Artist Development

Celebrating 30 years of promoting unique, independent voices by helping filmmakers create and advance new work.


Ever since the debut of Project Involve back in 1993, Film Independent Artist Development has been on the forefront of educating, championing and furthering the careers of filmmakers.

You can learn all about #AD30 and our three decade journey working with and for independent artists, get more details about our current Labs and Programs below, and you can donate today to support our next 30 years of Artist Development.

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.

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 Labs

Held in the spring, the week-long Documentary Story Lab for directors focuses on nonfiction features in post-production, with an emphasis on structure and editing.

Each fall, the week-long Documentary Producing Lab works with producers who have nonfiction features in post-production, with an emphasis on financing, finishing and releasing their films.

Episodic Lab

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

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 May.

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.


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, since 1993, 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.

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.

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.

Imaginar TV Incubator for Fearless Latinx Creators

The inaugural Imaginar TV Incubator for Fearless Latinx Creators, made possible by FX Networks, in collaboration with NALIP, will sponsor six Latinx Creators, with each Fellow receiving a $3,000 grant and valuable support, insight on the FX Networks drama programming brand and direct access to industry leaders.

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