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Grants to USA, Canada, and International
Independent Filmmakers for Feature-Length Films

Documentary Fund

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Sundance Institute

Deadline Date:

06/06/22 11:59 PM Pacific Time

Description:

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Grants of up to $25,000 and grants of up to $50,000 to USA, Canada, and International independent filmmakers for feature-length film projects. Funding is intended to support projects at any production phase from development through post-production. Priority will be given to applications from early career and emerging artists. Sundance supports independent nonfiction films that display artful film language, engaging storytelling, originality, feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, journalistic rigor (where applicable), and potential to reach and connect with the intended audience.

Sundance accepts feature-length (52 minutes or more) nonfiction projects. The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program supports independent nonfiction films with budgets under $1,000,000 (one million) USD. Hybrid/animated and experimental documentaries are also eligible to apply. Creative and editorial control must be held by members of the films’ key creative teams. All proposals must convey some vision for a finished film. 

Grant Categories:

  • Development: There is no reel required with an application, but access to location and characters must be confirmed. The proposal should clearly articulate a potential direction for the project and ask questions that would indicate a layered and nuanced approach. Mood reels, stills, or some visual references for or depiction of the project in development are recommended. Prior work samples are strongly recommended for development applications.
  • Production/Post-production: Production grants provide funds to projects that are able to deliver at least 10 minutes of edited material. At least 20 minutes are required for post-production grants. The reel should convey the narrative and aesthetic approach for the final film.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 127055

Number of Grants:

40 to 50 projects per year

Term of Contract:

- Development: up to $25,000
- Production/Post-production: up to $50,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The fund is open to projects and film teams from around the world. Films may be in any language, but proposals must be written in English and visual materials be subtitled in English.

For United States productions, Sundance prioritizes films led by artists from historically underrepresented communities. Projects that focus on historically underrepresented communities must have a key creative from the community or with deep ties to the community in a power-holding position represented on the team.

For international productions, Sundance prioritizes films led by artists from Africa, China, India, Latin America, and the Middle East. Indigenous artists globally and artists from the above regions living in the diaspora are also prioritized.

Projects that have not yet secured characters or subjects, are unable to articulate a story or structure, or are unable to explain the project's driving central question are discouraged. Sundance is unable to consider proposals for story research.

Not Funded: Fiction films, short films, series, NGO films, advocacy films, educational films, or branded content. Sundance also tends not to fund purely historical or biographical films unless they show clear contemporary relevance or innovation in form. Once your film premieres, Sundance is unable to provide post-production funding support. Picture-locked cuts are ineligible for post-production funding.

Tape-to-film transfers, film prints, and debt reimbursement to complete work are not eligible for funding. Sundance generally does not provide solely completion funding.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for the Documentary Fund is Monday, June 6, at 11:59 pm Pacific time. Filmmakers who submit applications by then will hear back about decisions in fall 2022.

Sundance encourages applicants to apply at least six months before an anticipated premiere.

Applicants may submit more than one proposal in the same round as long as they are for separate projects.

The Sundance Documentary Film Program is committed to providing application assistance to applicants who require support with the application process. Directors or the key creative on a project who self-identify as artists who are deaf, hard of hearing, have a disability, or are living with a mental illness may request assistance at any stage of the application process.

FAQs: https://apply.sundance.org/res/p/2022-DFFCycle-FAQ/

Application Instructions: see "How to Apply" tab on URL for Full Text (RFP).

For Technical Support questions, see bottom of FAQs page, above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online: https://apply.sundance.org/prog/2022_documentary_fund_fall_cycle/

To request assistance and for additional information please email: dfp@sundance.org

For technical issues related to SurveyMonkey Apply, please contact applicationsupport@sundance.org.

Sundance Institute
5900 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: 310-360-1981
Fax: 310-360-1969

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

Israel

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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