Duration: 2 weeks
Location: New York City, USA


Cinephilia INSPIRE Residency (CIR) is a program launched by Cinephilia Productions in 2016 in New York City. 

CIR aims to provide an inspiring program and an evaluative time for career and emerging screenwriters and film directors from the Middle East and North Africa to pursue their individual practice and profit from the inspiration found in the diverse cultural landscape of New York City. 

CIR is designed for screenwriters and film directors working on developing their first, second or third fiction or documentary feature film project.

Residents are offered a number of consulting sessions with prominent industry professionals ranging from script doctors, producers, directors and distributors. 

Photo by Fiorella Occhipinti

Photo by Fiorella Occhipinti

Video by Pushpin Films

Residency offers

  • Full Accommodation (a private room in a shared apartment.)

  • Partial travel cost up to $400 (USD) (Economy class return tickets vary in price depending on the city of departure.)

  • One-on-one session(s) with professional script doctors

  • One-on-one session(s) with independent producers

  • One-on-one session with a distinguished film director

  • One-on-one session with film distributor

  • Meetings with industry professionals (depending on the project needs and status)

  • Screening of residents most recent work or a retrospective of past works + panel discussion

  • Facilitating engagement with local film community in New York City and amplifying networking opportunities

  • A detailed program of inspiring cultural and art events taking place in the city

  • 2 weeks unlimited metro card

  • A precious notebook dedicated to your imagination

  • Selected filmmakers will be welcomed to Cinephilia family as new fellows. Cinephilia provides continuous support during and after CIR.

Cinephilia Productions does not offer a stipend. 
Cinephilia does not cover travel insurance and visa costs.
We require residents to purchase travel insurance that covers their entire stay. 
Upon request, Cinephilia Productions can provide an official invitation letter to facilitate the visa process. 

If residents wish to stay in NYC more than the 2 weeks period of CIR, residents are fully responsible to cover their own costs of accommodation.

Eligibility requirements

  • Career and emerging screenwriters and film directors are welcome to apply. (Screenwriters working on literary adaptations must provide rights clearance documents. Film directors can be screenwriters-directors or working on directing a screenplay written by a screenwriter.)

  • Must be a citizen of one of the eligible countries (See list of eligible countries below). Applicants may be living anywhere around the world.

  • Must be in development of their first, second or third feature film project, fiction or documentary. (Experimental films are not eligible.)

  • Must have a proven track record of work such as previous short films, feature film or produced screenplays

  • Must be over 25 years old

  • Must have valid passport

  • Must have good command of English language

  • Collaborative groups must present a single application and if selected, residency will only be provided to one individual in the group.

  • Producers are not eligible to apply.

Eligible countries

Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates & Yemen. 
** Documentary projects from Somalia, Ethiopia, Pakistan & Afghanistan are eligible to apply (narrative projects from these countries are not eligible). 


Every screenwriter and film director has a very different approach when it comes to revising their work and as we understand the process carefully, we do not expect from residents to finish writing a new draft or to make immediate progress. We know that being in a new place and benefiting from the experience of being exposed to a new culture will enrich your creative process. We aspire to inspire you.

The program and schedule is designed with the utmost flexibility that allows residents and consultants to work in a friendly manner and tackle the sessions from a productive approach. Our consultants are all working industry professionals and their busy schedules may prevent them from conducting in person sessions. In this case, some sessions might be conducted over Skype. 


Step 1:
Fill application form and pay application fee. 
Applicants will receive a confirmation email shortly after.

Step 2:
Send by email the following required documents. Documents must be in English. 
Make sure your documents are combined in one PDF file. 
Your combined document should be titled 'Applicant name_project title'.
Email subject title: 'Application #_Applicant name' 

  • A Statement of need: Why do you want to participate in CIR (maximum 500 words)

  • Treatment of maximum 8 pages

  • First 10 pages of the screenplay (documentary projects in development phase are not required to submit a screenplay. Only documentaries in production are required to submit the first 10 pages of the screenplay.)

  • For screenwriters only (if you are not the director of the project): 1 screenplay work sample (No more than 10 pages. Choose the 10 pages that best represent your work. They don't have to be the first 10 pages). This screenplay is a different screenplay than the one your are submitting to develop at CIR. This could be a produced or not yet produced screenplay. Alternatively, include links to produced screenplays.

  • List of 2 contact references - academic or professional - who know you and can speak to your commitment of developing new work. Please include full name, email and phone number.

  • Resume

Send your document to

Step 3:
All applicants will be notified by email.
Finalists must send the full screenplay draft within 5 days of finalist notification.
Finalists will be invited for a Skype interview with Cinephilia team.

Selection Process

Selection will be selected based on the originality of the proposed project and the strength of previous works. 


Applicants receive an automated notification when their application is submitted electronically.
After sending all supporting documents via email, applicants have completed their application process.
Please do not email to ask whether your documents were received or not. If a document is missing, rest assured we will get in touch. 
Notifications to all applicants will be sent via email after the selection panel has made its final decision.

Application feedback

Cinephilia Productions does not provide a feedback to applicants. However, we understand how important it is for your creative process to receive objective criticism on your work that contributes to your progress. Applicants have the option to receive a 2-page feedback on their project from the review committee for an additional fee of ($150). Please email Cinephilia with your request. (Subject: 'CIR Application feedback'). This request will only be taken into consideration within 2 weeks after selection announcement. 

Application Fee

Regular deadline: $50 (USD)
Extended deadline: $65 (USD)

Application fee is non-refundable. 
Payment is due at the time you submit your application electronically. 
Applicants who wish to submit more than one project are required to fill a new application form and pay a separate fee for each application. 
Application fee covers administrative expenses and costs for the review panel.