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Introduction to the film festival

The Sundance Film Festival brings together the most original storytellers and the most adventurous audiences for its annual program of dramatic, documentary, and short films; New Frontier films, performances, exhibitions, and virtual reality experiences; episodic storytelling; lively filmmaker conversations and panel discussions; and dynamic music events. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gained critical recognition and reached worldwide audiences eager for fresh perspectives and new voices. A nonprofit organization, Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for independent artists to create and present original, authentic new work. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981 in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, the Institute is an internationally recognized resource for thousands of artists. With its Sundance Film Festival and artistic development programs for film, theatre, and new media artists, the Institute seeks to advance the impact of independent storytelling throughout the world.

Awards

U.S. Grand Jury Prizes The ranking award is the Grand Jury Prize, which recognizes a film in both the U.S. Dramatic and U.S. Documentary Competitions as the best from the independent film community this year. World Cinema Grand Jury Prizes The highest award for international films, the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize recognizes the best dramatic and documentary work in international independent filmmaking this year. Directing Award The Directing Award honors directors in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, and World Cinema Documentary Competition. Special Jury Prizes Jurors give a number of Special Jury Prizes recognizing excellence in the craft of filmmaking. These prizes are chosen by their respective jury members as they deem appropriate. The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award is given to a U.S. Dramatic film for excellence in screenwriting. NEXT Innovator Prize This award recognizes the most innovative and forward-thinking film screened in the NEXT category. The prize is awarded by an iconic figure regarded as an important innovator in their respective field. This single juror will choose one film that they believe to be the most innovative. Audience Awards Audience Awards are chosen by Festivalgoers themselves through ballots cast at the theaters after screenings. Audience Awards are presented to films in the Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition, and NEXT. Festival Favorite Award All feature films presented at the Festival are eligible for the Festival Favorite Award, which is determined by audience ballots across all Festival screenings. Similar to the Festival’s long-standing Audience Awards for each competition section, this award designates the feature film from any of the Festival’s sections that best connects with audiences. Sundance Institute/NHK Award This annual award was created to support the next generation of emerging directors. Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize Provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this juried award is presented to the writer and director of an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme or depicting a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character. Jury Prizes and Awards in Short Filmmaking The following prizes and awards are bestowed on short films in the Festival that exemplify outstanding vision and creativity in their respective categories: Short Film Grand Jury Prize Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction Short Film Jury Award: Animation Short Film Special Jury Awards

