Sundance Launches $1 Million Relief Fund For Independent Filmmakers

This moment calls for a radical shift in strategy in the way we support independent artists in film, media, and theatre. Sundance is launching a $1 million urgent fund to support the immediate needs of artists in our community, as well as other filmmakers in need and organizations that share our focus on inclusive storytelling.

Applications are now open for the Artist Relief funds and can be found at
One-third of the fund will support Sundance Institute-curated artists, while two-thirds will be dedicated to emergency support for the wider community of independent artists, deployed in collaboration with partner nonprofit organizations.  

  • Immediate support for 100 Sundance Institute-curated artists, across disciplines and at all stages of development. Grants will be given to the 2020 spring and summer Lab participants to be used for artists' emergency funds or for project development. Each of these artists will also receive creative and strategic support through Sundance Institute’s Lab programs, which have transitioned from in-person gatherings to events hosted on our digital platform, Sundance Co//ab.  
  • Emergency financial support to artists across the U.S. We have joined an incredible group of arts organizations and leading national grantmakers who have partnered at this unprecedented moment to launch a cross-disciplinary, needs-based fund called Artist Relief that will distribute funds to artists as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our partnership with Artist Relief will provide our experience and support to film, media, and theatre artists who are facing dire circumstances due to COVID-19 with emergency grants of $5,000. 
  • Emergency financial support to U.S. and international independent artist organizations focusing on historically underrepresented communities, to be deployed by these organizations both as regrants to artists and to strengthen the organizations themselves in their ongoing work. Our peer organizations, funders, and artists will nominate organizations who will then be invited to apply. The final selection will be made by the Institute and a panel of outside advisors. Applications will be evaluated on organizational impact and artist community reach. 

In addition to financial resources, we have identified through our artist feedback urgent needs for support and training on several key topics — including mental health, community building, and distribution and marketing strategy. We are creating a series of free public and private offerings for independent artists on Sundance Co//ab, a community for global storytellers to learn, share work, and find resources. We have been particularly inspired to see that Co//ab users have grown four-fold in the last month, now reaching 50,000 people in more than 190+ countries.
For additional details on the criteria and application processes, visit

More From LATF USA

Scroll to Top