2024 Screenwriters Lab a Success!

Our 24th Annual Screenwriters Lab took place over the weekend, where we were thrilled to welcome our talented fellows Chheangkea, Agnes Skonare and Sarah Mokh, our invaluable mentors Celine Song, Michael Covino and Bart Freundlich, and all the guests who heralded these new voices with us.

Celine Song, Matthew Jackett, Sarah Mokh, David Nugent, Chheangkea, Bart Freundlich, Agnes Skonare, Michael Covino

Mentors and fellows arrived at the Huntting Inn on Friday, getting to know each other at The Palm before sitting down to a welcome dinner hosted by Board Vice Chair Kim Brizzolara at Nick & Toni’s.

By Saturday morning, they were ready to dive into a busy day of productive and enlightening mentor sessions, where each screenwriting fellow was able to focus on various aspects of their work with each mentor on an individual basis.

That evening, our gracious HIFF patron Alan Ceppos hosted the annual celebratory Lab dinner in his and Frédéric Rambaud’s beautiful home, where our fellows were able to mix and mingle with local members of the Hamptons artistic community, various board members and special guests, while all enjoyed Alan and Frédéric’s stunningly creative art collection.

The Lab wrapped on Sunday afternoon with a lively, thoughtful, and collaborative group session, while the writers remain in East Hampton to enjoy a few more days of writing time. We offer our many thanks to our generous mentors for the invaluable insights they provided to these young artists! And now we are all rooting for our screenwriters as they take their excellent scripts on their next steps towards production. Stay tuned…


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This year’s recipient of the Melissa Mathison Award is Sarah Mokh and her project Diary of a Muslim Cynic, which includes a live screenplay reading of the work. Established in 2016 and ​named for the late, beloved Oscar®-nominated screenwriter, the Fund strives to foster the continued development of female writers in the industry. Previous recipients include Lana Wilson (PRETTY BABY: BROOKE SHIELDS, 2023 Sundance Film Festival), Cathy Yan (DEAD PIGS, 2018 Sundance Film Festival), and Annabelle Attanasio (MICKEY AND THE BEAR, 2019 SXSW Film Festival).

• • Learn more about the Melissa Mathison Award and find out how you can contribute.

The three screenplays selected for 2024:

  • Little Phnom Penh, by Chheangkea
  • Diary of a Muslim Cynic, by Sarah Mokh
  • Pygmalion, by Agnes Skonare

The 2024 mentors:

  • Michael Covino (THE CLIMB)
  • Bart Freundlich (THE MYTH OF FINGERPRINTS)
  • Celine Song (PAST LIVES)

• • Full bios of all Lab participants can be found here.

Learn more about the HIFF Screenwriters Lab.