Screenwriting Lab

What is Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab?

An intensive four-week workshop that meets two to three evenings a week in Los Angeles every September, the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab is designed to facilitate each writer’s unique voice through the development of a single feature project. Through personalized feedback from experienced industry professionals and other writers in the program, Screenwriting Fellows will gain the tools to revise and refine their scripts for production.

The Screenwriting Lab also helps to further the careers of its Fellows by introducing them to film industry veterans who can offer guidance on both the craft and business of screenwriting. Each Screenwriting Fellow will be paired with a Creative Advisor, with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in Lab sessions to further develop their project over the course of the program. A variety of guest speakers may screen and discuss their own films, or offer insights into their career trajectories, and a final retreat offers further opportunity for individualized feedback and discussion with additional established filmmakers and producers.

The application deadline for the 2015 Screenwriting Lab has passed.
We will begin accepting applications for the 2016 Screenwriting Lab next February.

Benefits

Who Can Apply?

The Screenwriting Lab is open to any writer applying with a completed draft of a feature-length project they wish to workshop during the program, with an eye toward production. Each applicant must be the author of the script he or she submits. Writing partners are welcome to apply as teams and need only submit a single application. International applicants are welcome to apply. At this time, documentary, short film, and television projects are not eligible to apply.

LMU SFTV Screenwriting Fellowship

Alumni of Loyola Marymount University who apply to the Screenwriting Lab are eligible for consideration for the LMU Screenwriting Fellowship. The fellowship includes a $10,000 cash grant as well as inclusion in the Screenwriting Lab.

How to Apply:

Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in the Screenwriting Lab
  • One complete, feature-length screenplay
  • A logline and synopsis
  • Bios of attached key cast and crew, if any
  • Project status and history
  • A non-refundable application fee of $45 for Film Independent Members; $65 for non-Members

Selection Criteria

Film Independent is looking for well-written, compelling, screenplays with an indie spirit and scale, and an original premise or vision. Though applicants must submit a completed draft, the Lab is structured to support writers who are still creatively engaged in the writing process. Those who welcome feedback and discussion will benefit most from the program, as they further develop their work.

Cast and crew attachments aren’t necessary to a project’s eligibility, though the program is geared toward those scripts already on the path to production.

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 membership rate of $95.

Film Independent Members applying to the Screenwriting Lab will receive written coverage of their submissions, whether or not they’re accepted to the program.

Those applicants who are invited to participate in the program should plan to be in Los Angeles for the four-week duration of the Lab. 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.

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