Skip to main content

Documentary Film Program | Sundance Documentary Fund

Welcome to the application for the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund

We appreciate your time and effort toward the application process, and salute you on your independent filmmaking journey.

Filmmakers globally asked us to be more flexible and responsive in how we fund. So, we are operating on a Rolling Open Call. While this will not increase the number of feature films we can support, we aim to respond to applicants more flexibly throughout the year to award grants on a rolling basis.

We encourage you to submit your feature film at the point when you feel your project is ready to share, rather than rushing to submit before you are ready because of a fixed deadline.  Therefore, going forward, filmmakers will be restricted to two application attempts total per project. This restriction will not apply retroactively. Hint: Submit your film only when you have written or visual material that demonstrates your creative and storytelling intentions.

The Documentary Film Program (DFP) has evolved its mandate to focus on the values of Art, Reach, and Change. We accomplish these by encouraging experimentation and excellence in form, championing under-represented voices, and supporting the social and creative impact of this work upon release. Recently supported films include CitizenFour, Hooligan SparrowWhose Streets?, Casting JonBenet, Cameraperson, and I Am Not Your Negro.
  • Written Proposal
  • Visual Samples
    • Completed Previous Directing Sample (any length or genre)
    • Current Sample/Rough Cut (Required for Production/Post Production)
  • Demographic Form

PLEASE NOTE: At this time, the Sundance Documentary Fund is no longer reviewing applications for Audience Engagement grants until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Standard decisions take 2-6 months. Applicants will be notified on a rolling basis. Please do not contact the office to request status updates, if you have not heard from us your project is still under consideration.  

Per our new application procedures, we will NOT accept written or visual updates of any kind.  Updates will not be processed and will not be considered in the evaluation of your project.  Due to the high volume of applications, we do not provide any feedback on individual project proposals.

If you have additional questions about the Documentary Fund application procedures, please see  the Sundance Doc Fund FAQ  and Helpful Hints links at the top of the page. For technical issues related to the application please contact


  • Go to the online application portal, sign up for an account or log in with an existing one.
  • Log in and “Create a New Submission.”
  • Select “DFP_Applicants.” 
  • Get started!


At the end of March 2019, the Sundance Documentary Fund application will be relocating from to This change does not affect anyone who plans to submit an application by the Fund's March deadline, 11:59pm PST on March 17, as they will continue to submit through applications4. 

Between March 18 and March 28, it will not be possible to begin a new application to the Sundance Documentary Fund. 

Starting on March 29, applications can be created and submitted on