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2018 Creative Distribution FAQ

Creative Distribution Fellowship: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who should apply?
    Entrepreneurial documentary and fiction filmmakers with new work who are seeking an active, participatory role in the distribution and marketing plans for their film, and have the time to commit to working with the Sundance Institute in its release.  
  2. When will I hear back?
    This is a rolling application process. Feel free to check in by emailing You should hear back within 60 days of applying. 
  3. Do I have to live in Los Angeles? Park City? New York?
    Your residence will not affect your eligibility, but it is required that film teams are based in US or Canada.  
  4. What if I have a short film, an episodic series/virtual reality project but not a feature film?
    This year we’re focusing only on completed feature-length fiction and documentary films. 
  5. Will you consider films in another language?
    We will consider subtitled films whose country of origin is the United States or Canada and whose core teams are based in the US or Canada.
  6. Who should apply: the director or the producer?
    The main point of contact for the film should be the applicant, and it is recommended that person be one of the lead producers. It will be important that film teams have a designated decision-maker, ideally a lead producer, who can quickly make decisions on behalf of the entire film team.
  7. Is there a fee to apply?
    No. Our application has no submission fee. 
  8. If I’m chosen, can the funds granted to me be used for anything other than distribution and marketing expenses?
    No. All funds must be spent on verifiable expenses related to marketing and distributing the film. Consultant fees, advertising campaigns, poster design, and trailer work are all examples of marketing expenses. 
  9. What type of distribution can I expect if I’m chosen?
    Sundance Institute will provide filmmaking teams with access to digital distribution deals, a subscription VOD deal, and mentorship. Each film chosen may have a different trajectory or windowing pattern. It is up to the film teams to devise and execute a distribution and marketing strategy, with input from Sundance Institute and its advisors, that will meet the distribution goals of the film. 
  10. Will I receive the $25,000 grant all at once?
    Yes - within 30 days of a signed grant agreement.
  11. Can I use funds beyond the $25,000 grant?
    Yes, other funds may be used to supplement the grant. 
  12. Am I required to enter into the prebrokered digital distribution agreements Sundance provides?
    Yes - assuming digital distribution (EST/VOD and SVOD) are part of the film team’s Year 1 licensing plan, filmmakers must use Sundance Institute’s prebrokered arrangement with Premiere Digital/Quiver Digital, which is a vetted aggregator and encoding house. All US EST, VOD, and SVOD rights must be administered by Premiere/Quiver.
  13. Who do I contact with additional questions?
    Feel free to contact us via For technical questions, please contact