The Sundance Film Festival brings together the most original storytellers and the most adventurous audiences for its annual program of dramatic, documentary, and short films; New Frontier films, performances, exhibitions, and virtual reality experiences; episodic storytelling; lively filmmaker conversations and panel discussions; and dynamic music events. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gained critical recognition and reached worldwide audiences eager for fresh perspectives and new voices. The 2020 Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 23 to February 2, 2020.

A nonprofit organization, Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for independent artists to create and present original, authentic new work. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981 in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, the Institute is an internationally recognized resource for thousands of artists. With its Sundance Film Festival and artistic development programs for film, theatre, and new media artists, the Institute seeks to advance the impact of independent storytelling throughout the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. Grand Jury Prizes
The ranking award is the Grand Jury Prize, which recognizes a film in both the U.S. Dramatic and U.S. Documentary Competitions as the best from the independent film community this year.

World Cinema Grand Jury Prizes
The highest award for international films, the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize recognizes the best dramatic and documentary work in international independent filmmaking this year.

Directing Award
The Directing Award honors directors in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, and World Cinema Documentary Competition.

Special Jury Prizes
Jurors give a number of Special Jury Prizes recognizing excellence in the craft of filmmaking. These prizes are chosen by their respective jury members as they deem appropriate. The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award is given to a U.S. Dramatic film for excellence in screenwriting.

NEXT Innovator Prize
This award recognizes the most innovative and forward-thinking film screened in the NEXT category. The prize is awarded by an iconic figure regarded as an important innovator in their respective field. This single juror will choose one film that they believe to be the most innovative.

Audience Awards
Audience Awards are chosen by Festivalgoers themselves through ballots cast at the theaters after screenings. Audience Awards are presented to films in the Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition, and NEXT.

Festival Favorite Award
All feature films presented at the Festival are eligible for the Festival Favorite Award, which is determined by audience ballots across all Festival screenings. Similar to the Festival’s long-standing Audience Awards for each competition section, this award designates the feature film from any of the Festival’s sections that best connects with audiences.

Sundance Institute/NHK Award
This annual award was created to support the next generation of emerging directors.

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
Provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this juried award is presented to the writer and director of an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme or depicting a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character.

Jury Prizes and Awards in Short Filmmaking
The following prizes and awards are bestowed on short films in the Festival that exemplify outstanding vision and creativity in their respective categories:

Short Film Grand Jury Prize
Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction
Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction
Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction
Short Film Jury Award: Animation
Short Film Special Jury Awards

Rules & Regulations

Terms and Conditions:

I, the authorized representative of the project being submitted (hereafter called the "Project") to Sundance Institute (hereafter called the “Institute”) for consideration for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival (hereafter called the “Festival”), hereby acknowledge the following:

1. I represent and warrant to the Institute that: (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights or interests (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights) in or relating to the Project (hereafter called the “Project’s Owners”), to exhibit this Project at the Festival, (b) exhibition of the Project at the Festival will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity; and (c) the Project is not subject to any litigation, arbitration, or other adversarial claim or proceeding, nor is the Project the subject of any threat of litigation, arbitration, or other adverse claim or proceeding.

2. I further represent and warrant, on behalf of myself and the Project’s Owners, that the exhibition of the Project at the Festival will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity, and that the Project does not constitute or include a defamation of any person or entity. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from or associated with the exhibition of the Project at or in connection with the Festival.

3. In the event that the Project is accepted by the Institute for inclusion in the Festival, I acknowledge, on behalf of myself and the Project’s Owners, that the Institute’s exhibition or presentation of the Project at the Festival does not and will not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Institute on the one hand and myself and/or the Project’s Owners on the other. I further acknowledge, on behalf of myself and the Project’s Owners, that I and we understand that neither I nor any of the Project’s Owners will receive any compensation for such exploitation, although some prizes at the Festival may include cash awards. I acknowledge that no obligation of any kind is assumed by, or may be implied against, the Institute or the Festival in the event of, by virtue of, or as a result of the Institute’s selection of the Project for the Festival. I and the Project’s Owners understand and acknowledge that the selection of the Project for inclusion in the Festival does not and will not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Institute or the Festival of the content of the Project or any opinion expressed therein.