Rules

Genre :Action Comedy War Science fiction Ethics Terror Thriller Violence Adventure Crime Family Music Love VR/3D Magic Fantasy Shootout Suspense Youth Inspirational Literary Biography Western Drama others Documentary
Subject :Unlimited
Video Format :MPEG4 DCP
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The undersigned, the authorized representative of the project named below (hereafter called the "Project") to Sundance Institute (hereafter called the “Institute”) for consideration for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival (hereafter called the “Festival”), hereby acknowledges the following: 1. The undersigned represents and warrants to the Institute that: (a) The undersigned is duly authorized, on behalf of the undersigned and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights, licenses or interests (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights or distribution licenses) in or relating to the Project (collectively and separately hereafter called the “Project’s Owners”), to permit the Institute to exhibit this Project in the Festival and to make the promises, representations and warranties set forth herein, (b) exhibition of the Project in the Festival will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity, whether such exhibition is theatrical (live), digital, or any combination thereof; and (c) the Project is not subject to any litigation, arbitration, or other adversarial claim or proceeding, nor is the Project the subject of any threat of litigation, arbitration, or other adverse claim or proceeding. 2. The undersigned further represents and warrants, on behalf of the undersigned and the Project’s Owners, that the exhibition of the Project in the Festival, whether live, digital, or any combination thereof, will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity, and that the Project does not and will not constitute or include any defamation of any person or entity. All license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from or associated with the exhibition of the Project in or in connection with the Festival, have been and will be timely paid in full. 3. In the event that the Project is accepted by the Institute for inclusion in the Festival, the undersigned acknowledges, on behalf of the undersigned and the Project’s Owners, that the Institute’s exhibition or presentation of the Project in the Festival does not and will not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Institute on the one hand and the undersigned and/or the Project’s Owners on the other. The undersigned further acknowledges, on behalf of the undersigned and the Project’s Owners, that neither the undersigned nor any of the Project’s Owners will receive any compensation for such exploitation, although some Festival prizes may include cash awards. The undersigned acknowledges that no obligation of any kind is assumed by, or may be implied against, the Institute or the Festival in the event of, by virtue of, or as a result of the Institute’s selection of the Project for the Festival. The undersigned and the Project’s Owners understand and acknowledge that the selection of the Project for inclusion in the Festival does not and will not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Institute or the Festival of the content of the Project or any opinion expressed therein. 4. The undersigned agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, to indemnify and hold harmless the Institute and the Festival, together with each of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees, attorneys, creative advisors, agents and representatives (collectively, “Sundance Related Parties”), from and against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs) that may be asserted by any person or entity, or may be incurred by the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Parties, at any time in connection with the Project or the Institute’s use, handling, consideration or exhibition thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by the undersigned to the Institute, the Festival or any Sundance Related Parties, including, without limitation, any express or implied representation in these Terms and Conditions. 5. The undersigned warrants and agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, that the Project is being submitted to the Institute voluntarily and without promise or inducement, and that the submission of the Project neither imposes nor creates any obligation or responsibility on the part of the Institute, the Festival, and/or any Sundance Related Parties to accept the Project for inclusion in the Festival, to exhibit the Project in the Festival, to acknowledge the submission of the Project, or to return any Project materials to the undersigned or others. The undersigned further agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and the Project’s Owners and every other representative or person affiliated with the Project, that , in submitting the Project for consideration, the undersigned, the Project’s Owners, and any other representative or person affiliated with the Project are jointly and severally waiving, forfeiting, forgoing and relinquishing any right that we might otherwise have to assert any claim or commence any proceeding in any forum or tribunal against the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Parties, based upon, arising out of or otherwise relating to the submission, exhibition or failure to exhibit the Project (including, without limitation, claims relating to any failure or refusal to exhibit the Project in the Festival, the exhibition or marketing of the Project at or in connection with the Festival, alleged oral or written representations by the Festival or its representatives relating to the submission or exhibition of the Project, and any other matters arising from or relating to the submission of the Project), whether such claims may be based on theories of contract, implied contract, tort, statute, or other legal theory (hereinafter, “Claim”). In the event that any Claim is asserted, or any action, arbitration or other proceeding is brought or commenced, in violation of the agreement set forth in the immediately preceding sentence, the undersigned, on behalf of the undersigned, the Project’s Owners, and any other representative or person affiliated with the Project agrees to indemnify the Institute and the Festival from any and all Claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs) that are incurred by the Institute, the Festival and any Sundance Related Parties as a result of or in connection with any such Claim or any action, arbitration or other proceeding brought in violation of the representations and agreements set forth in this submission agreement. 6. Without in any way limiting the provisions or scope of the agreements set forth herein, the undersigned further agrees and accepts that, in the event that any Claim is asserted, or any action, arbitration or other proceeding is brought or commenced, by the undersigned, any of the Project’s Owners, or any other representative of or person affiliated with the Project, in violation of the agreements set forth herein, and in the further event that an arbitrator or other tribunal should permit such Claim to proceed despite the waiver language set forth in paragraph 5 above, the sole and maximum remedy that could be awarded to any person or entity asserting any Claim shall be a refund of the submission fee paid in connection with the submission of the Project to the Institute for consideration for the Festival. Under no circumstances shall any other remedy, including without limitation actual, expectancy, reliance, consequential, special, punitive or exemplary damages, or any other damages, or injunctive, declaratory, provisional or other relief, be available to the undersigned, the Project’s Owners, or any other person or entity representing or affiliated with the Project. 7. In the event that the Project is accepted by the Institute for inclusion and exhibition in the Festival, the undersigned, requiring the consent of no other party to do so, hereby grants, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, each of the following rights to the Institute, the Festival, and any Sundance Related Parties without reservations, conditions or qualifications: (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles, and information from or relating to the Project for promotional purposes; (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the Project and all personnel related to the Project; and (c) to use the names, likenesses and biographical information of all Project personnel, including, without limitation, director(s), producer(s), writer(s), cast member(s) and crew in connection with the exhibition of the Project in, and promotion of, the Festival and the promotion of Institute. 