2020 Film Music and Sound Design Lab FAQ

Do you accept international applicants?


I work with another composer—can we apply as a team?

Unfortunately, we do not accept applicants who are a part of a team. Our resources and program structure are built around supporting individual composers only at this time.

When will I know if I have been selected or not?

Participants will be notified by early June 2020.

If accepted into the program, what do I have to pay?

You do not have to pay to attend this program. If accepted as a Sundance Institute fellow, your costs associated with getting to and attending the lab are covered. This includes travel, lodging, and meals onsite.

How many people apply to the lab, and how many are accepted?

We expect over 800 applicants this year for eight fellowships. 

If I am not accepted into the program, can I receive feedback on my application?

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to offer individual feedback.

Who are the advisors at the lab?

Advisors to the lab are different year to year but have included composers such as John Adams, Jeff Beal, Terence Blanchard, Martin Bresnick, Carter Burwell, George S. Clinton, Stewart Copeland, Miriam Cutler, Danny Elfman, John Frisell, Osvaldo Golijov, Camara Kambon, James Newton Howard, Mark Isham, Michael Kamen, Laura Karpman, Rolfe Kent, Blake Neely, Thomas Newman, Heitor Pereira, Basil Poledouris, Graeme Revell, Edward Shearmur, Shirley Walker, Alex Wurman, and Christopher Young.

Directors have included Alison Anders, Gregg Araki, Miguel Arteta, Orlando Bagwell, Jon Else, Cary Fukunaga, Ulu Grosbard, Vikram Jayanti, Lawrence Kasdan, Kasi Lemmons, Peter Medak, Stanley Nelson, Robert Redford, Ron Shelton, Gus Van Sant, Ron Shelton, Jessica Yu, John Waters, and Mark Waters. Film music agents have included Robert Messinger, Richard Kraft, and Vasi Vangelos.

Music editors, supervisors, and other professionals include Walter Murch, Scott Johnson, Adam Smalley, Joe Bini, Jon Burlingame, Vivian Hillgrove, Susan Jacobs, and Toby Shimin.

What type of musical samples are you looking for? 

The Film Music Program encourages applicants to show a range of their musical style within the 15 minutes of samples provided while remaining true to their own original voice. We advise submitting multiple tracks versus a single 15-minute score, as this provides our team the best chance of understanding artists’ range, creativity, and style.

The Application Process

To apply, click “sign in” or “sign up” in the top right to create or log in to an account. Then select “2020 Film Music and Sound Design Lab” from the dropdown.