An Essential Guide to the Sundance Ignite Film Challenge

An Essential Guide to the Sundance Ignite Film Challenge

Becoming a Sundance Ignite Fellow is a life-changing opportunity, and the Sundance Ignite Film Challenge is all about getting you one step closer to living out your best creative life.

Here is everything you need to know about entering.

What the Sundance Ignite Film Challenge is all about:

Film is about sharing perspectives, and changing minds, and Sundance Ignite is all about proving it. Sundance Institute has partnered with Adobe Project 1324 to host short film challenges to find the next generation of emerging filmmakers. Films can be about anything, but they must demonstrate the power of film to ignite creativity, passion, and impact.

What it means to be a Sundance Ignite Fellow:

Sundance Ignite Fellows are winners of the Sundance Ignite challenge. 15 fellows will  work with hand-selected mentors, attend select Sundance Institute programs, be eligible for internships, receive additional creative and professional development opportunities, and a complimentary Adobe Creative Cloud subscription from Adobe Project 1324.

The yearlong Sundance Ignite Fellowship is open to emerging documentary and narrative filmmakers between ages 18 and 24. The fellowship kicks off with a free trip to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where fellows will be paired with a Sundance alumni mentor and attend special Ignite events.

Brainstorm time. Here are what the Sundance judges will be considering:

  • Is the film an artistic interpretation of the challenge?
  • Does it demonstrate a unique voice?
  • Does the project show innovative storytelling?
  • Is there strong character or subject development?
  • Does it adhere to the Eligibility and Rules requirements?

Already have an idea? Here’s what you need to know:

  • You have until September 26th, 2017 to submit your film.
  • You can only submit one film.
  • The film must be between 1 to 8 minutes in length.

And you’ll need written consent for:

  • Every person featured in your film.
  • All footage or music that is not your own.

What to expect once you’ve submitted:

  • Films will be initially judged by a panel of Sundance peer judges who will select 25 finalists. Here’s more info.  Just scroll down and click on Judging & Prizes.
  • Your video will be included in the challenge gallery. Browse it whenever you’re in need of some inspo. You can also amplify your film by sharing it on social.
  • Want to know more about the filmmakers that submitted to the challenge? They probably want to know about you, too. Update your Project 1324 profile so that users can see your work and learn what you’re all about.

How edgy is too edgy?

Keep the nudity, language, and violence to a minimum, please.

Though this challenge is for 18-24 year old filmmakers, we represent a community for emerging creatives between the ages of 13 and 24. Help us keep this community safe for everyone. We don’t allow you to upload content containing excessive nudity, vulgar language, or graphic violence, or content that promotes illegal activity, hatred, or self-harm.

Respect the different cultures, religions, and identities of all participants. Language or media that demeans an individual or group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, or sexual orientation is not welcome.

Now that you have the low-down, it’s time to Submit! Enter now.

Still curious? Just visit the challenge page and scroll down to FAQ.

Still curious? We’re here to help. Please direct your questions to

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