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Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant & Fellowship FAQ

How do I apply?
Open applications for the Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant & Fellowship are available online from June 7, 2017 - September 7, 2017.

What is the eligibility in order to apply?
Both the Grant and Fellowship are geared towards supporting the screenwriter(s).  For the Commissioning Grant, you may be any stage of your career - from no produced screenplays to many produced screenplays.  For the Screenwriters Lab Fellowship, you may not have more than one produced feature screenplay.

What's the difference between the Commissioning Grant and the Fellowship?
The Commissioning Grant focuses on projects in earlier stages of development – from full treatment form to early screenplay drafts. If your script is in a later stage of development, we can consider it for the Fellowship. There is no separate submission required; all projects submitted through this application process are considered for either the Grant or Fellowship based on our evaluation of the project’s development stage. However, the Fellowship is only available to first or second time feature screenwriters.

What do I need to apply?
Once you sign in or create an account to access the electronic application located at you will be asked to provide the following:

  • LOGLINE (75 word maximum)
  • SYNOPSIS Please be as specific as possible, not just only to the story beats (i.e. literal) but to the spirit, themes, and character throughlines. For example, if you are developing a story about a true life character, what specific “angle” or story are you trying to illuminate, rather than just tell us the beats of the person’s life from birth to death. We are looking to understand your approach to why are you driven to tell this particular story, not just what you find interesting in a character or piece of history. (500 words maximum)  
  • Brief description of the THEMATIC CORE and SCIENTIFIC IDEAS being explored. Please include what science research and consultation you would like to put this particular grant towards; this can include specific scientists or fields of research. (150 word maximum)
  • ARTIST STATEMENT Screenwriter’s creative intent for the script, which can include the genesis of the idea, particular themes of interest, the emotional core driving the characters, and why this story is of interest for the writer to tell. (500 word maximum)
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (optional) Any additional information such as status of the project, attachments such as producer or director, or prior science research done to date. (500 word maximum)
  •  BIOS for the screenwriter(s), director(s), and producer(s) (if applicable). Please specifically list all notable credits, accolades, education, and experience. (250 words maximum per bio)
  • APPLICATION FEE of $40 (credit card only)

How many scripts can I apply with?
You may submit up to three projects, but we encourage you to choose one project that is your priority in terms of moving forward. Please note that, for each script, you must complete a separate application and submit a separate application fee.

Do I need to have a science advisor already on board my project?
No science advisor is required in order to apply for this grant. However, you are encouraged to include information about any that you may be collaborating with or would like to collaborate with in the “Brief Description of the thematic core…” section of the application.

Why can't I submit a science fiction project?
The goal of this particular grant is to focus on stories grounded in current (or past) hard science and technology.  Although we understand some cutting edge science can be construed as science fiction, please use your best judgement in deciding whether or not to apply. For example, stories taking place in the future or involving science that is clearly not yet achievable would be considered science fiction.

Can I submit my documentary project?
No. This Grant and Fellowship are only available to narrative (scripted) features only.

Can I reapply with the same project as last year?
Yes, although we encourage you to re-apply with the same project only if you have made significant revisions.  If you do re-apply, please articulate what has changed in terms of story, attachments, and/or strategy since the previous submission.  It is important for our selection committee to understand the movement forward from a previous submission.

Can only Americans apply?

How will I be notified about acceptance? Will I be notified if I'm not accepted?
All applicants will be notified via email. You will hear from us whether accepted or not.

I haven't received my notification yet, but all my friends have! What's wrong?
We deliver our notifications on a rolling basis, so please don't panic. You will hear whether you have proceeded to the second round of the application process by October 13, 2017 at the latest. Final notifications will be made by December 22, 2017.

Can I deliver my application in person?
No, we have moved to an entirely digital process for our applications, so we only accept submissions via the online application.

Can I submit a script/treatment based on a novel or other original material?
Yes, we will consider scripts based on prior work, but you must provide proof of rights to the material.

Do you accept scripts that have been submitted elsewhere?
Yes, we have no restrictions on material that has been through other writers workshops or programs.

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