2019 Launch Grant Fund FAQ

What does “primary applicant” mean?

  • For each project submitted, we ask that you designate one applicant as the primary applicant, who will be the primary point of contact for your submission throughout the application process. It’s solely so that we can communicate with one applicant per submission.

May I apply with more than one script?

  • You may submit up to two projects, but we encourage you to choose one project that is your priority in terms of moving forward. Please note that for each script, you must complete a separate application.

Do you consider scripts written in a language other than English?

  • Although we often support projects that will eventually be produced in a language other than English, your project must be translated into English in order to be considered.

Can I submit a project based on a novel?

  • Yes, we will consider projects based on prior work, as long as you have secured the underlying rights to the material.

How complete should the project be?

  • Sundance Institute considers scripts at various stages of development, but you must have a full, completed draft of the project in order to be considered. 

May I apply with a script that has been submitted or supported elsewhere?

  • Yes. We have no restrictions on material that has been submitted to or supported by other artist-development programs.

I don't have much experience. Does that affect my chances of acceptance in the program?

  • Absolutely not. Sundance Institute seeks to foster exciting emerging voices, regardless of professional film experience.

Who should apply?

  • Independent filmmakers from anywhere in the world are welcome to submit project proposals. Films may be in any language with English subtitles or transcript. First-time filmmakers are eligible. Prior funding, fiscal sponsorship, and American producers are not requirements.

What kinds of films do you support?

  • We support independent fiction and nonfiction feature films that showcase bold creative visions, artful film language, effective storytelling, originality and feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and a potential to reach and connect with their intended audience.

 What does the application include?

  • The application includes the following components:

    • Bio(s) (150-word limit per bio): You may include a bio for up to three members of the creative team.

    • Synopsis (500-word limit): A brief summary of your project. Please include all major characters and story points.

    • Artistic Statement (250-word limit): What is your personal connection to the material? What do you want an audience to take away from your project? How do you envision the script in terms of story, character, tone, and/or visual style? Why are you passionate about this story?

    • Project Status (300-word limit): Please detail your project’s precise current status, including the work completed thus far and immediate next steps.

    • Proposed Use of Funding (300-word limit): Detail your requested Launch Grant Fund amount (up to $10,000). Include a brief itemized budget, and describe the tangible result of these expenditures.

    • Sample Material for the Project: This can be a full-length script for fiction projects, a treatment for nonfiction projects, and a lookbook or deck if available.

Is it possible to get an extension? What’s the final deadline?

  • No, it is not possible to get an extension. You must complete the online application by 5:00 p.m. PT on July 15, 2019.

How will I be notified about acceptance? Will I be notified if I’m not accepted?

  • All Launch Grant Fund notifications will be made via email. You will hear from us either way, whether accepted or not, by September 1, 2019.

Would my ideas be protected?

  • Yes, Sundance Institute does not share or distribute any materials.

Still don't see your question answered here? Email inclusion@sundance.org with further questions.