2018 Ignite Screening (Courtesy of Sundance Institute; Photo by Brandon Cruz)

Aspiring filmmakers ages 18-25 can now submit their shorts to the Sundance Institute’s Ignite Fellowship for a chance at a year-long program that provides mentorship and training opportunities. Ten winners will be paired with a Sundance Institute alumni mentor and become eligible for further internships and program opportunities. Fellows will also receive an artist grant, an all-expense paid invitation to attend the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, as well as a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud membership. The program begins with a weeklong lab in Los Angeles preparing the cohort for the work ahead. 

Qualifying filmmakers should submit their short, between one and 15 minutes, through Sundance Co//ab, a site that provides free or low-cost learning opportunities for up-and-coming directors and screenwriters. The submissions should reflect that the artist is “creating stories that bring their passion, voice, and perspective to life.” The shorts can be any genre — documentary or narrative — so long as it was created after August 1, 2018 and before the submission’s end date of March 17. 

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The program, now in its sixth year, brings in filmmakers from the festival to work with fellows during Sundance. Former Ignite Fellows like Sindha Agha, Charlotte Regan, Emily Ann Hoffmann, and Gerardo Coello have gone on to premiere their shorts and features at Sundance or participate in other Sundance Institute training initiatives. If you’re curious to watch what some of the next generation of filmmakers are working on, click on the Submissions tab on the Co//ab page to watch shorts already submitted for consideration.

Monica Castillo is a writer and critic based in New York City. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, RogerEbert.com, Remezcla, the Guardian, Variety, NPR, and Boston...