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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the New Voices Lab?
The New Voices Lab will take place November 9-11, 2017 in Los Angeles.

What are the eligibility requirements for submitting a project to the Lab?
  • Applicants must be permanent legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.
  • 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 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.
What will be required to submit for the First Round of the application process?
Applicants will be required to provide the following in First Round of their application:
  • Contact information for writer-creator(s) (up to 2 per project).
  • Bios of writer-creator(s) and other key creatives (up to 2) (may include the director, producer and/or cinematographer).
  • Series logline: 2-3 sentences that summarize your project’s concept and story.
  • Project description: a brief description (no more than 500 words) of the story, genre, central character(s) and world of the project.
  • Short essay responses (no more than 200-300 words per question) in response to the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in telling this story? What is your personal connection to the material and/or why are you the best person to tell this story? What specific theme you are exploring?
    • Why are you developing this story as a short-form episodic series? What is the intended platform (e.g. – personal website, digital platform or aggregator, mobile device, social media, etc.), length of the project/series (i.e. – number of episodes), and approximate duration for each episode? If your project includes any interactive or VR components, please detail those here. Is there a specific approach to format, tone, aesthetic, narrative, production or distribution that is central to the execution of this series?
  • 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, vlogs, web series episodes or other digital content. Please be sure to include passwords as needed.
  • The first five pages of a pilot script for the first episode of a short-form series.
  • $20 non-refundable processing fee payable by credit card via the online application.
When will I be notified if I have advanced to the Second Round?
Applicants will receive notification via email about whether or not they have advanced to the Second Round of our online application process by June 7, 2017.
 
What will be required to submit for the Second Round of the application process?
Applicants who are selected to advance to Round 2 will be required to provide the following:
  • A full script for the first three episodes (including the pilot) of a short-form series (not to exceed 40 total pages in length).
  • Project overview (2-3 pages in length, between 1000-1500 words). This should be an in-depth description of the world, tone, themes, characters and story arcs for your project. If you are envisioning your project as a continuing series, please focus on what you see as the first season. You don’t need to break down the project episode by episode, but you should describe the primary storylines that will propel your characters forward over the course of the series.
  • 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.
Is there an application fee to apply for the New Voices Lab?
Yes, for the first round ONLY, there is a $20 Non-Refundable Processing Fee, payable by credit card via the online application.
 
What does the program cost?
Aside from an application fee of $20.00, there will be no charge for participation in the New Voices Lab.
 
Do participants pay for travel and accommodations?
Domestic airfare and accommodations will be provided for all participants who are not currently based in Los Angeles, CA.

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.

Will you consider co-creator teams?
Yes, we will consider co-creator teams of up to 2 people.

What kind of material is Sundance most interested in supporting?
The Lab is designed to support emerging creators working on scripted, short-form, episodic content (up to 25 minutes in length per episode). We are looking for projects that demonstrate a creative vision and unique voice, populated by strong characters, original concepts, and innovative approaches to storytelling.
 
Are you supporting animated projects this year?
We are open to considering animated projects, however, the candidate must notify us of this intention prior to applying as we will require supplemental visual materials.

Are you supporting nonfiction projects?
We are not supporting documentary projects at this time, but will consider projects that have both nonfiction and fiction elements that have a scripted narrative. We are open to considering nonfiction projects for future Labs.

Can the project be an adaptation of other material (novels, magazine articles, films, etc.)?
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.

Will you accept international projects?
Unfortunately, we are not accepting International projects at this time (though we may consider them for future Labs). Projects must be in English and applicants must be permanent legal residents of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia.

What is the application deadline?
The application will be made available to applicants through our online application system by February 10, 2017. The deadline for project submission is April 10, 2017 at 6:00pm PT.

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 April 10, 2017 at 6:00pm PT.

When will final decisions be made?
We will notify all applicants whether or not they were selected as Fellows for the Lab by October 13, 2017.

Still don't see your question answered here? Email episodicstorytelling@sundance.org with further questions.