Screenwriting Lab

Designed to facilitate a writer’s unique voice through the development of a single feature screenplay

The Screenwriting Lab is a five-week workshop beginning in May, designed to provide individualized story and career development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay.

Each Screenwriting Fellow will be paired with a Creative Advisor, with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in group sessions to further develop their project over the course of the program. 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. A variety of guest speakers may screen and discuss their own films and offer career insights, and a final pitch event offers further opportunity for individualized feedback and discussion with industry executives.

For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.


  • Inclusion in the Film Independent Talent Guide
  • Year-round support from Film Independent, for all phases of production
  • Eligibility for the Indie Writers Caucus of the WGAw

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. More details available in the FAQ section below.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration:

  • A cover letter detailing what drew you to apply to the Screenwriting Lab and why this is the right time for you to participate in the program (500 words max)
  • One complete, feature-length screenplay
  • An artist statement explaining the genesis of the story, your creative vision and intentions for the film (750 words max)
  • A look book (optional)
  • A logline (35 words) and synopsis for the film
  • Bios of attached key cast and crew, if any – Attachments are not required for consideration
  • Project status and history, including any relevant development history, awards received or labs and/or markets attended with the project
  • A narrative directing sample, if you plan on directing the film with which you are applying


  • The program will meet two to four times a week in the evenings at Film Independent during the month of May.
  • The application deadline is October 22, with an extended deadline of November 5 for Film Independent Members.
  • Applicants will be notified approximately four week prior to the start of the program.
  • Writing partners/teams are welcome to apply and need only submit one application.
  • International applicants are eligible; the script must be translated into English for consideration.
  • Adaptations are eligible; the applicant must retain rights to the underlying material.
  • At this time, documentary, short film and television projects are not eligible to apply.
  • We are happy to reconsider projects that have previously been submitted, provided the writer(s) can demonstrate progress on the project and/or professional development.
  • Filmmakers may apply to multiple Film Independent Artist Development programs; there is no requirement to have participated in any one program before another.
  • We are open to filmmakers at any level of experience.
  • If accepted. attendance at all scheduled sessions and events is mandatory.
  • The Screenwriting Lab is for writers only; other collaborators are not invited to participate.

Application Fee

Please note: Each applicant must be the author of the script he/she submits.

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 into the program.

Applicants who are invited to participate in the program should plan to be in Los Angeles for the 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: