Directing Lab

An intensive eight-week program for directors who are prepping their independent feature films

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. The process creates an opportunity to see the work 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 explaining your interest in the Directing Lab
  • A complete feature-length screenplay
  • A logline and synopsis
  • Bios of attached key cast and crew
  • Project status and history
  • A work sample, if applicable (via DVD* or online link)

* Materials submitted on DVD will not be returned.

Application Fee

Selection Criteria

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 experience directing short films and features. Those without filmmaking experience are encouraged to communicate in the application what artistic vision and experience will inform their directing work, particularly if they will be evaluated without a work sample.

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.

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: [email protected].