Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2017 Sundance

Submissions to the 2017 Sundance Film Festival are now open! Learn more about this year's call for entries and submit your work today.

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What is one piece of advice you would give filmmakers
submitting to Sundance Film Festival?

First and foremost, you should always make the film that you want to make. We have a lot of filmmakers who ask us what makes a film a "Sundance film", but in reality there isn't one particular aesthetic or story type that we are more likely to program than any other. We're mainly looking for fresh and original voices telling the stories that they want to tell and in the way they want to tell them. Using your own voice to power your film is key.

This year Sundance introduced two new categories: 

Episodic Content and Virtual Reality. What inspired this inclusion?

We have been exhibiting VR experiences in our New Frontier program at the Festival for years now, but the public release of new VR platforms has given the creative community new tools to independently design original content for the growing virtual reality space. We really wanted to expand our reach in this field by allowing all creators to send us their work.

As for episodic content, we've received a lot of feedback over the years from content creators in the fields of new media and broadcast television who want to submit their work to us. With so many areas of creative production converging to redefine how we view content in the current landscape, it feels like the right time to open up our submissions process to innovative, independently produced episodic projects. New technologies have made it more common to see series created outside of the studio system, and we're excited to present this work at the Festival.

What kind of Virtual Reality projects is Sundance looking for?
Are there any technical details submitters should be aware of?

Because open submissions in this category are brand new, we feel like it makes the most sense to leave it up to the creative community of artists working within the field to mold both our technical specifications and the kind of work that defines the category. We are currently requesting that applicants submit a 2D video version of their work and we added an additional field on the application to allow them to send us a download link in their preferred format, whether it be a 360° video, an .apk file for VR-enabled smartphones, or a PC installation package for Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, but because the VR landscape is always evolving, we encourage all potential applicants to contact us at newfrontier@sundance.orgif they wish to submit their work in another format.

Once accepted to screen at the Festival, what can filmmakers
expect their experience to be during the big event?

\We have an amazing staff of people in our Film Office who are dedicated to making the filmmaker experience as enjoyable as it can possibly be. The Festival can be an overwhelming experience, especially for first-timers, so we try to think of ourselves as hosts for all of the artists presenting their work to our audience. Our goal is to make the Festival an exciting and beneficial experience for artists and audiences alike.

What is the first thing programmers take note of when reviewing submissions?
We really try to view each film submitted to us with as little information as possible going into it, as we feel it keeps the process fair and unbiased. Our programming team generally reviews all submitted projects with a blind eye-- we don't usually look at any of the application details before we start watching. Otherwise, it's always helpful when a film grabs you right from the start through craft and originality, but there is no one thing we take note of prior to viewing that could cloud our perception of the work itself. We always recommend that you focus your energy on making your film the best it can be and spend less time on supplemental materials.

July 29, 2016 - Virtual Reality Projects, Official Submission Deadline
August 8, 2016 - Episodic Content, Early Submission Deadline
August 8, 2016 - Short Films, Early Submission Deadline
August 15, 2016 - Narrative Feature Films, Early Submission Deadline
August 15, 2016 - Documentary Feature Films, Early Submission Deadline

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