The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund is a non-profit organization that provides funding and support to documentary filmmakers. It offers financial assistance to filmmakers at various stages of production and post-production, as well as mentorship, resources, and opportunities for networking and collaboration.
The Fund aims to promote diverse and impactful storytelling, with a focus on underrepresented voices and perspectives.
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP) prioritizes support for independent nonfiction films with budgets under $1,000,000 USD.
Creative and editorial control must be held by members of the films’ key creative teams.
For United States productions, the DFP 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, we prioritize 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.
Applicants may submit at any production phase from development through post-production. All proposals must convey some vision for a finished film. 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 to apply. We are unable to consider proposals for story research. You do not need any prior funding or a fiscal sponsor in order to apply.
Once your film premieres, we are unable to provide post-production funding support. We therefore encourage applicants to apply at least six months before an anticipated premiere. Picture-locked cuts are also ineligible for post-production funding.
Projects that have previously received a grant through the Documentary Fund are not eligible to apply for additional funding through this open call.