Artist Development

Promoting unique, independent voices by helping filmmakers create and advance new work.

Filmmaker Labs

Filmmaker Labs are open to all filmmakers, regardless of background, level of education/training or previous accomplishment. Fellows receive year-round support, including access to the Film Independent Forum, Directors Close-Up and more.

Directing Lab

Directing Lab is a two-week program for directors prepping independent feature films. NOTE: the Directing Lab is on hiatus until further notice.

Screenwriting Lab

Screenwriting Lab is a two-week workshop designed to provide individualized story and professional development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay. This full-time Lab takes place in the first quarter of the year.

Producing Lab

Producing Lab is a two-week intensive designed to help creative independent producers develop their skills. This full-time Lab takes place in October.

Documentary Lab

Documentary Lab is an in-depth, two-week program designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary films. This full-time Lab takes place in May.

Episodic Lab

Episodic Lab is a two-week workshop where Fellows gain the tools needed to revise and refine their pilots and navigate a changing industry landscape. This Lab takes place in August.

Episodic Directing Intensive

The Episodic Directing Intensive is a three-day program designed to provide a foundation for a sustainable career in episodic directing. Fellows selected are alumni of Film Independent Labs/Programs. This full-time Lab takes place in February.

Film Independent + CNN Original Series Docuseries Intensive

The Film Independent + CNN Docuseries Intensive is a three-day remote workshop that will give filmmakers the tools and access needed to develop and pitch their nonfiction series to potential collaborators. This Lab takes place in late September.


In addition to Labs listed above, our Artist Development programs encompass a wide range of initiatives that help filmmakers push their projects forward, including:

Amplifier Fellowship

The Amplifier Fellowship supports Black artists on the verge of a career breakthrough, providing a $30,000 unrestricted grant and year-round granting, mentorship and professional coaching to propel a project forward, thanks to founding sponsor Netflix.

Project Involve

Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program that, for nearly 30 years, has helped filmmakers from communities underrepresented in entertainment hone skills, form partnerships and launch careers as successful working artists.

Project Involve LAIKA Animation Track

The LAIKA Animation Track in Project Involve provides the opportunity for five talented filmmakers to dedicate two years to building their careers in animation and create a phenomenal stop-motion animated short film.

Fast Track

Fast Track is a four-day film finance market where select fiction and nonfiction filmmakers pitch to top executives, financiers, agents and distributors.

Film Independent Imaginar Producers Residency

The inaugural Imaginar Producers Residency, made possible by The Walt Disney Company and Searchlight Pictures, and in collaboration with NALIP, supports three Latinx producers over a nine-month period, with each Fellow receiving a $50,000 grant and professional mentorship to further their projects and careers.

Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal Sponsorship opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists, allowing them to seek grants and solicit donations for their project.

Global Media Makers

Global Media Makers is an innovative mentoring initiative that connects visual storytellers from around the world with leading U.S. entertainment professionals.

Grants & Awards

Grants & Awards are available to help filmmakers advance their current projects and acknowledge professional accomplishments in independent film.

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