Sundance Insider Sessions provide behind-the-scenes information and guidance on our Labs, grants and festivals. Sundance Institute staff will be on-hand to answer frequently asked questions and help guide you through discovering and applying to the many programs and funds that the Institute offers.

For this Insider Session, join Indigenous Program Director, Adam Piron, and program alumni, Tai Leclaire and Bryson Chun to learn more about applying to the Sundance Native Lab. 

The Indigenous Program has built and sustained an Indigenous film circle, which now spans over three generations. The cycle of work begins by scouting for and identifying indigenous artists, bringing them through the mechanisms of support at Sundance Institute to get their work made and shown, then bringing the filmmakers and their work back to native lands. The Native Lab has been a vital part of supporting indigenous filmmakers since 2004. The lab focuses on the specific development of storytellers from Native and Indigenous backgrounds, encompassing feature film and episodic work. During the Lab, Fellows will hone their storytelling and technical skills in a hands-on and supportive environment, including one-on-one feedback sessions with advisors and roundtable discussions. With Fellows working across both feature and episodic formats, they will also explore and discuss indigenizing their creative practices in regard to writing their scripts.

The Native Lab provides direct support to emerging filmmakers and episodic creators from the U.S.-based Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Native, and Canada-based Indigenous Canadian (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) communities. Fellowship for Indigenous Canadian film artists made possible with support from the Indigenous Screen Office. Please note that you are required to submit a narrative feature or episodic pilot script. 

Live event registration for Sundance Collab Insider Sessions is open and free of charge. Sessions will be recorded and available in our video library until December 19, 2022, which is when the Sundance Institute’s Native Lab applications close. After that, on-demand access to the recording can be purchased for $5.




About the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program

The Sundance Institute Indigenous Program champions and provides deep support of Indigenous-created stories on a global scale. From labs and fellowships to screenings and gatherings around the world, the program’s offerings are designed in response to the specific needs of Native and Indigenous storytellers. Through our work, we emulate our core values of decolonizing the screen and uplifting the voices of Indigenous artists, recognizing that telling their stories comes with great responsibility and obligation towards Indigenous peoples, communities and their sovereignty.

Find out more about the Sundance Insitute Indigenous Program here.

Adam Piron is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and a Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) descendant. He currently acts as the Director of Sundance Institute's Indigenous Program where he helps oversee the organization's investment in Indigenous filmmakers globally. He also serves as a short film programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. He is also a co-founder of COUSIN: a film collective dedicated to supporting Indigenous artists experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of the moving image. He was previously the Film Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He received his BA in Film Production from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. more...
Bryson Chun is a Native Hawaiian Filmmaker who has produced award-winning short and feature films in Hawai’i that have gone on to screen for PBS, The Smithsonian Museum, The Criterion Collection, and at festivals all over the world. He was a writing fellow for Sundance, imagineNATIVE, LA Skins, and ‘Ohina Labs where he developed his Greenlight award-winning short Other People under the mentorship of Thor Ragnarok writer Eric Pearson. His television pilot Poi Dogs was recently selected to be part of The Blacklist’s Inaugural Indigenous List, which spotlights some of the best Indigenous film and television writers living and working within the U.S. He was part of the 2021 CAPE New Writers Fellowship and is currently pursuing his MFA in Screenwriting from the Institute of American Indian Arts. more...
Taietsarón:sere 'Tai' Leclaire is a writer and actor on RUTHERFORD FALLS - the Peacock comedy by Sierra-Teller Ornelas, Mike Schur, and Ed Helms.His script "How To Deal with Systemic Racism in the Afterlife" awarded him THE 2022 SUNDANCE INSTITUTE NATIVE LAB and also THE INDIGENOUS LIST on THE BLACK LIST in partnership with Illuminatives, and The Sundance Institute. He’s currently in development and making his directorial debut with his first short film HEADDRESS - coming in 2023. He's a former house performer at UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE THEATRE New York. He’s also performed at festivals around the country including Austin Sketch fest and Philly Sketch Fest. He's currently repped by 3 ARTS ENTERTAINMENT and UTA (UNITED TALENT AGENCY). more...

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