2021 Stars Collective Granting Fund FAQ

Do you have deadlines?

The Sundance Institute | Stars Collective Granting Fund will accept submissions on an ongoing basis until July 16, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. MT. 

Do you offer deadline extensions?


How long do your decisions take?

Decisions typically take one to three months.

At what point in my project should I apply?

The Sundance Institute | Stars Collective Granting Fund is intended to support a discrete activity that is critical for the advancement of the project. The cost of the intended activity must be covered by the grant in full; alternatively, if the activity costs more than our maximum grant amount, you must have confirmed funding in place for the excess amount. Projects at various stages in a film’s life cycle (from advanced development to pre-production to film festival launch) are eligible to apply. 

Who is eligible to apply?

Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and women who are current grantees or fellows of the Sundance Institute are eligible to apply. Prioritization will be given to U.S.-based artists.

What kinds of activities are eligible for support through this grant? 

Eligible activities can include, but are not limited to, requesting support to further development, extend post, attend festivals and forums, hire key creative team members (consulting editors, producers, casting directors, etc.), cover COVID-related costs, or support self-distribution.

Is there an application fee to apply? 

No. It is free to apply. 

I’m a Sundance Institute alumni with a new project. Can I apply for funding? 

No. This opportunity is reserved for Sundance Institute grantees and fellows being supported on their current project. 

How do I apply? 

If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please reach out to the Sundance Institute program you are currently supported through for an application code. You will be required to enter this code when you click on the Sundance Institute | Stars Collective Granting Fund on the application page of the Institute’s website. 


How are decisions regarding funding made? 

Applications go through a multistage review, with selected submissions sent for Sundance Institute Stars Collective Fund Committee consideration. The committee is made up of Sundance Institute staff and external artists advisors. Proposals are evaluated on several criteria, including the critical nature of the proposed activity to advance the project and the potential for this activity to make a significant impact on the project, the ability of the grant amount to cover the entirety or majority of the activity proposed (or additional funding has already been confirmed); the complementary nature of the funding vis-à-vis other creative and financial support provided by the Institute; and the filmmaker’s access to resources outside of the Sundance Institute. 

What are the grant sizes? 

Grants range from $1,500 to $10,000. Applicants should submit a true budget for their intended activity. 

How many applications are actually funded? 

We anticipate supporting between 20 to 40 projects. 

How will I know if the fund has received my proposal?

After you press “submit” on the online application, a confirmation page will appear. You should also receive a confirmation email once your application is submitted. If you have not received an email, please double-check your spam filter.

When will I find out if I have been awarded a grant?

Award decisions typically take one to three months, but occasionally they will be made sooner. Please do not contact us to inquire about your status, as we cannot provide status updates. You will be notified directly by email once a decision has been made. 

May I reapply for a grant if my proposal is declined?

Yes. However, you may only reapply when you have further refined your proposal or have a new activity that you see as vital to the advancement of your project. Filmmakers are strongly discouraged from submitting nearly identical proposals. 

If I receive a grant or award from another source, am I still eligible to apply for Sundance Institute funding?


If I receive a grant, what are the terms of the contract?

Grants are not recoupable, and none of your exploitable rights are encumbered. Our contract requests are verbal and logo acknowledgment in the end credits of the film and on your promotional materials. We also require narrative, financial, and distribution reports. We may request your active participation in the Sundance Institute creative community through invitation-only activities to support you and your film, as well as to support other filmmakers and the independent film field globally.


How do I reduce the file size of my PDF?

Check out this link.

How do I convert my film from a DVD to an uploadable digital file?

Download and install HandBrake here, and learn how to use Handbrake here.

I’m having trouble uploading my film to Vimeo. Can you help?

Check out this link.