Science Sandbox Nonfiction Project

A documentary film initiative, administered by the Sundance Institute, designed to foster and support innovative science storytelling

Quick Link: How to Apply

In partnership with the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, the Science Sandbox Nonfiction Project supports independent science documentary filmmakers with tailored financial and creative assistance. The partnership identifies and supports nonfiction projects that communicate science to general audiences through innovative storytelling. Emphasis is placed on film and media projects that incorporate creative narrative techniques and highlight diversity in science, especially those that feature characters, topics or disciplines that broaden or redefine what it means to be a scientist or to do science.

Available Grants

Science Sandbox Nonfiction Fellows are chosen from the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program’s rolling call for project submissions. Grants are awarded across four stages:

  1. Development ($15,000–$25,000)
  2. Production ($35,000–$50,000)
  3. Postproduction ($30,000–$50,000)
  4. Impact/engagement ($20,000–$25,000).

In addition, non-project-specific grants of $20,000–$25,000 can be awarded to individual artists.


Final selections are made by a review committee made up of Sundance Institute leadership, Science Sandbox staff, and Science Sandbox advisers Werner Herzog and Miranda July.

Fellowship Benefits

All Science Sandbox Nonfiction Fellows receive:

  • Year‐round support from Sundance Institute
  • Access to key collaborators and mentors from the institute’s community of alumni and other accomplished professionals
  • Consideration for participation in Sundance artist residency labs, fellowships and networking opportunities
  • Participation in two Science Sandbox/Sundance Institute–curated networking and engagement events
  • Feedback on works in progress and introductions to industry funders

How to Apply

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