8. In the event that the Project is accepted by the Institute for inclusion and exhibition in the Festival, and if the undersigned or the Project’s Owners and any other representative or person affiliated with the Project have contractual obligations to any producers, distributors, creators, cast or crew regarding "festival benefits" (which may include but are not limited to production credits, screening tickets, Festival credentials or monetary compensation), the undersigned agrees and accepts that those “festival benefits” must be administered and distributed by the undersigned and/or the Project’s Owners, do not impact the nature or quantity of benefits provided by Institute and that the Institute has no responsibility whatsoever in connection therewith. 9. The undersigned warrants and agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, that the Institute has made no claims, representations or guarantees, and has provided no assurances, in relation to the internal process utilized by the Institute with respect to selection of projects for inclusion in the Festival, and that the submission of the Project neither imposes nor creates any obligation or responsibility on the part of the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Parties to provide the undersigned, the Project’s Owners, or any Project- related parties with comments, feedback or other information pertaining to the viewing or consideration of the Project by the Institute for possible inclusion in the Festival. 10. The undersigned warrants and agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, that by submitting the Project to the Institute, the Institute and all persons employed by, contracted by, or otherwise directly associated with the Institute are deemed to have been granted the irrevocable right to view and/or download all digital assets associated with the Project, including, but not limited to, any representation of the Project in the form of video files, still images, assets streamed via the Internet, and/or all other assets and information provided by the Applicant on the application. All digital assets referenced above shall remain active and accessible by the Institute until the conclusion of the Festival on February 2nd, 2023. Any dissemination of these materials, incidental or otherwise, shall not be the responsibility of the Institute or any Sundance Related Parties. 11. The undersigned represents that if the undersigned is younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in the state of the undersigned’s principal place of residence, the Institute has been provided with signed, written consent from the undersigned’s parent or legal guardian. 12. Without in any way limiting the provisions or scope of this submission agreement, the undersigned agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, that any claim, dispute or controversy arising out of, in connection with, or otherwise related to the Project, the Festival, or these Terms and Conditions, including, without limitation, any Claim (as this term is defined above) and any other claim or cause of action of any nature arising from the actual or alleged breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity of these Terms and Conditions, as well as the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be governed by the internal, substantive laws of the State of California and will be subject to and submitted to exclusive, binding arbitration before a single arbitrator in Los Angeles, California, which shall be the sole and exclusive forum for determination of such claim, dispute or controversy. Such arbitration will be administered by JAMS pursuant to its Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures then in effect. The arbitrator will be selected by mutual agreement of the parties or, if the parties are unable to agree on an arbitrator, will be appointed by JAMS pursuant to its Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures then in effect. The arbitrator shall issue a written award and, subject to the terms of paragraph 6 hereof, shall have the right to award monetary relief. The undersigned specifically agrees and acknowledges, that the arbitrator shall not have the power to award punitive or exemplary damages, nor shall the arbitrator have the power to order the Institute to include the Project in the Festival or to award any injunctive or non-monetary relief. The arbitrator shall have the power to award, and shall be required to award, to the substantially prevailing party in any such arbitration, its reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses incurred in connection with the arbitration (including, without limitation, reimbursement of that party’s share of the arbitrator’s fees and JAMS administrative charges). The arbitrator’s award shall be final, binding and non-appealable. Judgment on the arbitrator’s award may be entered in any federal or state court of competent jurisdiction in the United States. In agreeing to this exclusive arbitration provision, the undersigned hereby waives, forfeits and relinquishes, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, any right or entitlement that the undersigned and/or the Project’s Owners might otherwise have had to bring or litigate any claim or claims in any federal or state court against the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Party, and further waives, forfeits and relinquishes any right to a trial by jury with respect to such claim or claims. 13. The undersigned hereby acknowledge that the undersigned has the right to consult with an attorney of its own choosing with respect to these Terms and Conditions and with respect to the Rules and Regulations for submitting a project to the Festival. By completing the submission application for 2023 Sundance Film Festival consideration, the undersigned acknowledges and agrees that the undersigned is doing so after having consulted with an attorney or having freely or voluntarily elected not to do so without coercion or duress. 14. Code of Conduct: Sundance Institute promotes an environment where bold, creative, and distinctive voices are celebrated. Sundance Institute is committed to allowing filmmakers, their teams and Festival attendees to experience the Sundance Film Festival free of harassment, discrimination, sexism, and threatening or disrespectful behavior. The Institute reserves the right to rescind an invitation to participate in the Festival for those who engage in such conduct. 15. The undersigned hereby acknowledges on behalf of all Project Owners that the undersigned has read and understood the Rules and Regulations for submitting a project to the Festival, and that the information contained in said Rules and Regulations does and shall supersede any information obtained elsewhere, including, but not limited to, information contained in any current Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents and/or rules and regulations documents from prior years. 16. By completing the submission application for 2023 Sundance Film Festival consideration, the undersigned, on behalf of the undersigned and all Project Owners, freely and voluntarily gives and expresses full and complete acceptance of all of the terms and provisions set forth in these Terms and Conditions. The parties acknowledge that no oral representations, inducements, promises or assurances of any kind, and no representations, inducements, promises or assurances not set forth in these Terms and Conditions, have been made to the undersigned or the Project’s Owners by the Festival, the Institute, or any Sundance Related Parties. In the event that the Project is accepted for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, the Project Owners will enter into a Festival Participation Agreement incorporating all of the terms and conditions of this agreement, which terms and conditions shall be and remain binding upon the undersigned, the Project and the Project Owners. The Institute reserves the right to rescind any and all Festival acceptance invitations given to the Project and the Project Owners, whether verbally or in writing, in the event that the Festival Participation Agreement is not accepted by the Project Owners.

