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2021 Documentary Fund

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

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Sundance Institute and TIME Studios

Deadline Date:

02/08/21 4:30 PM MST

Description:

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Grants 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, effective storytelling, originality and feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and potential to reach and connect with its intended audience.

Sundance accept 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 to us 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 $15,000
- Production/Post-production: up to $40,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The fund is open to projects and film teams from around the world.

For United States productions, Sundance prioritizes films led by artists from historically underrepresented communities. Sundance defines these as communities that have been historically marginalized by virtue of their ability, citizenship status, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, or sexual orientation. 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 who are 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.

For types of films not funded by Sundance, see https://apply.sundance.org/res/p/2021DFSCFAQ/.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for the 2021 Documentary Fund Summer grant cycle is Monday, February 8, at 4:30 p.m. MT. Filmmakers who submit applications by then will hear back by the end of July.

Applicants are encouraged to apply at least six months before an anticipated premiere.

Grant Information: http://www.sundance.org/programs/documentary-film
FAQs: https://apply.sundance.org/res/p/2021DFSCFAQ

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/238746/apply/

Contact: dfp@sundance.org

For technical issues related to SurveyMonkey Apply, please contact FRsupport@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

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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