CINEPHILIA SCREENWRITING LAB FOR SHORTS


Launched in 2013, Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts is a state-of-the-art program, designed by Cinephilia Productions founder Darine Hotait, to assist filmmakers in developing their storytelling potential, criticism faculty and technical proficiency. 

Our lab aims to develop original, visionary and daring voices in the art of screenwriting from the Middle East and North Africa. 

The lab offers the tools that result in a strong narrative short film while focusing on the individual's unique voice as screenwriter and by connecting like-minded people through shared collaborative feedbacks.

The lab is an intensive 10 days program that takes place in different cities across the MENA region and worldwide in partnership with film festivals, institutions and organizations. The lab selects up to 7 filmmakers, 4 from MENA region and 2-3 from hosting country. With this structure, the lab aims to provide a platform for cultural exchange between filmmakers to discuss their stories from a personal point of view within a universal context. 

Note: Prior to 2016, past lab editions were only hosted in MENA region targeting local filmmakers. Check past editions here


HOW IT WORKS

The lab selects up to 7 filmmakers who are developing a narrative short film screenplay. 4 filmmakers from MENA region (or select MENA region countries) and up to 3 filmmakers from hosting country.
The selection is based on the originality of the submitted project. We are looking for visionary narrative short film projects that break the boundaries of the conventional. 

During the intensive 10 days lab, filmmakers develop their projects with the help of the lab mentor and fellow filmmakers within an environment that encourages constructive and collective feedback. 

By the end of the lab, filmmakers should expect to have a screenplay draft completed. 

 An official reading session takes place on the last day of the lab. The reading is attended by a jury of professional filmmakers.

A jury consisting of three film industry professionals will award up to two projects the Best Screenplay award.


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

. Must be a writer or writer/director (Writers with no director attached to the project are highly encouraged to apply.)
Must be in development of a narrative short film screenplay
. Must have at least written or directed one or two short films that screened at national or international film festivals
. Must have a treatment of the proposed project up to 5 pages
. Application form must be completed online and supporting material must be received by the specified deadline.
. Must fully commit to all lab sessions.
. Must be originally from one of the eligible countries
. Must be over 21 years old
. Applicants submitting a project that is a proof of concept short to support a feature length project are highly encouraged to apply
. Students working on MFA thesis films may apply (only if they have previous work to show)
. Must be fluent in English (all sessions are conducted in English language)
. Must agree to mention in the credit titles of the completed film 'Developed at the Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts (in collaboration with the partnering entity or film festival, year and city).


GENERAL ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES

MENA REGION COUNTRIES 
Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates & Yemen.

HOSTING COUNTRY
Every lab takes place in a different country. Filmmakers residing in that country are eligible to apply.

PLEASE NOTE:
EACH OPEN CALL IS DEDICATED TO A SET NUMBER OF COUNTRIES FROM THE LIST ABOVE. MAKE SURE TO CHECK THE ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES OF EACH LAB BEFORE APPLYING. 


THE LAB OFFERS

. 10 days intensive sessions
. One-on-one meeting with lab mentor (takes place at the end of the lab)
. Full accommodation for the duration of the lab (shared apartment)
. Networking event for lab participants with industry professionals
. If lab is hosted by a film festival, participants will be provided a full access pass to all screenings and events
. Award ceremony for Best Screenplay Awards
. Invitation letter for visa process (if needed)
. Selected participants will get the chance to do a video pitch for Cinephilia Productions (filming during the lab)
. Selected participants working on a proof of concept short for a feature film project will get the chance to have a first look deal with Cinephilia Productions (if project fits in line with Cinephilia Productions vision)
. Selected participants will have their projects promoted by Cinephilia Productions and the hosting festival or organization
. One meal voucher per day
. Local transportation (if needed from and to lab)  (bike or metro pass) 
. Continuous support by Cinephilia Productions providing networking opportunities with industry professionals
. Selected participants will be added to our fellows database

Note 1: Selected participants who are flying from MENA region are requested to cover their own flight expenses and travel insurance.
Note 2: If a project is selected at the lab that does NOT guarantee that the completed film will be selected at the hosting festival in next editions nor at Cinephilia Filmmakers to Watch Series. 

LAB COSTS

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $45 (USD).
The selected applicants flying to attend the lab are requested to cover their own flight expenses and travel insurance.
Traveling applicants will be provided with full accommodation, 1 meal per day and local transportation (if needed from and to lab).
The lab does not offer daily stipend.


APPLICATION PROCESS

HOW TO APPLY

Step 1:

1. Fill the online application form
2. Settle the non-refundable application fee

SUPPORTING MATERIALS SUBMITTED AFTER THE DEADLINE WILL NOT BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION AND THE APPLICATION WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. 


Step 2:
Send by email the following list of required documents. Documents must be English language.
Make sure your documents are PDF files 'Your name_project title'. It is recommended to combine all files in one document.

  • Resume/CV
  • A Statement of need: Why do you want to participate in Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts (maximum 500 words)
  • Filmmaker intention note: Why this project? (maximum 500 words)
  • Treatment of maximum 5 pages of the proposed project and/or a 1st screenplay draft if available
  • Links to previous work (password protected Vimeo links are preferred). Please make sure you write a list in a PDF file and attach it with your documents. Do NOT include your links in the body of the email.
  • For screenwriters only: 1 screenplay work sample (No more than 5 pages. Choose the 5 pages that best represent your work. They don't have to be the first 5 pages). This screenplay is a different screenplay than the one your are submitting to develop at Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts. This could be a produced or not produced screenplay. 
  • 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. 

Send all the documents to labs@cinephiliaproductions.com

Step 3:
Selected participants will be notified by email.

Selection Process

A selection panel will choose applicants based on their proposed project, previous works, as well as the written material supplied in the application.

Notification

Applicants receive a notification when their application and all supporting documents have been received and transferred to the selection panel. Notifications to all applicants will be sent via email after the selection panel has made its final decision. Please do NOT send emails asking for updates. You will hear from us once we have finalized our process.

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 1-page feedback on their project from our Cinephilia in-house consultants for an additional fee. Non-selected applicants can send a request for feedback with 1 month of selection announcement. announcement. 

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $45 (USD) is required with each application. This fee covers administrative expenses and costs for the review panel. Payment is due at the time you submit your application electronically. 


READ THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY BEFORE APPLYING. APPLICANTS WHO FAIL TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS AND THE DEADLINE WILL NOT BE REFUNDED THE APPLICATION FEE & THEIR APPLICATION WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.