Creative Producing Initiative

Feature Film Program Supports Emerging Producers with Year-Long Fellowship

Park City, UT – Sundance Institute today announced the Sundance Creative Producing Initiative, a new Fellowship program for emerging American independent producers. The announcement was made today during the Producers Lunch at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Veteran film producer Paul Mezey (MARIA FULL OF GRACE, SUGAR) gave the keynote address at the event which was attended by more than 150 independent producers.

“The next step in independent film involves deepening Sundance’s commitment to supporting the next generation of independent producers,” said Robert Redford, president and founder of Sundance Institute. “The Creating Producing Initiative completes the circle of support that Sundance began more than 25 years ago with the first Lab for directors and screenwriters.” Redford added, “it has become clear that in an increasingly competitive and complex global marketplace, emerging filmmakers need knowledgeable creative producers equipped to bring their stories all the way from production to the increasingly difficult area of distribution.”

The Sundance Creative Producing Initiative will be a year-long fellowship program that includes a new 5-day Creative Producing Lab, and will include attendance and industry meetings at the Sundance Film Festival and at the Sundance Institute’s Independent Producers Conference, year-round mentorship from industry advisers, on-going support from Sundance Institute staff and community-building opportunities among producing fellows. The Fellowship also includes a living stipend and pre-production grant. Five fellows and their projects will be selected for the pilot year. In subsequent years, the program will support eight fellows.

“To work effectively with filmmakers, producers need an opportunity to develop their own skills and voices. The Creative Producing Initiative is designed to develop a producer’s creative instincts in the scripting and editing stages and to evolve their communication and problem-solving skills at all stages of realizing a project,” said Michelle Satter, Director, Sundance Institute Feature Film Program.

“This new Sundance initiative will have immediate and lasting impact in the field,” said keynote speaker Paul Mezey, “Sundance is in a unique position to provide this in-depth guidance. I look forward to being a mentor to this next generation of independent producers.”

Fellows will be selected in Spring 2008 to attend the inaugural Creative Producing Lab scheduled for July. The deadline to apply for the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Initiative is March 1, 2008. Candidates must have produced at least one short or feature-length film (no more than 2 features total) and have a legally-optioned script in hand. Sundance Institute strongly believes in strength in diversity and actively encourages applications from women, people of color, differently abled people, and all persons who support the Institute’s mission. Visit for more information.