Now in its 14th year, the Screenwriters Lab is an intimate, weekend-long screenwriting program, pairing up-and-coming screenwriters with established screenwriters, directors and producers for a series of one-on-one mentoring sessions. Each April, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and HIFF selected two exceptional science- and technology-themed screenplays to participate in the Lab; these selections were also invited to be read during the Festival.
In 1960, 26-year-old Jane Goodall, a loner who has long dreamed of Africa, travels to Tanzania to observe the wild chimpanzees. Arriving at Gombe, Jane must navigate the dense jungles of malaria, first love, a male-dominated scientific community, and her own social isolation, in order to complete a revelatory study of man’s closest genetic ancestor that raises the ultimate question—what does it mean to be human?
In the late 1960s, a Norwegian truck driver was assigned a dangerous trucking route that would take him from the fjords of Norway deep into the Persian Gulf. Tragically, the driver would later be discovered as the first European citizen to ever have AIDS, and it is now known that as he traveled throughout the continent he unknowingly spread the virus. Based on true events, European Zero is the saga of a man under incredible pressure who heroically accomplished what became a legendary mission, while simultaneously beginning a plague that continues to consume mankind.
Broadway: Henry IV (LCT). Off-Broadway: Macbeth (TFANA), Oroonoko (TFANA),Pericles (TFANA at BAM), Iphigeneia at Aulis, Richard III (Pearl Theater). Regional credits include : The Mountaintop (City Theatre), Macbeth (Wilma Theater), Battle of Black And Dogs (Yale Rep),The Brothers Size (City Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun (Hartford Stage Co.),Intimate Apparel (The Intiman Theatre), The Piano Lesson (Cleveland Play House), Flag Day (CATF). Film & TV: Salt, Cadillac Records, American Gangster, The Bourne Ultimatum, upcoming Quarry and Criminal Justice; House of Cards, Elementary, The Following, and Golden Boy among others. Jones received his MFA from the American Conservatory Theater.
Broadway: Plenty, The Homecoming, High Society, Enchanted April. Off Broadway: Intimacy, Misery, The Dear Boy, The Holy Terror, Translations, The Slab Boys, Arms and the Man, The Knack, Bloody Poetry, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, Loose Knit, One Shoe Off, Terra Nova. Regional: Dissonance, Dinner, Much Ado About Nothing, A Christmas Carol, No Time for Comedy, Blithe Spirit. Film: Custody, Still Alice, Those People, Girlrillaz, Something Whispered, The Namesake, Big Business, 84 Charing Cross Road, Chariots of Fire. TV: Forever, Madoff, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Burn Notice, Ugly Betty, The Starter Wife, Cashmere Mafia, Woman in White (BBC), Sisters, Knots Landing, Cheers, Seinfeld, Law and Order. Awards: Theatre World, Outer Critics Circle, OBIE for sustained excellence.
TV: series regular, pilots SECOND SIGHT (CBS), THE FRONTIER (NBC), VIRTUALITY (FOX); Thurman Munson in THE BRONX IS BURNING; THE WALKING DEAD, THE AMERICANS, HOUSE OF CARDS, CASTLE, ELEMENTARY, PERSON OF INTEREST, NCIS: LA, TURN, BLUE BLOODS, more; film: BLACK KNIGHT, THE LOVE LETTER, two dozen indies. Theater: DISGRACED (LCT3, Pulitzer); THE GOOD NEGRO (Public); Y2K, CORPUS CHRISTI (MTC). With Jessica Blank, writing includes THE EXONERATED (Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Ovation awards); its film adaptation starring Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover; AFTERMATH (NYTW 2009, 2 Drama League noms), HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC (CTG/SCR 2015; Erik starring); pilot THE NEGOTIATOR for Gaumont TV/Tom Fontana. They adapted and will direct the feature film of Jessica’s novel ALMOST HOME (Hyperion, 2007) in 2016.
Broadway: (Hedda Gabler, The Price, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Visit, A Lesson From Aloes, Watch On The Rhine). Off-Broadway: (Raindance, Don Juan In Hell, Arts And Leisure, Approaching Zanzibar, Hamlet, King John, Richard III, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Hedda Gabler). His directing credits include The Prisoner’s Song, This Lime Tree Bower, Don Juan In Hell, Baba Goya, Winter Play, Candida, The Front Page, and The Guardsman. TV & Film: Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, Mister Sterling, 24, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Frasier, and La Femme Nikita. Fur, The Place Beyond The Pines, The Emperor’s Club, Training Day, The Million Dollar Hotel, The Hurricane, Looking for Richard, Murder at 1600, Multiplicity, Clear and Present Danger, and Scarface.
A Colorado native and New York transplant, Kati’s recent TV appearances include The Black List, Person of Interest, Mysteries of Laura, How to Make it in America and HBO’s upcoming Vinyl, produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. Film appearances include Men In Black 3 and Brooklyn Unemployed as well as Mike Birbiglia’s upcoming feature Don’t Think Twice. Kati is the producer and co-star of the awardwinning online series The Impossibilities which will premiere on Hulu in October 2015. She lives in Brooklyn with her wonderful husband Ash and their French bulldog Brussels Sprout.
Lilly made her stage debut as “Hermia” in Julie Taymor’s critically acclaimed adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Theatre for a New Audience (TFNA). Additional theater credits include “Cordelia” in “King Lear” (TFNA) and “Cissy” in the Trip Cullman-directed “Punk Rock” at MCC Theater. Englert will next be seen in the feature WILDE WEDDING, by writer/director Damian Harris, opposite Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Minnie Driver, Patrick Stewart and Peter Facinelli. Lilly trained at Stella Adler and RADA.
Ngozi is an actress/writer/producer/
Brit Whittle is an actor and voice over artist based in New York City. He has appeared in numerous television shows, stage productions, films and commercials over his 20-year career. A native of Georgia, he received his MFA in Acting from the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory and has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia College & State University. He is represented by Christopher Silveri and Prestige Management Group.
Darius Homayoun was born and grew up in Dubai, U.A.E. He fell in love with acting and performance at a very young age and recently graduated from NYU Tisch’s drama program, where he trained for four years in the Experimental Theatre Wing. This past year, Darius was cast as a lead in Michael Mayer’s Universal series Stanistan and also in the major recurring role of Omar on the F/X drama Tyrant.
An East Hampton native, Dakota recently appeared as Lee Bouvier in Bay Street Theatre’s production of “Grey Gardens The Musical,” with Betty Buckley and Rachel York. Currently, she is headlining as “Annie” in her John Marshall Elementary School production next month.