Evaluation

  • Overall rating
Jury Profile
Jury Name Judge photos Jury Profile

Authorization type

    Proxy Submission

Duration (several sessions)

    40

Film Festival Features

  • Red Carpet
  • Celebrity Guest
  • Film Screen
  • Cash prize
  • Trophy
  • Copyright transactions
  • Certificate

Dates & Deadlines

  • 2022-05-03
    Submission start time

  • 2022-07-30
    Earlybird Deadline

  • 2022-08-03
    Earlybird Deadline

  • 2022-08-06
    Earlybird Deadline

  • 2022-08-10
    Earlybird Deadline

  • 2022-08-17
    Regular Deadline

  • 2022-08-20
    Regular Deadline

  • 2022-08-24
    Regular Deadline

  • 2022-08-31
    Regular Deadline

  • 2022-09-03
    Late Deadline

  • 2022-09-07
    Late Deadline

  • 2022-09-24
    Submission end time

  • 2022-11-02
    Finalist notification start time

  • 2022-11-02
    Finalist notification end time

  • 2023-01-19
    Award ceremony start time

  • 2023-01-29
    Award ceremony end time

Categories and fees

  • International Narrative Feature Films
    Video length :50 - 180
    Any narrative or non-scripted work of fiction originating from outside of the United States with a running time of 50 minutes or more. In order to qualify as an International Narrative Feature Film, the submitted project must be either scripted or improvisational fiction, or a fictionalization of actual events, and at least half of the project's financing must originate from outside of the United States. Only films retaining international premiere status are eligible for open submission to this category. Completed films that have been or will have been exhibited theatrically (festival or otherwise) outside of the film’s country or countries of origin prior to February 1, 2022 are not eligible for open submission to this category. Films that have been or will have been made available to the general public in a non-theatrical form, either for free or for purchase, prior to February 1, 2022 are not eligible to submit to this category. This includes, but is not limited to, television broadcast, home video, or any digital or online platform in any country or countries.

    2022/08/10
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 75 Dollar

    Student: 75 Dollar

    2022/08/31
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 95 Dollar

    Student: 95 Dollar

    2022/09/24
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 120 Dollar

    Student: 120 Dollar

  • International Documentary Feature Films
    Video length :50 - 180
    Any nonfiction film originating from outside of the United States with a running time of 50 minutes or more. If your documentary contains re-enactments or other fictionalized depictions of actual events, you may submit it to this category, but we will ultimately decide which of our Festival programs is best suited for your project, if accepted. In order to qualify as an International Documentary Feature Film, at least half of the submitted project's financing must originate from outside of the United States. Only films retaining international premiere status are eligible for open submission to this category. Completed films that have been or will have been exhibited theatrically (festival or otherwise) outside of the film’s country or countries of origin prior to February 1, 2022 are not eligible for open submission to this category. Films that have been or will have been made available to the general public in a non-theatrical form, either for free or for purchase, prior to February 1, 2022 are not eligible to submit to this category. This includes, but is not limited to, television broadcast, home video, or any digital or online platform in any country or countries.