4. I agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Project’s Owners, to indemnify and hold harmless the Institute and the Festival, together with each of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees, attorneys, creative advisors, agents and representatives (collectively, “Sundance Related Parties”), from and against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs) that may be asserted by any person or entity, or may be incurred by the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Parties, at any time in connection with the Project or the Institute’s use, handling, consideration or exhibition thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Institute, the Festival or any Sundance Related Parties, including, without limitation, any express or implied representation in these Terms and Conditions.

5. I warrant and agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Project’s Owners, that the Project is being submitted to the Institute voluntarily and without promise or inducement, and that the submission of the Project neither imposes nor creates any obligation or responsibility on the part of the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Parties to accept the Project for inclusion in the Festival, to exhibit the Project at the Festival, to acknowledge the submission of the Project, or to return the Project to me or others. I further agree, on my own behalf and on behalf of the Project’s Owners, that I and the Project’s Owners, and any other representative or person affiliated with the Project, in submitting the Project for consideration, are waiving, forfeiting, forgoing and relinquishing any right that I or we might otherwise have to assert any claim or commence any proceeding in any forum or tribunal against the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Parties, based upon, arising out of or otherwise relating to the submission, exhibition or failure to exhibit the Project (including, without limitation, claims relating to any failure or refusal to exhibit the Project at the Festival, the exhibition or marketing of the Project at or in connection with the Festival, alleged oral or written representations by the Festival or its representatives relating to the submission or exhibition of the Project, and any other matters arising from or relating to the submission of the Project), whether such claims may be based on theories of contract, implied contract, tort, statute, or other legal theory (hereinafter, “Claim”). In the event that any Claim is asserted, or any action, arbitration or other proceeding is brought or commenced, in violation of the agreement set forth in the immediately preceding sentence, I agree, on my own behalf and on behalf of each of the Project’s Owners, to indemnify the Institute and the Festival from any and all Claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs) that are incurred by the Institute, the Festival and any Sundance Related Parties as a result of or in connection with any such Claim or any action, arbitration or other proceeding brought in violation of the representations and agreements set forth in this paragraph.

6. Without in any way limiting the provisions or scope of the agreements set forth in paragraph 5 above and paragraph 10 below, I further agree and accept that, in the event that any Claim is asserted, or any action, arbitration or other proceeding is brought or commenced, by me, any of the Project’s Owners, or any other representative of or person affiliated with the Project, in violation of the agreements set forth in paragraph 5 above, and in the further event that an arbitrator or other tribunal should permit such Claim to proceed despite the waiver language set forth in paragraph 5 above, the sole and maximum remedy that could be awarded to me or any other person or entity asserting any Claim shall be a refund of the submission fee paid in connection with the submission of the Project to the Institute for consideration for the Festival. Under no circumstances shall any other remedy, including without limitation actual, expectancy, reliance, consequential, special, punitive or exemplary damages, or any other damages, or injunctive, declaratory, provisional or other relief, be available to me, the Project’s Owners, or any other person or entity representing or affiliated with the Project.

7. In the event that the Project is accepted by the Institute for inclusion in and exhibition at the Festival, I hereby grant, on behalf of myself and each of the Project’s Owners, each of the following rights to the Institute, the Festival, and any Sundance Related Parties without reservations, conditions or qualifications: (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles, and information from or relating to the Project for promotional purposes; and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Project and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information. I also agree to provide up-to-date contact information pertaining to the director(s) and producer(s) of the Project, and to grant the Institute and the Festival, at their sole and absolute discretion, the right to provide this information to film industry organizations that sponsor Festival events.

8. In the event that the Project is accepted by the Institute for inclusion in and exhibition at the Festival, and I or the Project’s Owners have contractual obligations to any producers, distributors, creators, cast or crew regarding "festival benefits" (which may include but are not limited to production credits, screening tickets, Festival credentials or monetary compensation), I agree and accept that those “festival benefits” must be administered and distributed by myself and/or the Project’s Owners, and do not impact the nature or quantity of benefits provided by Institute.

