2024 Documentary Film Producers Track FAQ

How do I apply?
All applicants are considered by invitation only. Candidates for the 2024 Documentary Film Producers Track must apply online anytime before Wednesday, January 3, 2024, at 5 p.m. PT.

What do I need to apply?
Eligible candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be filmed internationally. Candidates are required to have produced or co-produced at least one documentary short (experience as an executive producer only does not qualify). Candidates must be the lead producer on the project they are applying with.  

Do you accept short films for the submitted project?
No, only feature-length projects are eligible for this opportunity.

Do you accept limited series projects?
No, we are not able to support series work through this program at this time; however, nonfiction series projects are considered through the Episodic Lab. For more information, please visit the program’s page here.

Do you accept projects where the director is also producing?
No, we can only consider candidates with projects submitted by the primary lead producer of the project. The lab does not currently support director-producers. We are seeking to support producers who have some experience and specific interest in working in nonfiction. 

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 Documentary Producers Lab and Fellowship, you are required to be at the Documentary Producers Lab (June 10–15, 2024). The Sundance Institute covers airfare and lodging for the lab. If you have a scheduling conflict, we encourage you to apply in a future cycle when you are available.

What are the dates I must be available to participate in the Documentary Producers Fellowship?
You must be available for the Documentary Producers Lab, June 10–15, 2024, and the fellowship year through May 2025.

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 cannot be director of the submitted project.

I work with another producer; can we both apply with the same project?
We will consider only the lead producer on the submitted project. If there are additional producers, they must also be disclosed on the application but would not participate in the fellowship if selected.

Do I need to submit a budget with my application?
Yes. You will need to submit a full line-item budget with your application. We ask that you break down all expenses from development through release in U.S. dollars, including a grand budget total. Here are two sample budget examples in PDF and Excel formats. This sample budget is provided as a reference tool only; you may use your own budget format.

What is the ideal stage of production to take best advantage of the lab?
For a project to take best advantage of lab and fellowship opportunities, the project must be solidly in development with characters and access secured and enough shooting to have a sense of film structure and dramatic potential. We consider the timing of your project to be a crucial component to selection. Candidates in production or post-production are positioned to take best advantage of the lab and fellowship. Candidates in development or early production on a project are better positioned to benefit from the Producers Intensive. The lab is designed, in part, to focus on your creative input and communication with your director and other collaborators on your project.

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 email by mid-to-late May 2024.

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 (sent from docproducers@sundance.org) no later than mid-to-late May 2024.

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.

Can I receive feedback on my submission?
Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unfortunately not able to provide individualized feedback.

Does the Sundance Institute pay for my travel to the lab?
The Institute provides air travel, lodging, and meals at the Producers Lab for all selected lab and fellowship fellows.

Still don’t see your question answered here? Email docproducers@sundance.org with “2024 Documentary Producers Track” in the subject line.