Challenge Submissions

Challenge is closed

Create the moment when the audience is first introduced to the main character in a written scene or video. The entrance is an opportunity to reveal what makes the character unique and should show: what they want or aspire to, what they fear the most, or what inside them is a bigger obstacle than anything they externally face. You can craft this scene as fiction or nonfiction, and in any genre (comedy, horror, psychological thriller, drama). Eligible works may be no more than 10 pages or 8 minutes in length.

We're including several scenes from a range of films to watch that are fun examples of unforgettable entrances. 

The Piano (1993)

Writer/Director: Jane Champion

Selected by Sundance Advisor Erin Cressida Wilson

Suddenly Last Summer (1959)

Director: Joseph Mankiewicz

Screenplay: Gore Vidal

Based on the play by Tennessee Williams

Selected by Sundance Advisor Doug Wright

Dirty, Pretty Things (2002)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Stephen Knight

Selected by Sundance Advisor Tyger Williams

The Hustler (1961)

Director and Co-Writer: Robert Rossen

Co-Writer: Sidney Carroll, 

Based on the novel by Walter S. Tevis

Selected by Sundance Advisor Howard Rodman

The Station Agent (2003)

Writer/Director: Tom McCarthy

Selected by Sundance Advisor Susan Shilliday


Your written work cannot exceed 10 pages and short films should be under 8 minutes.

Deadline to submit: August 30, 2019 at 12PM/Noon PT


Our monthly challenges are open to everyone in the Sundance Co//ab community. One entry per person, per challenge. All submissions will be viewable to the community. All submissions will be given equal consideration and the final winner will be determined by the consensus of the designated Sundance judges.  

Only those submissions that meet the criteria outlined in the submission guidelines can be selected as the winner.

The challenge closes on August 30 2019 at 12PM/Noon PT.


The winner will receive a Sundance Co//ab subscription for one year, a one-on-one mentoring session with a Sundance Advisor, a free master class of their choice, and will be featured prominently on the site.

Submission Guidelines

One entry per person, per monthly challenge. The limits for monthly challenge submissions are the following: scripts – 10 page limit; video – 8 minute limit; audio/podcast– 8 minute limit

Technical Details

Videos: Accepted video file formats: AVI , FLV, MOV, MP4 or MPEG-2. Note: If you choose to upload a .MOV file make sure that it is not using the Apple ProRes compression. We do not support reading Apple ProRes files or raw camera formats like ARRI and RED at this time.

Scripts: PDF format only, please

Other: If your file format fits outside of the video, pdf, audio file category, please contact us and we will see if we can accommodate it.

(Please do not use copyrighted material without permission as part of this monthly challenge.)

Aristotle Torres is a writer, director, creative from The Bronx, NYC. He has built a career as a visual artist directing music videos, experimenting with photography, and telling award-winning stories. He most recently was chosen as a Sundance Institute Feature Film Program as a Directing and Screenwriting Fellow. The journey into narrative filmmaking began in 2015 when he self-funded, wrote and directed his first short film, S2T, a loose adaption of Notorious BIG’s I GOT A STORY TO TELL. Sean “Puffy” Combs went on to purchase the film. Shortly after he went on to produce a feature film ARE WE NOT CATS which premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2016 and won the audience award at Sitges 2016. The film was purchased and distributed by Cleopatra Entertainment. In 2017, he created a proof of concept short film for STORY AVE which has received an official selection to a variety of regional film festivals across the US with an international premiere at Festival Sayulita in Mexico City 2019. He recently wrote and directed his third short film, The Chair, a Mandarin thriller shot on location in Taiwan, starring Tzu-Chiang Wang. more...
Valerie Soe
San Francisco, California, United States
Since 1986 Valerie Soe has produced nearly two dozen short films and documentaries, which examine gender, pop culture, identity, and anti-racism struggles. Her work has received dozens of awards, grants, and commissions, and exhibited at venues such as the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum in New York City, on cable and broadcast television, and at film festivals worldwide. Her essays and articles on Asian and Asian American art, film, culture, and activism have been published in books and journals including COUNTERVISIONS: ASIAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM; AFTERIMAGE; ASIAN FILM, and AMERASIA JOURNAL, among others. Soe is the author of the blog (recipient of a 2012 Art Writers’ Grant from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation). She is Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. Her latest film, LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN, premiered in 2019.
A.V. Rockwell is an award-winning commercial, film and television director from New York City. Hailed as a “rising indie filmmaker” by Entertainment Weekly, her distinctive voice has been celebrated for slyly addressing issues of race, family, identity, and systematic oppression. more...
Kobi Libii is an actor, writer, and director, most recently seen writing and performing on Comedy Central’s THE OPPOSITION WITH JORDAN KLEPPER. Past acting credits include TRANSPARENT, GIRLS, JESSICA JONES, MADAM SECRETARY, DOUBT, and ALPHA HOUSE. Libii studied theater at Yale University and comedy at Second City Chicago. THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAGICAL NEGROES is his feature film directorial debut. more...
Barbara Cigarroa is a Mexican-American filmmaker from South Texas. She holds an MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University and a BA in English from Yale. Cigarroa’s screenplay, EL OTRO LADO (THE OTHER SIDE), was a featured project at IFP's 2018 No Borders Co-Production Market, and was selected for the 2019 Sundance Institute Directors & Screenwriters Lab, as well as the 2019 Hamptons Screenwriters Lab. more...

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