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2018 January Screenwriters Lab Instructions

Following are application instructions for the 2018 January Screenwriters Lab.

For more information about this program, please visit our website:

PLEASE NOTE: We accept application materials electronically ONLY. You will have a chance to save a work-in-progress version of your application before officially submitting, and we will ask you to upload your complete script rather than mailing us a hard copy.

What you need to know (please read it all!):

The application is a two step process.

FIRST you have to complete the electronic application. This is where you provide us with all of your contact info, a brief bio on yourself and your team members, a cover letter, an artistic statement, and a synopsis of your project.

You will be asked to enter all of the written materials into text boxes on the web application (with the exception of the screenplay.) You will be able to save your application as a work-in-progress before submitting; however, you may wish to draft elements in a Word doc and cut and paste the final text once it has been completed to your satisfaction.

SECOND you must upload the first 5 pages of your screenplay. A .pdf is the required format.

What you will need to complete online:

1. Application Form, including the following:

CONTACT INFORMATION We will use the email address you provide to correspond with you moving forward. While we do allow for up to 3 members of a creative team per project, you must choose one person to be your designated point of contact. Please make sure is cleared in your spam filter!

BIO(s) for yourself and up to 2 additional members of your creative team (500 word limit each.)

COVER LETTER (750 word limit.) Please introduce yourself and the project. There are no strict requirements for this letter, but we’d like to get a brief idea of who you are, what your script is about, and how you think the Lab process could be helpful to you.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT (1000 word limit.) Please describe your creative vision for the material, and give us a sense of where you are in the creative process. Here’s an example of the type of information we’re looking for: What is your personal connection to the material? What do you want an audience to take away from your film? How do you envision the realization of this script in terms of story, character, tone, and/or visual style? Is there a budget level you have in mind, and who is the audience you most want to reach? Why are you passionate about this story? If this is a resubmission of material we've considered previously, how has the material changed or transformed since we last read it?

LOGLINE A 1-2 sentence description of your project.

SYNOPSIS (1000 word limit.) A brief summary of your project.

2. Upload the first 5 pages of your screenplay, which must be in the form of a .pdf document. The .pdf file will open automatically when uploaded; click the Back to Submission button at the top of the screen to return to your application.

3. Demographic Information. This is information requested about you and your project, standardized across all Institute programs, which remains confidential. Any answers you choose to provide do not in any way influence your candidacy.

Then what?

You will receive an email notification when your application has been submitted, and there is no need to follow up with emailed materials. The email will come from If you have a "spamblocker," please allow emails to be sent into your inbox from this address.

You'll hear from us about your status no later than August 15, 2017. If you have any issues with submitting your application materials, please email

Please Note

Co-writers: Please designate one of you as the primary contact, and list that person first.

Unfortunately, due to the amount of submissions, we cannot provide individual feedback.

If you have any other questions or problems, email

The Sundance Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and does not have an ownership stake in any projects that are submitted to, or selected for the Lab, nor are we attached in any producorial capacity.

All Feature Film Programs are subsidiaries of the nonprofit organization Sundance Institute.

Still have questions? Please visit our FAQ page.

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