Sundance Ignite: A Fellowship for Next Gen Filmmakers


We all know Sundance for its careful curation of talented independent filmmakers. However, the prestigious organization also plays a monumental part in nurturing the next generation of filmmakers, through programs such as the Ignite fellowship.

In partnership with Adobe 1324, The Ignite Program holds an annual contest for filmmakers ages 18-24. This year applicants are invited to create a 2-8 minute short that follows the theme: “What’s Next”. Jury members will pick fifteen eligible fellows based on the short’s “technical excellence, and creative interpretation of the challenge”. The contest’s submission deadline is on September 26 at 11:59 PM.

What do filmmakers get in return? The program offers a one-year exclusive mentorship and a ticket to 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Ignite members connect with the film industry and Sundance alumni while also working on other projects. Current Ignite fellows Courtney Jines, Tara Clune, and Kayla Briët created the trailer for the Sundance Next Fest 2016:

For a glimpse at the caliber of fellows from last year’s contest, check out the below:

Brit Fryer | “Trans·ience”
‘Trans·cience’ is composed of different narrations from audio recordings, phone calls, and ramblings, juxtaposed against visual scenes exploring trans self-hood.

Kevin Rios | “Made of Sugar”
Rios’ short is a biographical documentary about growing up in a Cuban family while wrestling with his sexuality.

“A Journey Home” – Alex Campbell

Alex Campbell | “Journey Home”
Campbell’s short depicts an astronaut who completes the moon mission, playing an homage to A Trip to the Moon.

Courtney Jines | “In the Future”
Jines’ short opens to Max (Wendy McColm) narrate the futures events with her past self. The film explores the concept of the future perceived from the present narrative.

For more information about the challenge, head to


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