2023 Feature Film Producers Track Application FAQ

1. How do I apply?

The application for the 2023 Producers Track can be accessed at apply.sundance.org from November 16, 2022, to February 15, 2023.

2. What do I need to apply?

For the initial application, you will need to submit the following:

  • 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! For technical questions, please contact applicationsupport@sundance.org.

  • Logline (75 words max)

  • Synopsis (750 words max)

  • Director’s artistic statement (500 words max): This statement should detail the director’s creative intent for the film, which can include the genesis of the story, particular themes of interest, and visual style, and should highlight their personal connection to the material.

  • Additional information (optional, 500 words max): This should include 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.

  • Bios (300 words max each): Bios should be included for the applying producer(s), the screenwriter(s), and the director(s). Please specifically list all notable credits, accolades, education, and experience. For any previous work listed, please note the format of the work (e.g., short film, feature, or episodic; fiction or nonfiction).

  • Essay questions (500 words max each): 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. Click here to view the sample essay questions.

  • Letter of recommendation: You will be asked to upload one letter of recommendation in PDF form. Your recommender should be someone familiar with your prior creative work, such as a filmmaking colleague or professor, but they do not necessarily need to be someone 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. Your letter must be uploaded by the deadline in order for you to submit your full application.

  • Application fee of $40 (credit card only)

  • Please note: No scripts or additional materials will be accepted at the first stage of the application process.

If your application is accepted for the next round, you will need to submit the following additional materials:

  • Updated Project Synopsis (750 words max.)

  • Full script: Upload the most current draft of your script in PDF form.

  • Visual materials (optional): If you have visual materials such as a lookbook or project deck, you may upload a PDF of no more than 40 MB.

  • Directing sample: You will be asked to provide a link (and password, if applicable) to one directing sample for the director attached to your project. This sample should be recent and relevant to the project you are submitting, and it should also be a complete work (i.e., not a compilation reel). If your project has more than one director, please submit a sample that reflects their work as a team, if possible.

  • Producing sample: You will be asked to provide a link (and password, if applicable) to a producing sample that is recent and relevant to the project you are submitting. If you are submitting as a producing team, you can upload one sample that represents the team or two individual samples. Please submit complete works, not compilation reels.

3. Do you accept international submissions?

Candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be filmed internationally.

4. Do you accept short-film screenplays?

No, only feature-length screenplays are eligible.

5. Can I submit a nonfiction project?

There is a separate Producers Track for documentary projects, with a separate application process. For more information please check out 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 for the Producers Fellowship, you are required to be at the Producers Lab (July 24–27, 2023) and the Producers Summit (July 28–30, 2023) for the entire duration. The Sundance Institute covers airfare, lodging, meals, and Salt Lake City airport transfers. If you have a scheduling conflict, we encourage you to apply in a future cycle when you are available.

If your project is selected for the Producers Intensive, you are required to participate for the entire duration of the two-day program, which will take place in late October 2023. 

7. Can I reapply with the same project as last year?

Yes, although we encourage you to reapply with the same project ONLY if you have made significant revisions to the script and/or elements attached. In your application, please explain the changes that have taken place with the script and project since it was last submitted.

8. 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.

9. 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 they would not participate in the fellowship, should the project be selected.

10. 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.

11. Do I need to have the rights to the script or underlying material in order to apply?

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. In the event you are selected for the fellowship, you will need to provide a copy of your attachment, option, or shopping agreement for the script and for any underlying material.

13. Do I submit a script or other materials with my application?

No, you should not submit your script at this time. Starting March 2, 2023, 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 notification via email about their initial application status no later than March 24, 2023.

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) or small budget range (e.g. $1-1.5 million).

15. Can my project go into production before attending the Lab or Intensive?

Unfortunately, no. The Lab and Intensive are designed, in part, to focus on your creative input and communication with your director and screenwriter on your project, starting from the project development stage. If your film is already in production or has already been shot, the impact and relevance of your Lab or Intensive experience are lessened.

16. Who should I have write my letter of recommendation?

Ideally, your recommender should be working in the film industry (e.g., a 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 in PDF form. 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, whether accepted or not. Notifications of initial application status will be sent out no later than March 24, 2023, and final notifications no later than June 12, 2023.

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 email no later than March 24, 2023, for their initial application status, and no later than June 12, 2023, for final status.

20. Does it matter if I’ve participated in other non-Sundance Institute 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 the Sundance Institute pay for my travel to Utah?

Sundance Institute provides air travel within the U.S., Salt Lake City airport transfers, lodging, and meals at the Lab and Summit for all selected fellows.

23. If my project participates in the Screenwriters Lab and/or Screenwriters & Directors Labs, will I have to fulfill a double give-back contribution? 

No. If the Project goes through the Screenwriters Lab and/or Screenwriters and Directors Labs, the Owner is only obligated to fulfill the Institute give-back obligation once, in accordance with the Producers Fellowship terms.

24. Is there an Institute give-back financial contribution requirement associated with participation in the Producers Intensive?

No, there is no give-back financial contribution associated with participation in the Producers Intensive.

25. Do I have to submit my application electronically?

We accept all application materials electronically only, and you must sign in or create an account to access the electronic application. You do not have to finish the application all in one sitting; you can save a work-in-progress version of your application before officially submitting. 

Still don’t see your question answered here? Email producers@sundance.org with further questions, with “2023 Feature Film Producers Track” in the subject line.