EXCLUSIVE: The next generation of comedic voices will receive some financial aid and career guidance, as Comedy Central and the Sundance Institute have partnered for two new fellowships that include a cash grant and custom mentorship.
The partners plan to establish a grant to fund one Comedy Fellowship to the Sundance Institute Episodic Lab and one Comedy Fellowship to the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab. The Comedy Fellows will be selected by Sundance Institute’s curatorial team in collaboration with Comedy Central from among the Lab Fellows developing comedy projects.
The fellowships will include a $10,000 cash grant and customized mentoring from Comedy Central executives alongside the Institute’s flagship Lab program and year round ecosystem of support. Comedy Central has committed to fund the Fellowship program for two years.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Sundance Institute to establish its first Comedy Fellowship. Discovering the next generation of comedic voices and working with them to develop their point of view and, ultimately, introduce them to the world, is something that’s woven into the fabric of Comedy Central,” said a statement from Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, co-heads of Original Content for Comedy Central. “This new Fellowship comes at the perfect time, as we emphasize reflecting the diversity of our audience across platforms with diverse comedy projects that are super funny, personally relatable, culturally relevant, and provocative. Sundance Institute has done a remarkable job with the Labs program, and we’re thrilled to join with them in providing an opportunity for our Fellows to learn from the best.”
“At our Labs, we’ve always celebrated and supported a diverse range of independent voices developing material in multiple genres and formats,” said Michelle Satter, Founding Director of Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Comedy Central on targeted support for new comedy projects through our Episodic and Screenwriters Labs. It’s our hope that this intervention and commitment from Comedy Central in partnership with Sundance Institute, will build the field, advancing the art and craft of comedy across all screens.”
The Episodic Lab will take place in October 2019, and the Screenwriters Lab in January 2020. Both residential Labs combine the Institute’s blend of emerging independent creators collaborating with industry professionals to develop signature projects for global audiences.
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theater, and media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the US and internationally.