9. I warrant and agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Project’s Owners, that the Institute has made no claims, representations or guarantees, and has provided no assurances, in relation to the internal process utilized by the Institute with respect to selection of projects for inclusion in the Festival, and that the submission of the Project neither imposes nor creates any obligation or responsibility on the part of the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Parties to provide me, the Project’s Owners, or my or their related parties with comments, feedback or other information pertaining to the viewing or consideration of the Project by the Institute for possible inclusion in the Festival.

10. I warrant and agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Project’s Owners, that by submitting the Project to the Institute, I hereby grant the Institute and all persons employed by, contracted by, or otherwise directly associated with the Institute the irrevocable right to view and/or download all digital assets associated with the Project, including, but not limited to, any representation of the Project in the form of video files, still images, assets streamed via the Internet, and/or all other assets and information provided by the Applicant on the application. All digital assets referenced above shall remain active and accessible by the Institute until the conclusion of the Festival on February 2nd, 2020. Any dissemination of these materials, incidental or otherwise, shall not be the responsibility of the Institute or any Sundance Related Parties.

11. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that, if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state, I have provided the Institute with signed, written consent from my parent or legal guardian.

12. Without in any way limiting the provisions or scope of the agreements set forth in paragraph 5 above, I further agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Project’s Owners, that any claim, dispute or controversy arising out of, in connection with, or otherwise related to the Project, the Festival, or these Terms and Conditions, including, without limitation, any Claim (as this term is defined above) and any other claim or cause of action of any nature arising from the actual or alleged breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity of these Terms and Conditions, as well as the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be governed by the internal, substantive laws of the State of California and will be subject to and submitted to exclusive, binding arbitration before a single arbitrator in Los Angeles, California, which shall be the sole and exclusive forum for determination of such claim, dispute or controversy. Such arbitration will be administered by JAMS pursuant to its Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures then in effect. The arbitrator will be selected by mutual agreement of the parties or, if the parties are unable to agree on an arbitrator, will be appointed by JAMS pursuant to its Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures then in effect. The arbitrator shall issue a written award and, subject to the terms of paragraph 6 hereof, shall have the right to award monetary relief. I specifically agree and acknowledge, however, that the arbitrator shall not have the power to award punitive or exemplary damages, nor shall the arbitrator have the power to order the Institute to include the Project in the Festival or to award other injunctive or non-monetary relief. The arbitrator shall have the power to award, and shall be required to award, to the substantially prevailing party in any such arbitration, its reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses incurred in connection with the arbitration (including, without limitation, reimbursement of that party’s share of the arbitrator’s fees and JAMS administrative charges). The arbitrator’s award shall be final, binding and non-appealable. Judgment on the arbitrator’s award may be entered in any federal or state court of competent jurisdiction in the United States. In agreeing to this exclusive arbitration provision, I hereby waive, forfeit and relinquish, on behalf of myself and each of the Project’s Owners, any right or entitlement that I or the Project’s Owners might otherwise have had to bring or litigate any claim or claims encompassed by this paragraph in any federal or state court against the Institute, the Festival, or any Sundance Related Party, and further waive, forfeit and relinquish any right to a trial by jury with respect to such claim or claims.

13. I hereby acknowledge that I have the right to consult with an attorney of my own choosing with respect to these Terms and Conditions and with respect to the Rules and Regulations for submitting a project to the Festival, located at www.sundance.org/submissions-rules. By completing my submission application for 2020 Sundance Film Festival consideration, I agree that I am doing so after having consulted with an attorney or after I freely or voluntarily elected not to do so without coercion or duress.

14. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understood the Rules and Regulations for submitting a project to the Festival, located at www.sundance.org/submissions-rules, and that the information contained in said Rules and Regulations does and shall supersede any information obtained elsewhere, including, but not limited to, information contained in any current Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents and/or rules and regulations documents from prior years.

15. By completing my submission application for 2020 Sundance Film Festival consideration via FilmFreeway, I freely and voluntarily give and express my full and complete acceptance of all of the terms and provisions set forth in these Terms and Conditions. I acknowledge that no oral representations, inducements, promises or assurances of any kind, and no representations, inducements, promises or assurances not set forth in these Terms and Conditions, have been made to me or the Project’s Owners by the Festival, the Institute, or any Sundance Related Parties.