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program 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.