The Documentary Impact Producer Relief Fund will provide grants of up to $4,000 to help alleviate the acute hardships faced by freelance impact producers working anywhere in the world in this time of economic uncertainty. Freelance and sole-proprietor impact producers, especially those from under resourced and underrepresented groups, are uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which has exacerbated the spectrum of historic inequalities they face. While emergency relief resources alone cannot address long-term career stability, the intent of this fund is to ensure impact producers, who we believe are vital to the documentary ecosystem, remain financially stable enough to continue this important work.
The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program has supported and championed many of the leading independent filmmakers of the past 35 years whose distinctive, singular films have engaged audiences worldwide. The program embraces the unique vision of each filmmaker, encouraging a rigorous creative process with a focus on original and deeply resonant storytelling. The Institute’s guiding values of risk taking, community, and freedom of expression have broadened the program to include American and international artists in a more meaningful and vibrant dialogue across cultural, political, and geographic boundaries. Over the years, the Feature Film Program has evolved to provide in-depth and year-round support to a next generation of filmmakers from development through distribution and has become a global model for supporting artists around the world.
The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund supports the work of nonfiction filmmakers from around the globe. In a changing media landscape, the fund has been a stable, progressive force in supporting work that has expressed the world in creative, complex, beautiful, and provocative ways, and has created real cultural and social impact around some of the most pressing issues of our time.
The Firelight Media Documentary Lab is an 18-month fellowship program that supports filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities working on their first or second feature length documentary film. The Lab provides filmmakers with customized mentorship from prominent leaders in the documentary world, funding, professional development workshops and networking opportunities. OVERVIEW We are looking for applicants who make artful and innovative documentary films that focus on underrepresented communities and provide new narratives about the most pressing issues of our time. Firelight will consider all types of long form documentary projects - historical, investigative, personal, vérité, and experimental. Firelight utilizes the Core Documentary Application. As part of your submission, you will need to share a work sample no less than 10 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes. If you are submitting a longer rough cut, please indicate in your application which 10-30 mins you’d like for us to review. The deadline for all submissions is June 29, 2020, 11:59 PM Eastern.
Netflix and Imagine Impact — an offshoot of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s production company Imagine Entertainment — are teaming up develop original content from up-and-coming screenwriters. Through the open submission process, Imagine Impact will identify and develop feature film ideas in four specific genres over the next year that they will then bring to Netflix. The companies announced Wednesday that they are seeking submissions for large scale action-adventure movies for all audiences with a “well-thought out idea and writing sample” through July 6.
Running January through September, Project Involve offers career-changing opportunities and experiences. Mentorship — Working industry professionals share knowledge and give guidance on craft and career. Conversations — Ten master workshops offer insight on the art and business of filmmaking. Short Films — Fellows are given resources to produce short films that debut at a special premiere event. Events — Fellows attend Film Independent's signature education programs, screenings, networking events and more. Fellowships — Fellows may be selected to receive cash grants from industry sponsors. Learn more about Project Involve Fellowships.
The Screenwriting Lab is a week-long workshop beginning in February, designed to provide individualized story and career development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay. Each Screenwriting Fellow will be paired with a Creative Advisor, with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in group sessions to further develop their project over the course of the program. The Screenwriting Lab also helps to further the careers of its Fellows by introducing them to film industry veterans who can offer guidance on both the craft and business of screenwriting. A variety of guest speakers may screen and discuss their own films and offer career insights, and a final pitch event offers further opportunity for individualized feedback and discussion with industry executives. For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page. Who Can Apply? The Screenwriting Lab is open to any writer applying with a completed draft of a feature-length project they wish to workshop during the program, with an eye toward production. More details available in the FAQ section below. How to Apply Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration: A cover letter detailing what drew you to apply to the Screenwriting Lab and why this is the right time for you to participate in the program (500 words max) One complete, feature-length screenplay An artist statement explaining the genesis of the story, your creative vision and intentions for the film (750 words max) A look book (optional) A logline (35 words) and synopsis for the film Bios of attached key cast and crew, if any – Attachments are not required for consideration Project status and history, including any relevant development history, awards received or labs and/or markets attended with the project A narrative directing sample, if you plan on directing the film with which you are applying FAQ Screenwriting Lab is for writers only; other collaborators are not invited to participate. Writing partners/teams are welcome to apply and need only submit one application. We are open to filmmakers at any level of experience. International applicants are eligible; the script must be translated into English for consideration. Adaptations are eligible; the applicant must retain rights to the underlying material. At this time, documentary, short film and television projects are not eligible to apply. We will reconsider projects that have previously been submitted, provided the writer(s) can demonstrate progress on the project and/or professional development. Filmmakers may apply to multiple Film Independent Artist Development programs and there is no requirement to have participated in any one program before another. Application Fee FREE for Filmmaker Pro Members (limited to one waived fee per Membership year) $45 for Film Independent Members $65 for non-Members Please note: Each applicant must be the author of the script he/she submits.
