From the project's about page:
“Sintel” is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. With initial funding provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community, it has again proven to be a viable development model for both open 3D technology as for independent animation film.
This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world.
It's a beautiful, 15 minute long fantasy movie, complete with dragons. And, its open source!
The movie itself, and all of the work of the Durian team in the past 18 months will be released under the Creative Commons Attribution license, free for everyone to distribute, learn from or re-use. The 4-disc DVD set will provide all data to be able to recreate and rerender the film in its entirety.