CINEPHILIA SCREENWRITING LAB FOR SHORTS


Launched in 2013, Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts is a program designed 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 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 for local filmmakers. Check past editions here


HOW IT WORKS

The lab selects up to 6-7 filmmakers who are developing a narrative short film screenplay. Up to 4 filmmakers from MENA region 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 with actors takes place on the last day of the lab. The reading is attended by a jury of industry professionals who will award the Best Screenplay Award to one screenplay.

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 (documentary shorts are not eligible)
. Must have at least written or directed one short film
. Must have a treatment of the proposed project up to 3 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 (applicants can be residing anywhere in the world)
. 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 of the completed film 'Developed at the Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts (in collaboration with the partnering entity or film festival, year and city).


ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES

MENA REGION COUNTRIES 
Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, 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.


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 (room in shared apartment or hotel)
. 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
. Meal vouchers
. Local transportation (if needed from and to lab sessions)  (bike or metro pass) 
. Best Screenplay Award (presented during an official Awards Ceremony)
. Invitation letter for visa process (if needed)
. Continuous support by Cinephilia Productions providing networking opportunities with industry professionals
. Filmmakers must agree to take part in a roundtable talk and panel discussion open to the public

Note 1: Selected participants who are traveling to lab destination are requested to cover their own flight expenses and travel insurance.
Note 2: If a project is selected in the lab that does NOT guarantee that the completed film will be selected at the hosting festival in next editions or at Cinephilia Filmmakers to Watch Series. 

LAB COSTS

All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee.
The selected applicants traveling to lab destination are requested to cover their own flight expenses and travel insurance.


CURRENT OPEN CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

PARIS, FRANCE
June 27 - July 8, 2018


IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
INSTITUT DU MONDE ARABE (IMA) - ARAB WORLD INSTITUTE

LAB TAKING PLACE DURING
FESTIVAL DES CINÉMAS ARABES À PARIS - FESTIVAL OF ARAB CINEMA IN PARIS


Application Deadline: April 25, 2018


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 in English language.
Make sure your documents are PDF files 'Your name_project title'. Must combine all files in one document.

  • 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 3 pages of the proposed project and/or a 1st screenplay draft if available
  • 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. 

Send all the documents to labs@cinephiliaproductions.com
All documents must be received by April 25, 2018. Failure to send documents by the deadline will result in application being disqualified.

Step 3:
Selected filmmakers will be notified by email on May 10, 2018.

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. 

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee is required with each application. Application fee is $40 USD. This fee covers administrative expenses and costs for the review panel. Payment is due at the time you submit your application electronically. 
Please do not ask for a fee waiver. We do not provide waivers. The only payment we accept is via our online form. Please do not email asking for alternative ways to make payment. You will need a debit/credit card to process your application fee. 

Lab timeline

Filmmakers must arrive to Paris on June 26, 2018. 
Filmmakers will be staying at the Cité Internationale Des Arts
Lab dates: June 27- July 7  (sessions on June 27, 28, 29, 30, July 2 & 3)
One on one sessions: July 4 (30 minutes session between filmmaker and mentor) 
Reading session in the presence of jury (Actors will be be present to read): July 6
Awards Ceremony: July 7 (Best Screenplay Award to be presented during Festival of Arab Cinema official Awards Ceremony)
Filmmakers departure: July 8
Days off: July 1 & 5 (these are days for the filmmakers to work on their scripts alone) 
All lab sessions will take place at IMA

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.

APPLY HERE


ABOUT OUR PARTNER

IMA.jpg

INSTITUT DU MONDE ARABE (IMA)  / ARAB WORLD INSTITUTE was designed to create some strong and durable cultural ties while cultivating constructive dialogue between the Arab World, France, and Europe. This cross-discipline space is the ideal place for the development of cultural projects, in collaboration with institutions, creators and thinkers from the Arab world.

The Arab World Institute is fully anchored in the present. It aims to reflect the Arab world’s current dynamics. It intends to make a distinctive contribution to the institutional cultural landscape. No other organization in the world offers such a wide range of events in connection with the Arab world. Debates, colloquia, seminars, conferences, dance shows, concerts, films, books, meetings, language and culture courses, large exhibitions all participate in raising awareness of this unique and vibrant world. 

The Arab World Institute also aims to create partnerships with non-governmental organizations, schools, and other renowned European cultural institutions such as the Comédie Française, Bozar (Brussels), the Louvre, and Maison Européenne de la Photographie. Many projects are underway, including the opening of an “inclusive knowledge” university (subject to availability of funds), which will add to the contribution of the Arab World History Rendezvous (Rendez-vous de l’Histoire du monde arabe). 

Official festival website: https://www.imarabe.org/en

FESTIVAL DES CINÉMAS ARABES À PARIS - FESTIVAL OF ARAB CINEMA IN PARIS
Between 1992 and 2006, the Festival of Arab Cinema in Paris at the Arab World Institute (IMA) was the unique point of meeting between filmmakers from the Arab world and filmmakers of the diaspora. In 2006, the 8th and last edition of the festival attracted over 13500 festival attendants. The festival has been presided by major personalities such as Jane Birkin, Costa-Gavras, Amin Maalouf, Omar Sharif... The festival contributed to the discovery of a number of influential filmmakers such as Abderrahmane Sissako, Elia Suleiman, Tariq Teguia...
In its 2018 edition, the festival will present numerous films in competition from the Arab world and diaspora, a tribute to Jean Chamoun and Mahmoud Zemmouri, a focus on Saudi Arabian cinema, a number of panels, networking events and special sessions. 

ABOUT LAB MENTOR

Darine Hotait (Lab founder & mentor) is an American Lebanese writer, film director and the founder of Cinephilia Productions. She has written & directed numerous short films that screened at international film festivals such as HBO's Outfest and received multiple Best Short Fiction awards. Her films were acquired and broadcasted on Sundance TV, AMC Networks, BBC Channel, Shorts TV & The Journal of Short Films. She is the recipient of the Literary Fellowship at New York Foundation for the Arts and the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture Cinema Grant. She was nominated for a Goethe Award, selected among 10 screenwriters at the Cannes Film Festival International Scriptwriters’ Pavilion (Maison Des Scenaristes), and was a top 5 finalist at Hearst Screenwriting Competition, Sundance Sloan Grant and an EMMY Awards Blue Ribbon Finalist. Her work mainly focuses on bridging literature and cinema while embodying a scientific approach and giving predominance to the science fiction genre.   
Aside from film, Darine is a published playwright and short story writer. Her science fiction literary work appeared in various publications in print and online as well as featured in exhibitions in New York, Berlin and London. 
She holds an MFA in screenwriting and film directing from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She has mentored numerous screenwriting workshops at film festivals and institutions such as the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York, Med Film Festival in Rome, Arab Film festival in Rotterdam, Mizna Literary Gathering in Minneapolis, Dubai international Writers’ Center in UAE among others. She has served as a jury on several short film competitions at international film festivals in New York, Sydney, Beirut and Rotterdam. Her new film "Like Salt" will be released in Spring 2018. 
She resides in New York City.
More about her work here: www.darinehotait.com

JURY OF "BEST SCREENPLAY AWARD" 
TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON