Fast Track

Connecting producer-director teams with industry leaders to put projects on the “fast track”

Every year Film Independent selects up to ten fiction and five non-fiction feature projects to participate in an intensive film finance market that takes place over four days in November. Designed to connect producer-director teams with industry leaders and put projects on the “fast track,” the market consists of meetings with top executives, financiers, agents, managers, distributors, granting organizations and production companies. Participants gain valuable exposure and build vital relationships as they propel their films toward completion.

Notable Fast Track projects include the Academy Award and Spirit Award-nominated documentary Minding the Gap; Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award winner Nancy, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; and the Arts Cinema Award-winning 37 Seconds, which had its world premiere in competition at the 69th Berlinale and its North American premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Other Fast Track successes include Maxima, United Skates, The Departure, Give Me Liberty, Blow the Man Down and Jinn.

Previous industry participants include 30WEST, Fox Searchlight, MACRO, Mandalay Pictures, Netflix, Participant Media, Plan B, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and many others.

For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.

Alfred P. Sloan Fast Track Grant

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards a $20,000 production grant to one Fast Track participant.

To apply for the Sloan Fast Track Grant, a filmmaker must apply to Fast Track and provide a statement on how the project fulfills the mission of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The applicant must be attached as producer and possess the rights to the script with which they are applying. The screenplay should have a scientific, mathematical, and/or technological theme and storyline, or have a leading character that is a scientist, engineer, or mathematician.

At this time, documentaries and science fiction projects are not eligible for the Alfred P. Sloan Fast Track Grant.

About The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology and economic performance. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.

Sloan’s Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past two decades, Sloan has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country–including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA and USC–and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production, along with an annual best-of-the-best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, SFFILM, the Black List, the Athena Film Festival, and Film Independent’s Producing Lab and Fast Track program and has helped develop over 25 feature films such as Jessica Oreck’s One Man Dies a Million Times, Michael Tyburski’s The Sound of Silence, Shawn Snyder’s To Dust, Ben Lewin’s The Catcher Was a Spy, Melissa Finell’s Sensitivity Training, Logan Kibens and Sharon Greene’s Operator, Mathew Brown‘s The Man Who Knew Infinity, Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Marni Zelnick’s Druid Peak, Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints, and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess. The Foundation’s book program includes support for Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, adapted into an Oscar-nominated box office hit in 2017.

For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, please visit www.sloan.org.

Who Can Apply?

Fast Track is open to any directing and producing team attached to a full-length fiction or nonfiction film. Fiction films must be in the development or pre-production stage at the time of application, while documentaries may be in principal photography or post-production. The program is open to both experienced and first-time filmmakers, as long as they are actively seeking financing for their project. Writers seeking script sales or representation, or working without a directing/producing team, will not be considered. At this time, short film and episodic projects are not eligible to apply.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in Fast Track
  • One complete, feature-length screenplay or detailed documentary proposal
  • A logline and synopsis
  • Bios of the director, producer and other attached key cast and crew
  • Project status and history
  • A detailed finance plan (a budget is recommended but not required)
  • A narrative director’s prior work sample, or a rough-cut/clip reel for documentary works-in-progress

Application Fee

Selection Criteria

Film Independent is looking for talented filmmakers and determined producers with feature-length fiction and/or nonfiction projects that are compelling, original, and demonstrate a unique vision. Projects need not have full or partial financing in place at the time of application; however, it is vital that each application demonstrate serious attention to the film’s budget from the creative team as a whole, and that applicants be able to articulate the reasoning behind their budget level.

The Fine Print

Beyond the application fee, there is no cost or tuition to participate in any of Film Independent’s Artist Development programs.

Film Independent Membership is not required when applying to Artist Development Labs. However, all participants accepted into the Labs are required to join Film Independent at the standard annual General Membership rate of $95.

Applicants will be notified three to four weeks prior to the start of the program.

Those applicants who are invited to participate in the program should plan to be in Los Angeles for the duration of the program. Film Independent is unable to subsidize any travel, lodging and/or visa expenses for any participants attending from outside of Los Angeles. Participants are expected to attend all sessions in person.

For more information, please email: artistdevelopment@filmindependent.org.

To learn more about Film Independent Fellows and their projects, visit our Talent Guide.