Screenwriters’ Lab

Submissions for the 2015 Screenwriters’ Lab will open in November 2014.

With generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The Hamptons International Film Festival’s Screenwriters’ Lab, which takes place annually in April, is an intimate gathering in East Hampton, New York. The Lab develops emerging screenwriting talent by pairing established writers and creative producers with up-and-coming screenwriters (chosen by HIFF in collaboration with key industry contacts).

Each year, we seek a broad selection of screenplays addressing a wide subject matter. Additionally, in collaboration with The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation‘s initiative in furthering the public understanding of science, we encourage writers to submit screenplays that explore science, technology, mathematics, invention, and engineering in fresh and innovative ways.

The mentors advise in a one-on-one creative laboratory setting, while additional events bring the participants together with board members, sponsors, the local artistic community, and other friends of the festival. With scripts from past writers produced year after year, the Lab continues to be a safe and inspiring place for artists to find and hone their creative vision.


The writers of four screenplays were invited to participate in 2014:

Christina Choe: Nancy

— a serial imposter’s ongoing lies have tragic consequences

Michael Sladek: Phantom Limbs

— based on the novel by Timothy Schaffert, in which two emotionally wounded sisters seek to unravel the central mystery of their lives

Ben Nabors and Michael TyburskiPalimpsest

— examines the subtle forces at play in our urban lives

Evan Schwartz: Televisionaries

— an inspirational drama about genius, deceit and the controversial birth of the most influential invention of our time

The 2014 mentors include the following:

Jamal Joseph

— a Professor of Professional Practice and the former Chair of Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program

Lawrence Konner

— who has a long and distinguished career as a screen and television (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire) writer

Robert Siegel

— screenwriter (The Wrestler), director, and former editor-in-chief of The Onion

Susan Stover

— producer of such films as High Art and Laurel Canyon

Four recent projects from the Lab have gone on to be produced: Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12, which won both the Audience and Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival; Justin Schwartz’s The Discoverers, which had its world premiere at HIFF and continues to play at Festivals around the world; Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; and Claudia Myers’s film Fort Bliss, which is currently in post-production.

Recent mentors at the Lab include Oren Moverman (The Messenger), Michael Cunningham (The Hours, Evening); James Vanderbilt (Zodiac); Mark Heyman (Black Swan); Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, Sugar, It’s Kind of a Funny Story); J.D. Zeik (Ronin); J. Robin Baitz (People I Know, The Substance of Fire); Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco); Ira Sachs (40 Shades of Blue, This Married Life); Hawk Ostby (Children Of Men, Iron Man), Jeff Sharp (Producer: You Can Count on Me, Evening); Billy Frolick (Madagascar); Andy Bienen (Boys Don’t Cry) and Lisa Muskat (George Washington, Prince Avalanche), Sophia Lin (producer: Take Shelter, Compliance) Maria Maggenti (The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love); Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding, Cosmopolitan); Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby), Gregory Widen (Highlander, Backdraft); Mark Christopher (54); Maggie Greenwald (Songcatcher, Ballad of Little Jo); Lawrence Lasker (Sneakers, War Games); Chap Taylor (Changing Lanes, National Treasure); and Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger, P.S.).