Filmmaker Labs & Programs
Our intensive, hands-on Filmmaker Labs are the incubators for the next generation of independent film writers, directors, and producers. Each year, Film Independent helps filmmakers hone their skills, develop current projects, and meet film professionals who can help advance their careers.
The Filmmaker Labs are open to all filmmakers, regardless of educational background or previous accomplishment in film. Film Independent membership is not required when applying to Film Independent Artist Development Labs. However, all participants accepted into the Labs are required to be Film Independent members.
The Filmmaker Labs Include:
Designed to help screenwriters improve their craft and take their current scripts to the next level, the Screenwriting Lab is an intensive five-week program that runs in Los Angeles in late summer. Learn more.
Designed to help filmmakers develop skills as creative independent producers, the Producing Lab is an intensive seven-week program that runs in Los Angeles each fall. Lab Fellows develop a strategy for bringing their projects to fruition, including a budget, schedule, and business plan. Qualified Fellows are eligible for the $25,000 Sloan Producers Grant. Learn more.
Designed to help directors who are prepping their feature films, the Directing Lab is an intensive eight-week program that runs in Los Angeles each winter in which Lab Fellows workshop scenes from their features. Film Independent provides Lab Fellows with camera and sound packages to shoot their workshopped scenes. Learn more.
Designed to help filmmakers who are currently in production or post-production on their feature-length documentary films, the Documentary Lab is an intensive seven-week program that runs in Los Angeles during spring. The Lab’s focus is twofold: (1) provide creative feedback and story notes to the selected filmmakers; and (2) help filmmakers strategize the completion, distribution, and marketing of their film. Learn more.
Fast Track is a film financing market that takes place during the Los Angeles Film Festival designed to help narrative and documentary filmmakers move their current projects forward. During three days of intensive meetings, Fast Track connects filmmakers with financiers, production companies, and other industry professionals. This highly selective program is open to established as well as up-and-coming filmmakers with exceptional projects still seeking funding. Learn more.
Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature diversity program, dedicated to increasing diversity in the film industry by cultivating the careers of under-represented filmmakers. The program, which runs from October through June, selects filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and filmmaking tracks. During the nine months, the Fellows are paired one-on-one with a mentor from the film industry, assigned to a team to make a short film incorporating a given theme, and attend monthly filmmaking workshops and other educational seminars. Learn more.
Each year, Film Independent awards a number of grants and fellowships to help filmmakers with their current projects, as well as to recognize them for past accomplishments. Since 1995, we have given out over $860,000 in cash grants to our Fellows. Learn more.