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So, Sundance Didn't Select Your Film. Introduce Yourself And Your Work (2014 Edition)

by Natasha Greeves
December 13, 2013 3:17 PM
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This is something that the site's chief Tambay, has done every year for as long as the site has been around. 

And since he's been out sick all week, I thought I'd take the initiative and post it again for this year, since the festival has announced its 2014 lineup. As I recall, we've always received responses, so let's see what this year brings.

The title says it all... the 2014 Sundance Film Festival titles have been announced in the various categories, and so we now know who made the cut. But what about those many thousands who submitted their films and didn't get in? If you're one of them, here's a chance for you to let us know who you are.

For the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected, representing 37 countries and 54 first-time filmmakers, including 34 in competition. These films were selected from 12,218 submissions (72 more than for 2013), including 4,057 feature-length films and 8,161 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,014 were from the U.S. and 2,043 were international. 97 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres.

So really somewhere between 1% and 3% of total submissions were selected. Those are minuscule numbers. So that also means that there are roughly 97% of you remaining, with projects that didn't get into the festival. And YOU are the folks we want to hear from!

Of interest to those of us on this blog (see the name and tagline of the blog at the top of page if you're new here) are films by and/or about people of African descent. So, if you or your film fit the bill, and we've never written about either before, we'd love to hear from you! Maybe there's some way S&A can aid in raising awareness for your film - even if it's something as simple as just profiling it on this blog.

At the very least, it'll be great just to know you exist, so that we can become familiar with you and your work, and track from here-on.

So, if you agree, feel free to send me an email to, with all the vitals about you and your film, and we'll go from there.

Good luck to everyone!

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  • scripttease | December 14, 2013 9:41 PMReply

    I've decided not to enter any screenplay competitions for 2014. After receiving several "Passes" in the past.... I finally received a "Consider" after all my rewrites and polishes. Can I get an Amen!

    I know this ain't hashtag central, but I'm using it anyway!!! #January062014 #SometimesLove

  • Jones | December 13, 2013 1:27 AMReply

    Sadly, unless your script had been selected for development through the Sundance Lab, it's very unlikely anyone black "off the street" will have his or her film selected for the actual festival.

  • sunny | December 16, 2013 11:47 AM

    her connections didnt help her all the times she was rejected. but when it does, her former job is brought up? its her job connections not her merit? although the supposed connections resulted in years of rejection. hmmm. ok if you say so, its sad people think this is the way it works. connections dont make a huge difference. id day being an nyu grad gets you more of a look than any magical hollywood connections. you'd be surprised how much these mystery connections do not make a difference when it comes down to it. but theres nothing you can say to people who want to believe differently. if you really followed the selections rather than made blind assumptions, youd know of the many instances of completely unconnected directors emerging from the most farflung places and situations who have been selected to show films at the festival.

  • And | December 15, 2013 11:55 AM

    And what's stopping your average indie filmmaker from getting a day job in the entertainment industry? Ava wasn't born with connections and resources, she worked for them.

  • buzz | December 13, 2013 5:26 PM

    @reena: Ms. Duvernay is, was and still is a Publicist first, and had very different resources than your average indie filmmaker with a credit card.

  • REENA | December 13, 2013 4:55 PM

    Ava Duvernay was rejected from the labs four times and made it in and won and now sits on the board.

  • Gee | December 13, 2013 3:45 PM

    Unlikely anyone, period. Sundance is just the indie film version of the gatekeeper/corporate ladder/track mentality. It's no different than any other closed door-club like enterprise where the brand's aim is to select their own. (Think, Ivy League universities, Morgan Stanley/BCG/McKinsey finance and consulting tracks). Trace the branches from Sundance to film foundations film conferences, labs, grants and awards, etc, and the farm system is clear.
    But who can blame them -- film programmers don't have the time to give due attention/review thousands of films, any more than an elite university's admissions office can spend substantial time on all 50,000 applicants.

    The bottom line rests on the artists themselves. We elevate the Sundance brand and expect that it singularly defines what is good or worthy of artistic merit. Until we stop catering the work and individual vision to get "faculty" (sundance) approval, we'll define--and limit, even reduce--our work to a specific criteria, the Sundance way.

  • ao | December 12, 2013 8:57 PMReply

    For those who didn't make it into the Sundance line-up, The Pan African Film Festival would love to take a look at your work but you have to get a screener in as soon as possible. We are about to begin scheduling.

    Send your online screener to or mail your DVD screener to:
    The Pan African Film Festival
    6820 La Tijera Blvd. Ste 200
    Los Angeles, CA 90045

    Our mission is to assist films made by and/or about people of African descent find their audience.

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