Artist Development

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

Filmmaker Labs

  • Directing Lab is a five-week program for directors prepping independent feature films. The Lab runs April through May.
  • Screenwriting Lab is a week-long workshop designed to provide individualized story and professional development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay. This full-time Lab takes place in February.
  • Producing Lab is a week-long intensive designed to help creative independent producers develop their skills. This full-time Lab takes place in October.
  • 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 March.
  • Episodic Lab is a month-long workshop where Fellows gain the tools needed to revise and refine their pilots and navigate a changing industry landscape. The Lab meets 2–3 evenings per week in August.

Filmmaker Labs, like all Film Independent Artist Development programs, are offered at no cost to participants (beyond an application fee and requisite purchase of Film Independent Membership) and are open to all filmmakers, regardless of educational background or previous accomplishment. Film Independent Fellows receive year-round support, including access to the Film Independent Forum, Directors Close-Up and more.


In addition to Labs, Film Independent’s Artist Development programs encompass a wide range of initiatives that help filmmakers push their projects forward, including:

  • Fast Track is a four-day film finance market where select fiction and nonfiction filmmakers pitch to top executives, financiers, agents and distributors.
  • 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 is an innovative mentoring initiative that connects visual storytellers from around the world with leading U.S. entertainment professionals
  • Grants & Awards are available to help filmmakers advance their current projects and recognize professional accomplishments in independent film
  • Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature diversity program that, for over 25 years, has helped launch the careers of artists from communities underrepresented in film and entertainment.

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