22nd Annual Screenwriters Lab: Together Again!

For the first time since 2019, our Screenwriters Lab was held in person April 8-10, much to the delight of our talented fellows Farida Zahran, Jimmy Goldblum, Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood, our invaluable mentors Mollye Asher, Alice Wu, and Peter Hedges, and all the guests who celebrated with us this weekend.

Events kicked off Friday evening, where the fellows and mentors got to know each other over cocktails, followed by a welcome dinner hosted by Board Vice Chair Kim Brizzolara at Nick & Toni’s, allowing everyone to settle into the weekend ahead.

On Saturday they were off and running, with a busy day of one-on-one mentor sessions, followed by a cocktail hour Film Salon with industry guests Terry George (Oscar-winning screenwriter of HOTEL RWANDA and IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER), Rachael Horovitz (Oscar-nominated producer of MONEYBALL and ABOUT SCHMIDT), and Dan Steinman (Co-President and COO of 30WEST). These three shared insights crucial to so many aspects of the filmmaking process.

2022 Screenwriters Lab: Anne Chaisson, Jamil McGinnis, Mollye Asher, Jimmy Goldblum, Farida Zahran, David Nugent, Megan Costello, Peter Hedges, Alice Wu, Pat Heywood

That evening, our Screenwriters Lab celebratory dinner made a triumphant return to the home of our generous Board member Judy Licht and her husband Jerry Della Femina, where our fellows were able to mix and mingle with local members of the artistic community of the Hamptons and various board members.

The Lab wrapped on Sunday afternoon with a lively group session. Kudos to the screenwriters and their excellent scripts as they make their way to production.

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s recipient of support from the Melissa Mathison Fund is Farida Zahran and her project The Leftover Ladies, 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 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 Fund and find out how you can contribute.

The three screenplays selected for 2022:

Marilou is Everywhere, by Jimmy Goldblum
The Leftover Ladies, by Farida Zahran
In Search of Time, Jamil McGinnis & Pat Heywood

The 2022 mentors:

Academy Award winner Mollye Asher, producer of Chloe Zhao’s Best Picture-winning film NOMADLAND

Peter Hedges, a novelist and screenwriter whose work includes WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, A MAP OF THE WORLD, THE SAME STORM, and the Academy Award-nominated ABOUT A BOY (Hedges also previously served as a Screenwriters Lab mentor virtually in 2020)

Alice Wu, whose most recent film THE HALF OF IT won the Founders Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and received a nomination for Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards

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

Learn more about the HIFF Screenwriters Lab.