Are you looking to land a feature at the Sundance Film Festival? Start with a short.

5 min readJan 26, 2022

Short Films are the first step for many Sundance Film Festival 2022 Feature Directors.

Writer/director Dania Bdeir crafts a beautiful story of artistic freedom above the Beirut skyline in ‘Warsha,’ a short film debuting at Sundance Film Festival 2020.

Sundance Diary Day Three Saturday, January 22, 2022

Are you working towards becoming an indie sensation at the Sundance Film Festival? Networking with other creative professionals and watching festival movies can be inspirational. Debuting a feature film in the Sundance program is a moonshot goal for many creators. Filmmakers want to take part in post-screening Q&A panels. They dream of anticipating the closing awards ceremony and working on landing a distribution deal. That’s living the Sundance dream.

Michelle Satter, founding director, Artist Programs at the Sundance Institute, points to short films as solid first steps for many Sundance feature directors.

“Making your first feature can happen quickly, but it depends on how you define quickly, says Satter, speaking during the live-stream panel. “More often, it’s a journey.”

Satter talks with Francisca Alegria, director of The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future, and Adamma Ebo, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul, at the Sundance 2022 Daily Artists Meetup titled The Leap from Short to Feature.

Alegria and Adamma Ebo share their journeys crafting Sundance Festival 2022 features from their short films. They hope to inspire other filmmakers to see short films as proof of concept towards a feature story.

“I remember figuring out what aspects of my 2018 short I would incorporate into the feature,” adds Adamma Ebo, director of the Baptish Church-based comedy Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul. “Then I realized that the short would become the climax of the feature film, and I needed to write the story before the short.”

Filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu balances West African folklore and an immigrant’s tale in the supernatural melodrama ‘Nanny.’




Inventive marketing professional with over 15 years of industry experience. Created over 300 business stories for major media brands.