Exploring Independent Cinema: From Shorts to Features

Live online course

Discover the world of independent cinema through the lens of the Sundance Film Festival in this engaging four-week online cinema studies course which includes Q&As with the filmmakers. Delve into the journeys of Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas), and Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), and Erica Tremblay (Fancy Dance) all who first made waves with their short films at the Sundance Film Festival before transitioning to feature-length works that captivated audiences and critics alike.


Through lectures and discussions, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of the creative process behind transitioning from short films to feature-length works, the challenges and opportunities faced by emerging filmmakers, and the impact of these artists on culture and cinema.


During the course, you will have the opportunity to participate in Q&As with Damien Chazelle, Peter Sollett, Ana Lily Amirpour, and Erica Tremblay.


Whether you're a seasoned cinephile or a budding filmmaker eager to explore the craft, this course offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of independent film, uncover hidden gems, and gain insights into the artistry and vision of the filmmakers who shape our cinematic landscape.


What you bring to the course:

  • a love for independent cinema and film analysis
  • an interest in filmmaking - creators at any level of experience are welcome

What you’ll get from the course:

  • An understanding of how to identify theme and character arcs within a story
  • How to identify unique directing styles in order to find your own as an artist
  • A deeper appreciation of the art, craft, and business of independent filmmaking
  • A deep study of four well-respected independent short and feature films

This course will:

  • connect you with other creators via a discussion board where you can discuss core concepts and share your work.
  • highlight successful films, with opportunities to pose questions to the instructor in an open forum. Interaction with the instructor will take place only in the classroom.
  • require watching the assigned films before the live class sessions (may require rental or purchase).


Sundance Collab provides accommodations and support services to participants with disabilities. Accommodations and services are designed to meet the needs of each participant. Please email us at accessibility@sundance.org to arrange for services.