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New Voices - FAQs

  1. What are the dates of the New Voices Lab?
    The New Voices Lab will take place April 17-20, 2018 at the Alisal Ranch in Solvang, CA and June 23-24, 2018 at YouTube Space Los Angeles.
  2. What are the eligibility requirements for submitting a project to the Lab?
    • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at time of application.
    • The project must be the applicant’s original creation.
    • The project must be written in the English language.
    • The project must be new: not previously submitted to Sundance, not already produced, not already sold to a third party, and not distributed online or otherwise.
    • The project shall not infringe the copyright or any other proprietary right of another individual or entity. The creator/applicant is responsible for all rights pertaining to the project.
  3. What is the submission period for Round 1 of the application process?
    November 15 - December 14, 2017
  4. What will be required to submit for Round 1 of the application process?
    • Contact information for creator(s) (we allow for up to 2 creators per project, however, you must choose one person to be the primary applicant/creator and your designated point of contact)
    • Bios of creator(s) (no more than 250 words) 
    • Series logline: a one-sentence description of your series (no more than 50 words) that conveys what your project is about.
    • Series overview (no more than 500 words): this is a one-page description of your series that gives the reader a feel for its main characters, the basic plot and themes, as well as the tone and format. Imagine you’re describing your series to a friend in a way that conveys your excitement, clearly explains what your series is about and gives them a reason to want to watch it.
    • Personal Statement (no more than 250 words): a brief written response to the following questions
      • Why are you interested in telling this story?
      • What is your personal connection to the material?
      • Why are you the best person to tell this story?
      • Why tell this story now?
    • Thematic Statement (no more than 250 words): a brief written response to the following questions:
      • What is the theme of you series? That is, what is the central idea or big question you are exploring? (e.g. “In the wake of the ultimate betrayal, how does one continue to trust others?”, OR “Are criminals born or are they made?” OR “Can a modern family still function like a traditional family?”)
      • How is this "thematic question" explored on an episode-to-episode basis in your series? (e.g. “Each episode, the betrayal is seen through the eyes of a different character as its ripple effect permeates more and more lives” OR “Each episode, we focus on a different criminal and the path that led to their crimes” OR “Each episode, an unconventional family struggles to overcome conventional problems”).
      • How does this theme inform each of your characters and their journeys over the course of the series? How does the theme connect emotionally to what your characters are going through? 
    • A short video pitch (no more than 5 minutes in length) that gives us an overview of your project. This is your opportunity to show off your video-making skills, tells us a little bit about your background, and let us know why you are interested in telling this story. It should include your name(s), the title of your series, and a short description of the project, including the story, world, setting, tone, genre and main characters.
    • Samples of previous work – Provide 1-3 URL links to samples of your previous work (not to exceed 10 minutes total in length). Samples may include short films, web series episodes or other digital content. Please be sure to include passwords as needed.
    • Demographics – To be filled out by the designated primary applicant/creator.
    • Application Terms – To be signed by the designated primary applicant/creator.
    • $40 non-refundable processing fee payable by credit card via the online application.
  5. When will I be notified if I have advanced to Round 2?
    Applicants will receive notification via email about whether or not they have advanced to Round 2 of our online application process by January 4, 2018.
  6. What will be required to submit for Round 2 of the application process?
    The pilot script for your series and up to 2 additional episodes (not to exceed 40 pages in total).
  7. Is there an application fee to apply for the New Voices Lab?
    Yes, for Round 1 ONLY, there is a $40 Non-Refundable Processing Fee, payable by credit card via the online application.
  8. What does the program cost?
    Aside from an application fee of $40, there is no charge for participation in the New Voices Lab.
  9. Do participants pay for travel and accommodations?
    No, domestic airfare and accommodations will be provided for all participants who are not locally-based.
  10. Does Sundance or YouTube own my project?
    No, neither Sundance Institute nor YouTube 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 Lab Fellows must own or have approval from the project owner to participate.
  11. Will you consider co-creator teams?
    Yes, we will consider co-creator teams of up to 2 people.
  12. Will you consider animated series?
    Yes, however, the candidate must notify us of this intention prior to applying as we will require supplemental materials.
  13. Will you consider nonfiction series?
    Yes, however, the candidate must notify us of this intention when applying as we may request supplemental materials.
  14. Will you consider adaptations of other material (novels, magazine articles, films, etc.)?
    Yes, we will consider adaptations as long as the rights to the original source material have been secured and applicant(s) can disclose the legal rights for review. The Creator/Applicant is responsible for all rights pertaining to the project.
  15. Will you consider international series?
    Yes, however, the project must be in English and we are not able to provide for international travel at this time. We will, however, cover the cost of the domestic portion of international airfare.
  16. What is the application deadline?
    The application will be made available to applicants through our online application system by November 15, 2017. The deadline for project submission is December 14, 2017, at 6:00pm PT.
  17. Is it possible to get an extension? What’s the final final deadline?
    No, it’s not possible to get an extension. You must turn in your application by December 14, 2017, at 6:00pm PT.
  18. When will final decisions be made?
    We will notify all applicants whether or not they were selected as Fellows for the Lab by March 28, 2018.
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