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2018 Development Fellowship Application

Welcome to the application for the Sundance Institute Development Fellowship.
We are excited to announce our launch of the Documentary Film Program's newest initiative, the Development Fellowship!
For our inaugural year, our application is open by nomination only.
For more on the Development Fellowship
Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program will launch a year long fellowship aimed at finding, nurturing, and developing non-fiction stories from emerging (1-2 projects) filmmakers from under-represented communities in the United States.
During the fellowship year, the fellows will receive a $30,000 non-recoupable project grant, and will work with advisors and Sundance Institute staff to tackle questions around story, voice, and craft, along with hands-on pitch prep and the creation of a strong demo sample. Half of the grant ($15,000) is designated to support an editor in the creation of this sample.
Who is eligible
  • emerging directors with at least 1 completed project (short, series, or feature), currently working on a non-fiction feature
  • artists who have not previously been supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
  • artists from underrepresented communities
What we are looking for
  • filmmakers with an authentic voice and a strong creative vision
  • stories that surprise you, ignite your curiosity, and reveal something about the world we live in
  • projects currently in early-production stage (research footage required at a minimum)
What is required to apply
  • Written Proposal        
  • Prior Work Sample
  • Work-in-Progress Sample
  • 2-3 References
Great! how do I start?
  • Go to the online application portal, sign up for an account.
  • Log in and “Create a New Submission.”
  • Select “2018 Development Fellowship”
  • Enter the passcode that was provided to you.
  • Get started!
What happens after I apply?
A staff member will first check your application for completion, and ensure that you are not missing any required materials, such as functioning links and passwords, as well as a complete proposal and budget.
Incomplete applications cannot be reviewed and you will be contacted in that circumstance.
The Documentary Film Program staff will select a handful of applicants for interviews in early August. Final status notifications will be sent out mid-August.
The Documentary Film Program staff is busy carefully reviewing your project. Due to time constraints, we will not accept unsolicited written or visual updates to projects. If you have not heard from us, your project is still under consideration.
You will be notified by email once a decision has been made.
What if I have questions or problems?
If you have additional questions about the Development Fellowship application, please see the FAQ  and Helpful Hints links at the top of the page.
For technical issues related to the application please contact