Film Independent Fast Track 2020: deadline July 15, 2020 (non-members); July 22, 2020 (members) Every year Film Independent selects up to ten fiction and five non-fiction feature projects to participate in an intensive film finance market that takes place over four days in November. Designed to connect producer-director teams with industry leaders and put projects on the “fast track,” the market consists of meetings with top executives, financiers, agents, managers, distributors, granting organizations and production companies. Participants gain valuable exposure and build vital relationships as they propel their films toward completion. Notable Fast Track projects include the Academy Award and Spirit Award-nominated documentary Minding the Gap; Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award winner Nancy, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; and the Arts Cinema Award-winning 37 Seconds, which had its world premiere in competition at the 69th Berlinale and its North American premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Other Fast Track successes include Maxima, United Skates, The Departure, Give Me Liberty, Blow the Man Down and Jinn. Previous industry participants include 30WEST, Fox Searchlight, MACRO, Mandalay Pictures, Netflix, Participant Media, Plan B, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and many others.
The Producing Lab helps further the careers of its Fellows by introducing them to film professionals who can advise them on both the craft and business of independent producing. In addition to attending lab sessions with legal, financial and production experts, each Producing Lab Fellow will be paired with an experienced Creative Advisor with whom they’ll work to develop their project over the course of the program. Taking place during the course of one week in October, the Lab culminates with a pitch session with established executives, offering participants valuable practical experience and the chance to introduce their projects to a larger cross-section of the industry. Producers may apply with feature length narrative projects that are in active development or post-production. Through the Lab, Fellows develop strategies and action plans to bring their projects to fruition. For more information on application deadlines please visit our applications page. Alfred P. Sloan Producers Grant The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will award one participant of the Film Independent Producing Lab the annual Sloan Producers Grant of $30,000 with which to further develop their project. To apply for the Sloan Producers Grant, a filmmaker must apply to the Producing Lab and provide a statement on how the project fulfills the mission of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The applicant must be attached as producer and possess the rights to the script with which they are applying. The screenplay should have a scientific, mathematical and/or technological theme and storyline or have a leading character that is a scientist, engineer or mathematician. At this time, documentaries and science fiction projects are not eligible for the Sloan Producers Grant. About The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation The New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology and economic performance. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, ﬁlm, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience. Sloan’s Film Program encourages ﬁlmmakers to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past two decades, Sloan has partnered with some of the top ﬁlm schools in the country–including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA and USC plus six new film schools this year –and established annual awards in screenwriting and ﬁlm production, along with an annual best-of-the-best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, SFFILM, the Black List, the Athena Film Festival, the North Fork TV Festival, and Film Independent’s Producing Lab and Fast Track program and has helped develop over 25 feature films such as Jessica Oreck’s One Man Dies a Million Times, Michael Tyburski’s The Sound of Silence, Shawn Snyder’s To Dust, Ben Lewin’s The Catcher Was a Spy, Melissa Finell’s Sensitivity Training, Logan Kibens and Sharon Greene’s Operator, Mathew Brown‘s The Man Who Knew Inﬁnity, Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Marni Zelnick’s Druid Peak, Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints, and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess. The Foundation’s book program includes support for Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, adapted into an Oscar-nominated box office hit in 2017. For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, please visit www.sloan.orgor follow the Foundation at @SloanPublic on Twitter and Facebook. Who Can Apply? The Producing Lab is open to any producer formally attached to a full-length, fiction feature film with a completed script and director in place. Applicants must control the rights to the project with which they apply. Projects do not need financing in place at the time of application. However, each application must demonstrate serious attention to the film’s budget and articulate the reasoning behind the budget level. Producing partners are welcome to apply as teams and need only submit a single application. International applicants are welcome to apply. Documentary, short film, new media and episodic projects are not eligible to apply. How to Apply Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration: A cover letter explaining your interest in the Producing Lab An artist statement detailing why you are attached to produce One complete, feature-length screenplay A logline and synopsis Bios of attached key cast and crew Project status and history Budget top sheet and finance plan Look book (if applicable) Work sample and/or rough cut Application Fee FREE for Filmmaker Pro Members (limited to one waived fee per Membership year) $45 for Film Independent Members $65 for non-Members
Apply to the Screenwriting Lab by August 19 The Screenwriting Lab is a two week-long, intensive workshop designed to provide individualized story and career development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay, which will be held virtually in 2021. Each Screenwriting Fellow is paired with a Creative Advisor, with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in group sessions to further develop their project over the course of the program. Additional guest speakers, including filmmakers and executives, join to round out the programming to help Fellows build foundational knowledge for both their projects and how best to propel their careers forward. The program concludes with a closing pitch presentation and an industry connect event for Fellows to get further feedback and expand their network with Industry Advisors. Recent films supported through the FIlm Independent Screenwriting Lab include HIKARI’s 37 Seconds (seen above), which won the Panorama Audience Award and CICAE Art Cinema Jury Prize at the 2019 Berlinale Film Festival,Ani Simon Kennedy’s A Short History of the Long Road, which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, receiving a Special Jury Mention for Best Screenplay, Andrew Ahn’s Film Independent Spirit Award-winning debut Spa Night and Chloé Zhao’s Spirit Award-nominated feature debut, Songs My Brothers Taught Me.
RIFF Arts Institute offers two to four Fellowship Programs. One is a 3-6 month program and the other an extensive 8-9 month program. All Fellowships are designed to nurture the Fellow through personalized development and support through participation in intensive individual and group sessions, educational lab experiences, select film, music and event production learning opportunities, and business of arts development programs. Activities may also include mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities with RAI, its colleagues or partners. The Program is designed to refine emerging talents’ creative instincts, further develop strategic communication skills and artistic talents and provide networking and access to industry professionals through RAI’s year-round initiatives. Winter application deadline is October 1, 2020.