Under the guidance of established industry professionals who serve as Creative Advisors, Directing Lab Fellows receive script feedback, discuss their visions, and select short scenes from their screenplays to workshop. Each director then casts actors and rehearses their scenes in the Lab before undertaking a mini-production: Film Independent provides Fellows with digital camera, lighting and sound packages and small stipends to shoot their scenes, and offers access to experienced casting directors, cinematographers, and editors with whom to collaborate and consult. This eight-week program, taking place April–June, provides an important opportunity to see a project through from pre- to post-production, and culminates in a group screening for fellow Lab participants and advisors.
For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.
Who Can Apply?
The Directing Lab is open to any director who is attached to an unproduced, feature-length narrative film with an eye toward production. Writer-directors are welcome to apply, as are directing teams, who may submit a single application. International applicants are welcome to apply. At this time, documentary, short film and television projects are not eligible to apply.
How to Apply
Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration:
- A cover letter addressing your interest in the program and what you hope to gain by participating in the Directing Lab
- An artistic statement describing your vision for your film
- A complete feature-length screenplay
- A logline and synopsis
- Bios of attached key cast and crew
- Project status and history
- A link to previously directed work
Film Independent is looking for talented filmmakers attached to feature-length narrative film projects that are compelling, original and demonstrate a unique vision. We are open to first-time directors, as well as those with previous directing experience. A work sample is required in order to be considered for the program. For filmmakers with no previous experience, the sample does not need to be from a completed work with high production value. The purpose of the sample is to give the selection committee a sense of your potential as a visual storyteller and ability to work with actors.
- FREE for Filmmaker Pro Members (limited to one waived fee per Membership year)
- $45 for Film Independent Members
- $65 for non-Members
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 General Membership rate of $95.
Applicants will be notified three to four weeks prior to the start of the program.
Those applicants who are invited to participate in the program should plan to be in Los Angeles for the eight-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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Film Independent Fellows and their projects, visit our Talent Guide.