2018 HIFF Screenwriters Lab Wraps Up

The 18th Annual HIFF Screenwriters Lab began last Friday with screenwriters and mentors arriving in Sag Harbor for a weekend of supportive guidance and collaboration. In between one-on-one mentor sessions, the group attended a Master Class in screenwriting from celebrated writer and mentor, James V. Hart, who has worked with Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg.

The writers for this year’s Lab (all female writers for the first time in the Lab’s history!) were also able to mingle and meet with local members of the artistic community of the Hamptons, as well as our generous board members who hosted two celebratory dinners. The weekend wrapped on Sunday with a group session that allowed each writer to discuss her screenplay with the whole group soliciting insights from both the mentors, and their fellow writers.

​HIFF is thrilled to announce this year’s beneficiary of the Melissa Mathison Fund will be Aemilia Scott‘s​ BIRTHDAY SUIT:

On the eve of her 55th birthday, Elaine realizes that she is becoming invisible to her husband, her family, and her town. So she decides to take a radical step to be seen: she takes her clothes off, and she does not put them back on.

Aemilia Scott 400It all started with a viewing of L’AVVENTURA in a broom closet in college. Or maybe it began when her brother showed her Stan Douglas’ video art at 13. For Aemilia Scott, it hasn’t always been about filmmaking, but it has always been about film. She didn’t go to film school, but rather studied History and Photography at Columbia University, studying under street photographers Thomas Roma and Dana Hoey. In Chicago she came up as a comedian, training and eventually performing at Second City, iO and Annoyance. After years writing sketch comedy, she began writing longer and sadder things, which turned into her first short films. For Aemilia, filmmaking unites the skills of image-making, writing and performance. Comedy and art are both pursuits of truth, and once she actually made a film of her own, she never looked back. Her first film, BEST IF USED BY, won a number of awards, including a premiere at Clermont Ferrand, a BAFTA award at Aspen Shortsfest, honorable mentions at REGARD Quebec and USA Dallas, and best short of 2013 at Newfilmmakers LA. Her next film, FOR A GOOD TIME, premiered at Aspen Shortsfest. She has two films on the festival world right now: SHOT, which premiered at Chicago International Film Fest and which won Best Short at Minimalen Film Festival Norway, and HOW YOU ARE TO ME, which won best drama at Short Sweet Film Fest.