Answering a crucial need to cultivate more Native film producers, the Sundance Institute extended their outreach to Native artists by launching a Native Producers Fellowship with the support of the Time Warner Foundation in 2012.
In addition to that fellowship, the Sundance Institute is introducing The Full Circle Fellowship for Native youth. It is a one-year fellowship for aspiring Native filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 24 in Michigan and New Mexico.
N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache) the Director of the Native American and Indigenous Program at Sundance, shared his thoughts with ICTMN on the importance of the Sundance fellowships, who should apply and why the world of film needs Native voices.
Who is the best type of candidate for the producer fellowship?
We really would like to see the type of producer who has some experience in working with budgets, legal issues, physical production, and more. This is not an exclusion, as you can learn these things. An ideal candidate is someone who could create a nurturing environment to work with film artists in getting their projects made. This requires a special kind of intuition and caring for our community.
This fellowship will assist aspiring producers in all aspects related to the business of filmmaking and ways to become engaged with the Native storytelling community and garner experience with the US and international film markets.
Why does the world need Native voices?
Native voices can offer the wisdom and healing that our world needs right now.
What is the Full-Circle Fellowship?
The fellowship is open to 18-24 year-old Native youth from Michigan and New Mexico. There are four fellowships awarded to assist youth in gaining exposure to careers in film, media and storytelling. The fellowship includes a trip to Sundance Film Festival, as well as Los Angeles to interact with professionals in the industry. There are also Google Hangouts hosted during the fellowship year to coach on storytelling, fiscal literacy and how to plan for sustainability for their projects and in their careers.
Overall, we are really trying to encourage them how, [and show them how] much they and their native voices are needed and appreciated.
Native Producers Fellowship
The Native Producers Fellowship will support two US-based Fellows and their attendance at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, where they will participate in the Festival’s Native Forum, and later in 2017 attend the Sundance Institute’s Creative Producing Summit in the
The Fellowship will also include a project support grant and travel to an international film market. Producers with different levels of experience working in feature film and documentary are encouraged to apply.
Alumni of this Fellowship whose projects have been completed and gone on to achieve success include Jonny Cournoyer (Sicangu Lakota; Across the Creek), Kaz Kipp (Nez Perce/Umatilla; Alaska Is A Drag), and Blake Pickens (Chickasaw Nation; The Land), among many others.
In order for projects to be considered, applicants must include the following:
? Completed application and demographic questionnaire (see attached)
? Resume and bio of the Producer
? Links and samples of previous works produced
? Feature Film or Documentary film synopsis
Applicants may only submit one project per round of consideration. Multiple projects will not be considered. All projects considered will be notified by mid-November, 2016.
Applications must be received and emailed to ?firstname.lastname@example.org? by Monday, October 24, 2016?, Late submissions will not be considered.
Full Circle Fellowship
The Full Circle Fellowship is a one-year fellowship open to aspiring Native filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 24 in Michigan and New Mexico.
The submission period is Oct. 31 through Nov. 14, 2016. Recipients will be announced in December 2016.
The purpose of the Fellowship is to introduce young Native artists to the range of careers available in filmmaking and to provide them with unparalleled networking and learning opportunities, including participation at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (January 2017); a Native Film Lab, which will take place in Santa Fe in late spring/summer 2017 (date/location TBD); mentorships with esteemed creative advisors; and internships.