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2018 Documentary Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship

Applications will be open from November 7, 2017 - February 15, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018, 4:00pm PST

Dates                               Lab: July 30 - August 3, 2018
                                         Summit: August 3 - 6, 2018
                                         Festival: January 24 - February 3, 2019

Size of Fellowship         4 Producers

Location                          Sundance Resort and Park City, Utah

  • Candidates are required to have produced at least one feature documentary film as lead creative producer or co-producer (executive producer, associate or line producer does not qualify).
  • Candidates may not be the director of submitted project.
  • Candidates must live in the United States, though the project may be filmed internationally.        
  • Candidates must be available for all CPI dates, above.

Costs                              There is a $25 fee to apply  
Sundance Institute will provide round trip economy travel, ground transfer and onsite lodging for the selected fellow for the specific dates of attendance. 

A year-long program designed to nurture emerging producers with project-specific support through the Creative Producing Lab, Creative Producing Summit, Sundance Film Festival attendance, year-round mentorship from industry mentors, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute Staff. The program is designed to hone emerging producers' creative instincts and evolve their communication and problem-solving skills at all stages of their next feature film project.

Fellows are required to acknowledge Sundance Institute and the CPI support partners, to provide reporting at the close of the Fellowship year, and to participate in possible blogs, interviews, and panels. Fellows should be willing to give back to the Sundance Institute creative community through willingness to coach, advise, or mentor future Fellows from Sundance Institute.    

If accepted, Fellows must provide a current producers agreement or memo of understanding for the project they applied with.


NOTE: One application per project.  If applying with a producing partner, within the space provided please include your individual responses with your names.

What you will need in order to apply:

CONTACT INFO                    We will use the email address you provide to correspond with you going forward.

CONTACT INFO 2                 (If applying with a producing partner)

LOGLINE                               (75 word maximum)

SYNOPSIS                             (750 word maximum)

VISUAL SAMPLES                1. Current project sample
                                                2. Previous work (completed work, any length or genre)

For the applying producer, director(s) and editor(s). Please specifically list all notable credits, accolades, education, and experience. (250 word maximum each)

How and why did you originate/become attached to this project? What is your vision for the film and what drives you to tell this particular story? (500 words maximum)

How are you going to tell this story? Describe your creative vision for the finished project. Its visual look and feel. Explain your intended use of cinematic language or any particular approach that informs the storytelling.

What stage of production are you in currently? What is your projected timeline for completion? (500 word maximum)



BUDGET (comprehensive line item expense budget)
Please provide a breakdown of your project’s projected expenses, from development through release, in U.S. dollars, including a budget total. Provide budget notes for any areas that may be viewed as out of the ordinary or which require further explanation. You may view a sample budget by clicking here (pdf, excel). This sample budget is provided as a reference tool only, you may use your own format.

Please share here any additional plans for outreach and distribution that the Fellowship could inform. (500 word maximum)

ESSAY QUESTIONS (no minimum length)

1. How do you define the role of a creative producer?

2. What has drawn you to producing independent films? What skills and experiences do you bring to the task – from life, education and hands-on experience? Tell us something about your background and values as they relate to your desire to produce films independently.

3. What are the current creative challenges and opportunities for your project?

4. What are the marketplace (ie. financing and distribution) challenges and opportunities for your project?

5. At what point did you join the project you are applying with? What is the current division of labor or working style between yourself and the projects director?

6. If you are working with multiple producers on this project, what is your division of labor between yourself and the other producers?

7. What skills and insights to do you hope to gain through your participation in the Lab and Fellowship?

For additional questions, please see our FAQ page.