A screenplay is the product of imagination and craft. Character and action intertwine to create a meaningful whole. The purpose of this lab is to assist the writer in the development of a feature length screenplay using unique methods meant to integrate character and plot.

Writing is rewriting. The difference between those who write successfully and those who don’t is often the result of a writer’s ability to find flaws in a story, devise solutions and then show the discipline necessary to make the right changes.

Writers will be guided through various techniques to diagnose a draft’s weaknesses and understand how to fix them with emphasis made on revealing the common contradictions in character and plot which can undermine a script.

Story development will be approached from the standpoint of external action as it unfolds through plot, and internal action as it manifests in character, with techniques introduced to help the writer structure the story in a way that integrates them both.

How it works:
Cinephilia selects up to 8 filmmakers who are in the process of developing their first or second feature film screenplay.
The lab is divided into two sections.
Group sessions: Screenplays are discussed collectively and each participant goes through a pitching process.
One-on-one sessions: Participants meet with the lab mentor individually to discuss the progress. 
Selected filmmakers receive continuous support from Cinephilia Productions to advance the projects closer to realization.

Eligibility guidelines:
Must be developing a narrative feature film screenplay. (Project can either be in treatment stage or a screenplay draft).
. Must have at least written or directed one or two short films
. Screenplay or treatment must not have been optioned
. Application form must be completed and signed. Any incomplete application will be disregarded. 
. Applicant must fully commit to the lab sessions with mentor.
. Must be originally from Eligible countries (see eligible countries below) or must be writing a story set or related to eligible countries

Eligible countries:
Middle East & territories: Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Cyprus.
Africa: ALL
South/Southeast Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonisia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam. 







by Marwa Khalil

In the south of Lebanon, a woman has a shop of household products. To boost her business, she decides to launch her line of lingerie of "sexy and original underwear" that she sells secretly behind her shop. The success of her brand spread quickly in the neighborhood.  she goes tries to expand her business by going online. Unfortunately her ambition is hindered when her brand is accused to be an israeli product

About filmmaker

Marwa Khalil started as an actress. She studied acting theater and filmmaking in Lebanon, Paris, and New york. She  acted in Lebanese, French, American and Moroccan productions. She wrote and produced several plays. Now she is preparing several projects as producer/writer and director.


by Layal Ghanem

When a simple image brings back the memory of the most important chapter in the childhood of a "war generation" protagonist, the
taste of those long gone 19 days seems so real.
It is palpable. 
Should war be considered as an unfortunate event in the life
of the 8 year old Layal?
30 year old Layal will have an

unexpected trip back in time to revisit her condition.

About filmmaker

Layal Ghanem is a versatile artist. She graduated in 2003 from the Lebanese University, Institute of Fine Arts-II, in acting and directing.
She has written 52 children stories and 15 short plays that she directed as well, as she adapted 3 (1 hour long) plays.
She presents several storytelling TV programs
for children and has been teaching and coaching children actors since 2003. She has performed in several productions on stage, on screen, on TV, in streets, hospitals and refugee camps. 
She has written and directed the short film "Fragile".

by Yasmine Ghorayeb

“Amal” tells the story of a resilient young woman who wants to escape from the violent grips of her abusing and disturbed husband, but it turns out that her freedom carries a very high price.

About filmmaker

Yasmine Ghorayeb is a Lebanese-Canadian Filmmaker living in Beirut. She graduated from McGill University in Pharmacology and Therapeutics (M.Sc). In Montreal, she took filmmaking classes at Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Concordia, and acting classes at the Montreal School of Performing Arts (MSOPA).

In Beirut, she wrote, directed and produced her short film ‘Saudade’. The movie got selected in 20+ film festivals worldwide, and premiered at the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2012.
It won 7 international Awards at film festivals and competitions in USA and Lebanon, including Best Short Film, Best Lead Actor, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Music Score.

by Marie Rose Osta

When a night pin points the end of the life we know, it becomes a collective memory for all those who are involved in it. This is the story of a group of friends gathered in a bar in Beirut, the night when the notorious 2006 war, started...

