Film Festivals: Getting Your Film into Sundance

Having your film featured in film festivals is a fun and exciting experience. The Sundance Film Festival is held on a yearly basis in January. On average, the Sundance Film Festival receives more than 9,000 film submissions and 200 are accepted. The films that are accepted by the Sundance Film Festival will be part of screenings that take place in Park City, Salt lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah. This guideline will go over the regulations for getting your film into the Sundance Film Festival.

Step 1 - Knowing the Sundance Film Festival Accepted Formats

Before you begin to fill out an application for the Sundance Film Festival, you must make sure that your film is in the proper format. The Sundance Film Festival prefers that all films be submitted on a single DVD-R or DVD+R disc. In order to cut down on waste, you should send your DVD in a paper sleeve. Your DVD must be compatible with a standard set-top DVD player. When you are burning your DVD, do not burn a quicktime or AVI file to the disc. While the Sundance Film Festival prefers that all films be NTSC Region 1 or region free, they will accept PAL and SECAM formats, as well. However, if you are submitting your film in a PAL or SECAM format, you must note that on the disc and the DVD case.

Step 2 - Knowing the Application Deadlines and Fees

You do not want to spend hours upon hours of your time working on a film, only to miss the Sundance Film Festival application deadlines. While the specific deadline dates may vary by year, the early submission deadline is typically in mid-August, the official submission deadline is typically in early September, and the late submission deadline is typically in late September. The early submission deadline has the cheapest application fees, while the late submission deadline has the highest application fees. All application fees are non-refundable.

Step 3 - Selecting a Film Category

The Sundance Film Festival has 11 different programs. However, you are unable to submit your film to a specific program. Instead, you must select one of the 6 submission categories that the Sundance Film Festival has. The six categories are United States narrative feature films, United States documentary feature films, international narrative feature films, international documentary feature films, United States short films, and international short films.

Step 4 - Completing the Application

You must complete your application online through the Sundance Film Festival website. Once you have completed your Sundance Film Festival application, you will be emailed a confirmation page. You will need to print the confirmation page out and mail it, along with your DVD, to the Sundance Film Festival in order to complete the application process. If your film has been accepted by the Sundance Film Festival, you will be notified during the first week of December.