    2022/08/10
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 75 Dollar

    Student: 75 Dollar

    2022/08/31
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 90 Dollar

    Student: 90 Dollar

    2022/09/24
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 120 Dollar

    Student: 120 Dollar

  • International Short Films
    Video length :00 - 49
    Any film or video project originating from outside of the United States with a running time of less than 50 minutes, including credits. This includes scripted or improvisational fiction, nonfiction or documentary, experimental film or video, animation, music video, or any other short-form film or video project. In order to qualify as an International Short Film, at least half of the submitted project's financing must originate from outside of the United States. Short films have no premiere requirements or prior screening restrictions that impact Festival eligibility and may have been screened at any number of festivals or other public theatrical exhibitions, broadcast or streamed on television or the Internet, and/or released via any home video or other public distribution platform anywhere in the world.

    2022/07/30
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 50 Dollar

    Student: 50 Dollar

    2022/08/17
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 70 Dollar

    Student: 70 Dollar

    2022/09/03
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 90 Dollar

    Student: 90 Dollar

  • Episodic Content
    Video length :00 - 49
    Any live-action, documentary/nonfiction, or animation project presented in or intended to be presented in a multi-episode format. This includes pilots, pilot presentations, web series, docuseries, limited series, anthologies, or any other film or video project that was created to unfold over multiple episodes. Episodic projects may originate from anywhere in the world and you may submit single or multiple episodes of the same project, as long as all episodes play continuously in one single video file for digital upload and do not exceed 10GB in size. We accept both short-form and long-form content, with no restrictions regarding minimum or maximum episode or series length. Projects originating from within the United States are not eligible to submit to this category if the submitted content has been or will be made available in its entirety to the general public via any public theatrical exhibition or any broadcast, home video, or digital/online platform prior to February 1, 2022. Projects originating from outside of the United States remain eligible if any or all of the submitted content has been released only within the project’s country or countries of origin or not released at all. If some but not all of the episodes have been exhibited theatrically or made available via any other public platform, you may only submit episodes that have not been exhibited theatrically or otherwise released to the public. For example, if the first season of your series is available online, you may only submit episodes from a subsequent season that have not been released to the public in any form.

    2022/08/06
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 50 Dollar

    Student: 50 Dollar

    2022/08/24
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 70 Dollar

    Student: 70 Dollar

    2022/09/07
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 90 Dollar

    Student: 90 Dollar

  • New Frontier Projects
    Video length :00 - 49
    A wide range of innovative works and immersive experiences will be considered for the Festival’s New Frontier program. These works may include VR/AR/MR/XR projects created for a variety of platforms, media installations, live cinematic performances, custom digital platforms, or any combination of those elements. We request that you provide documentation that outlines any specific logistical, spatial, or equipment needs for your project. Specific instructions for submitting different file types are contained within the application. We encourage the diverse creative community of storytellers and technologists to submit inventive works of fiction, documentary, and interactive projects for consideration. Projects may have previously been exhibited or performed at other festivals, industry trade shows, and/or events/conventions and still retain their eligibility for submission to this category. However, we do take premiere status into consideration in the final selection process. If your project includes immersive, interactive, or live performance elements, you should state it as for the “VR / XR / Immersive” category when you submit your project. If your experimental film or video project does not include any of these elements, please select one of the feature or short film categories listed above. Questions regarding this specific program should be directed to service@sfilmmaker.com

    2022/08/03
    Earlybird Deadline

    Standard: 50 Dollar

    Student: 50 Dollar

    2022/08/20
    Regular Deadline

    Standard: 70 Dollar

    Student: 70 Dollar

    2022/09/07
    Late Deadline

    Standard: 90 Dollar

    Student: 90 Dollar

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