2019 Feature Film Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship FAQ

  • 1. How do I apply?
  • The application for the 2019 Creative Producing Lab and Fellowship will be available October 29, 2018 and will close at 5:00 p.m. PT on February 12, 2019. You can find it at apply.sundance.org and will need to set up a login account to apply.
  • 2. What do I need to apply?
  1. CONTACT INFO We will use the email address you provide to correspond with you moving forward. Please make sure producers@sundance.org is cleared in your spam filter!
  2. LOGLINE (75 word maximum)
  3. SYNOPSIS (750 word maximum)
  4. DIRECTOR’S ARTISTIC STATEMENT Director’s creative intent for the film, which can include the genesis of the story, particular themes of interest, and visual style. This must be written by the Director of your project. (500 word maximum)
  5. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (optional) 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. (500 word maximum)
  6. BIOS for the applying producer(s), screenwriter(s), and director(s). Please specifically list all notable credits, accolades, education, and experience. (300 word maximum each)
  7. ESSAY QUESTIONS 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. Please click here for essay questions. (500 word maximum each)
  8. 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 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. You will be asked to upload the letter(s) of recommendation as PDF(s). 
  9. APPLICATION FEE of $40 (credit card only)
  • 3. Do you accept international submissions?
  • Eligible candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be filmed internationally.
  • 4. Do you accept short films?
  • No, only feature length projects are eligible.
  • 5. Can I submit a nonfiction project?
  • There is a separate Documentary Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship with a separate application process. More information can be found about support for nonfiction projects on the Documentary Film Program page.
  • 6. If selected, when do I have to be available to participate, and do I have to be there the entire time?
  • If your project is selected, you are required to be at the Lab, Creative Producing Summit, and Festival for the entire duration. Sundance covers airfare and lodging for all three events. If you have a scheduling conflict, we encourage you to apply in a future cycle when you are available.
  • 7. What are the dates I must be available to participate in this Fellowship?
  • The dates for the 2019 Creative Producing Lab are July 29 – August 1, 2019. The dates for the 2019 Creative Producing Summit are August 2 – 4, 2019. The dates for the 2020 Sundance Festival are January 23 – February 2, 2020.
  • 8. Can I re-apply with the same project as last year?
  • Yes, although we encourage you to re-apply with the same project ONLY if you have made significant revisions to the script and/or elements attached. In your application you must explain what changes have taken place on the script and project since last submitted.
  • 9. Can I still apply if I don’t have a director attached?
  • No, we can only consider candidates with projects that have a director attached. Candidates may not be involved as a writer or director of the submitted project.
  • 10. I work with another producer; can we both apply with the same project?
  • Yes, teams of up to two producers may apply together with one project. If there are additional producers, they must also be disclosed on the application but would not participate in the Fellowship if selected.
  • 11. Can I submit multiple projects?
  • You may submit up to three projects, but we encourage you to choose two projects that are your priority in terms of moving forward. Please note that for each script, you must complete a separate application and submit a separate application fee.
  • 12. Do I need to have the rights to the script or underlying material in order to apply?
  • In the event you are selected for the Fellowship, you will need to provide a copy of your attachment, option, or rights agreement for the script and for any underlying material. In order to apply, you will need the approval of your director and writer acknowledging the submission of your project for consideration to the Fellowship.
  • 13. Do I submit a script or other materials with my application?
  • No, you should not submit your script at this time. Starting March 1, 2019 we will begin requesting additional materials, which include a full script, directing sample, and producing sample for applicants invited to the second round. All applicants will receive a notification via email if they are being invited to the second round no later than March 22, 2019.
  • 14. Do I need to submit a budget with my application?
  • No, you do not need to submit a budget with your application, however, you will need to provide the overall budget number (e.g. $1.2 million).
  • 15. Can my project go into production before attending the Lab?
  • Unfortunately, no. We consider the timing of your Lab and Fellowship to be a crucial component to selection. The Lab is designed, in part, to focus on your creative input and communication with your director and screenwriter on your Fellowship project. If your film is already in production or has already been shot, the impact and relevance of your Lab experience is lessened.
  • 16. Who should I have write my letter of recommendation?
  • Ideally, your recommender should be working in the film industry (eg. producer, director, executive, film professor) and be familiar with your past work. They do not need to be familiar with the project you are submitting. If you do not have prior film work or relationships, your recommender should be able to address your past creative endeavors. 
  • 17. Where do I send my letter of recommendation?
  • You will need to upload your letter of recommendation into your online application as a PDF. Recommendation letters must be included at the time of application and cannot be uploaded after submission.
  • 18. How will I be notified about acceptance? Will I be notified if I’m not accepted?
  • All applicants will be notified via email. You will hear from us whether accepted or not via e-mail no later than June 7, 2019.
  • 19. I haven’t received my notification yet, but all my friends have! What’s wrong?
  • We deliver our notifications on a rolling basis, so please don’t panic. All applicants will receive a response via e-mail no later than June 7, 2019.
  • 20. Does it matter if I’ve participated in other non-Sundance labs?
  • Not at all. We encourage filmmakers to utilize all of the resources available to them in furthering their work and their artistic development.
  • 21. Can I receive feedback on my submission?
  • Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unfortunately not able to provide individualized feedback.
  • 22. Does Sundance pay for my travel to Utah?
  • Sundance does provide air travel within the US, lodging, and meals at the Lab and Summit, as well as air travel (also within the US) and lodging at the Festival for all selected Fellows.

Still don’t see your question answered here? Email producers@sundance.org with further questions with “Creative Producing Fellowship” in the subject line.