In Brief

Aspiring Filmmakers Can Now Access Sundance Institute’s Expansive Resources Online

Sundance Co//ab will offer educational videos, webinars, and forums.

Kamal Sinclair at the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier VR Storytelling Day Lab in 2016. (©2016 Sundance Institute | Photo by Hunter Stone)

As of today, you don’t have to wait for the Sundance Film Festival for a chance to listen to award-winning filmmakers talk about their craft or drop in on a master class by a celebrated director or writer. The Sundance Institute announced that it will be offering some of its wealth of filmmaking training on a new digital community platform called Sundance Co//ab. The site will offer free educational videos, webinars, and curated resources.

Some of the site’s first featured videos include a webinar from The Duplass Brothers, acting tips from Octavia Spencer, and what Honey Boy director Alma Har’el had to say at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. On the home page, the first classes for directing and TV writing are currently seeking applicants. Director Jim Cummings will lead this month’s master class in adapting your short film to a feature-length project, a feat he accomplished for his latest movie, Thunder Road. You can also learn a thing or two from The Irishman cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto or One Child Nation documentarian Nanfu Wang.

Sundance Institute’s announcement emphasized the organization’s commitment to global diversity and underrepresented communities. The videos are available in English, Spanish, and Arabic with options in French and Portuguese to come in the next year. So far, Sundance Co//ab has amassed 20,000 users from 189 countries from its beta testing stage, and the site is offering need-based scholarships to 20% of its users in order to make the subscription-level options more accessible. While there is a free plan that offers access to the platform’s curated video selection and the public forums, paid plan rates start from $10 a month or $550 a year for an all-access membership.

Sundance Co//ab joins Sundance Institute’s labs, granting, and mentorship programs as one of the many resources available to up-and-coming filmmakers. In between the hours of instructional videos and classes, the platform hopes to foster a supportive community of like-minded artists who will share their work and give feedback to others. Community managers are in place to keep feedback sessions civil in the public forums, and for paid members, there’s access to professional feedback on your work-in-progress. The platform will also host monthly challenges with prizes, like free memberships and Final Draft software.

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