2023 Sandbox Fund: Spring Grant Cycle
Sundance Institute | Sandbox Fund
Welcome to the application for the Sundance Institute | Sandbox Fund.
We appreciate your time and effort in the application process and we salute you on your independent filmmaking journey.
The deadline for the 2023 Sandbox Fund spring grant cycle is April 3, 2023, at 1 p.m. PST / 2 p.m. MST / 4 p.m. EST. All filmmakers who submit applications by this deadline will be notified regarding the status of their application by the end of July 2023.
The Sandbox Fund offers grants, engagement events, and other opportunities for independent artists seeking to explore the intrinsic link between science and culture through innovative storytelling. The program is administered by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund in collaboration with Sandbox Films, a documentary studio that illuminates the art and beauty of scientific inquiry.
Grants are offered to independent artists who are working at the intersection of science and nonfiction storytelling. The partnership identifies and supports nonfiction projects that inspire a deeper interest in science, especially among those who don’t think of themselves as science enthusiasts.
Submissions are accepted at any production phase, from development through post-production. All proposals must convey some vision for a finished film. Projects that have not yet secured characters or subjects, cannot articulate a story or structure, or cannot explain the project's driving central question are discouraged. We are unable to consider proposals for story research. You do not need any prior funding or a fiscal sponsor in order to apply.
Once your film premieres, we are unable to provide post-production funding support. We therefore encourage applicants to apply at least six months before an anticipated premiere. Picture-locked cuts are also ineligible for post-production funding.
WHAT WILL I NEED IN ORDER TO APPLY?
Completed previous directing sample (any length or genre) — optional
Current sample/rough cut (required for production and post-production applications)
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I APPLY?
Applications go through a multistage review. Grant deliberations are made in collaboration with our partners at Sandbox Films. Applications are evaluated on their use of artful and innovative film language, clear storytelling, originality, feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and the potential to reach and connect with the intended audience. Additionally, science-related considerations are evaluated to ensure the projects selected reflect the intended purpose of this opportunity. Incomplete applications will be reviewed as received.
Grant deliberations typically take four to six months. Please do not contact us to inquire about your status, as we cannot provide status updates. You will be notified by us directly by email (to the main contact’s email address as provided in the application) once a decision has been made. We periodically announce new grantees throughout the year; these press releases are not notifications.
You may send any significant updates to email@example.com. However, due to the volume of projects that we receive, the Documentary Film Program does not guarantee that updates will be incorporated into the project’s review.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS?
If you have additional questions about the Sandbox Fund application procedures, please see the Fund FAQ.
HOW DO I START MY APPLICATION?
Go to the online application portal and sign up for an account, or log in with an existing account.
Log in and select "2023 Sandbox Fund: Spring Grant Cycle."