About filmmaker

After completing her Masters degree in Filmmaking at Alba University, with an emphasis on directing, Marie Rose Osta ventured into the world of advertising. She is currently a Senior TV Producer at Leo Burnett agency in Beirut for the CEEMEA Region. In parallel, she works on personal projects, such as acting and producing her own short films.
Her short 8mm film “GangBang” is currently screening at international film festivals, released in May 2016.

Her 20 minutes short film “Plan B” is currently in post-production phase.


by Farah Chaya

When life strikes her and she finds herself unable to rescue her dying mother, Lama vows to help a stranger in need. However, she finds herself directly related to a double agent who once belonged to a fanatic group.


About filmmaker
Farah Chaya is a film director and editor. She directed the documentary 'One Upon a Town' that was selected at the Docu Days Film Festival and Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival...among other festivals. She directed the short film 'Portrait of a Childhood'. Farah worked on 2 campaigns for Fondation Liban Cinema and UNDP.

by Wafa'a Halawi

In a society where some women are often abused, where laws and beliefs repeatedly undermine them, Nay, Salma and Leyla will strive to keep their fates in their own hands. 


About filmmaker
Wafa’a Halawi is a Lebanese-French filmmaker and actress living in Beirut. She graduated from the Lebanese American University, New York Film Academy and University College London (M.A. in film). Wafa’a has worked extensively in the UK and Lebanon, directed 3 narrative short films and started a series of experimental dance films that premiered in International and local festivals. She taught film at the Lebanese American University for 4 years and is currently developing the fiction feature Cello that received the 1st prize for Feature development from American producer Christine Vachon at the ENGAGE workshop by MEDIA. 


by Alia Ibrahim

When revolutionary dreams start to fade, remains the dance with the devils: Shake. 

About filmmaker
Alia Ibrahim has joined Al-Arabiya News Channel in 2008 as a Senior Correspondent. Based in Beirut, Ibrahim has covered news across the Middle East. She has produced a number of documentaries including 'The road from Sidnaya', 'From Tunis with love', 'Jihad al Nikah, the truth behind the myth', 'Beyond Zaatari', 'Turkey: the two way street to the Sultanate', 'New propaganda or New media'...and many more. She contributes a column for Al-Arabiya English website: Correspondent’s Outtake. Ibrahim has been a Special Correspondent for The Washington Post, from 2005 and until 2011. Prior to that she had spent time in the newspaper’s headquarters in Washington DC as the Alfred Friend Press Fellow. She started her career in 1996 as a general news reporter at The Daily Star in Beirut. She became managing editor of the newspaper in 2004. She was also the Beirut based correspondent for the New York based Women news.

by Nadine El Ali

'Beirut Summer Nights' is a character-driven romantic comedy about a light-spirited female writer who is writing a book about modern day relationships and who is then challenged when she finds herself struggling with a relationship of her own.

About filmmaker
Nadine El Ali is a writer at large at NOW. In 2012 she became NOW’s full time reporter covering a wide range of socio-political and cultural issues. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the American University of Beirut, Economic and a minor in International Affairs at LAU. Nadine is a contributor to the “Media for Development” program run by the AFP Foundation and the UN Development Program to raise awareness about the media’s role in helping achieve a citizen state. Her passion revolves around the ability to tell human stories. Nadine is also a photographer and a freelance screenwriter. She believes that image is as essential as writing in telling a story.Her passion for story telling is the main reason behind her drive to venture in the world of film. 


Brad Saunders

Brad Saunders is a screenwriter, film director, playwright and published novelist. His film, The Lounge People, played in theaters internationally and on Comedy Central, and the Starz Network. He currently has screenplays optioned and in development on 2 continents. His play, Detective Nicky Carruthers is Dead, garnered a national playwriting award from the University of Arkansas and was produced at the Powerhouse Theater, in Los Angeles. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Annual Ball, was a semi-finalist at the Inner City Cultural Center’s theater competition in Los Angeles, and was produced at the Missing Children Theater, in New York. He was a screenwriting instructor, at both the graduate and undergraduate programs, at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California for twenty-three years and is now a screenwriting teacher and mentor to students throughout America at the Film Connection/Film Institute in Los Angeles, California.