Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the HamptonsFilm Screenwriters Lab (April 3-5, 2020) champions the artistic visions of up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world. An intimate gathering taking place each spring in Sag Harbor, NY, the Lab fosters emerging talent by pairing selected fellows with established writers and creative producers for a weekend of one-on-one mentorship. Over the course of the weekend, these film industry veterans advise the participating fellows on their feature length projects in a series of individual and group development sessions. Additional events include an annual Master Class hosted by a celebrated screenwriter and a networking cocktail reception with board members, patrons, alumni, and members of the local artistic community.

Since its inception, over fifty screenplays have taken part in the Lab. Recent projects include Annabelle Attanasio’s Mickey and the Bear (SXSW 2019, ACID Cannes 2019), Michael Tyburski and Ben Nabors’ The Sound of Silence (Sundance 2019, SIFF 2019), Cathy Yan’s Dead Pigs (Sundance 2018, BFI London Film Festival 2018), Christina Choe’s Nancy (Sundance 2018, Film Independent Spirit Award Nominee for Best First Screenplay), and Ísold Uggadóttir’s And Breathe Normally (Sundance 2018, AFI Fest 2018).

Other selected highlights include Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12, starring Academy Award®-winning actors Brie Larson and Rami Malek, which won the Grand Jury and Audience Award at SXSW in 2013; Justin Schwartz’s The Discoverers, starring Griffin Dunne, which made its world premiere at HIFF 2012; Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, starring Elizabeth Banks and Chloe Sevigny; and Claudia Myers’s Fort Bliss, starring Michelle Monaghan and Ron Livingston, which was released in 2014. With projects from participating fellows produced year after year, the Screenwriters Lab continues to be an inspiring and safe space for artists to find and hone their creative vision.

Recent Screenwriters Lab Mentors and Master Class participants include Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, Leave No Trace); Tamara Jenkins (Private Life, The Savages); Jim Taylor (Sideways, Election); Mark Heyman (Black Swan, The Skeleton Twins); James V. Hart (Contact, Hook); Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist, (500) Days of Summer); Oren Moverman (The Messenger, Love and Mercy); Michael Cunningham (The Hours, Evening); James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, Truth); Robin Swicord (When They See Us; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button); Alex Dinelaris (Birdman); Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy); Caroline Kaplan (producer: Boyhood, Sorry to Bother You), Rob Siegel (The Wrestler, The Founder); Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Captain Marvel, Half Nelson); Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding, Cosmopolitan); David Siegel (What Maisie Knew); Alec Sokolow (Toy Story); Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man); J. Robin Baitz (People I Know, The Substance of Fire); Ted Griffin (Ocean’s Eleven); Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Love and Friendship); Ira Sachs (Frankie, Love is Strange); Andy Bienen (Boys Don't Cry); Jeff Sharp (producer: Boys Don’t Cry, Evening); Lawrence Konner (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire); Maria Maggenti (The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love); Gregory Widen (Highlander,Backdraft); Mark Christopher (54); Maggie Greenwald (Songcatcher, Ballad of Little Jo); Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby); Lawrence Lasker (Sneakers,War Games); and Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger, P.S.).


HamptonsFilm, home of the Hamptons International Film Festival, was founded in 1992 to celebrate the art of film and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences with an annual film festival each October. A non-profit organization with year-round screenings of global narrative and documentary films, a screenwriters lab, and extensive educational initiatives, HamptonsFilm produces programs that enlighten, educate, and provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers, while also providing the East End of Long Island with an educational and cultural experience that enriches the lives of its citizens and contributes to the local economy.

The Hamptons International Film Festival takes place annually in October, with a number of additional events held year round in New York City and the Hamptons. Named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World as well as one of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, HIFF is the premier film event on New York State's east end, and an intimate showcase of some of the year's best offerings in contemporary cinema. Recently referred to as "Telluride East" by Variety, the publication cited HIFF as "one of America's most glamorous displays of the best in cutting-edge cinema." Festival selections continue to play an important role during awards season, with a significant number of titles highlighted every year at the Academy Awards. Films in the 2018 festival received 44 Academy Award nominations, including 3 of the Best Picture nominations. In an unprecedented sweep, HIFF screened all 5 nominees in the Foreign Language category, including the US Premieres of CAPERNAUM and NEVER LOOK AWAY. The Festival has also screened the eventual Best Picture Academy Award winner 9 years in a row, while no other Festival on the East Coast has done so more than 4 times in that time period. In a recent article about HIFF, Variety noted "The Festival has grown a reputation for being able to read the Academy voting tea leaves and routinely promotes Oscar race front-runners, but has also become the place to see emerging talent before they become marquee names." Overall, films in the last 12 editions have received 413 total Oscar nominations.

The festival draws national film industry attendees, including representatives from a wide array of film and media companies, a range of journalists including the film trades, Oscar Bloggers, local publications as well as national journalists & New York based press. The Festival hosts multiple competitions focused specifically on early-career filmmakers, in the hopes of bolstering their work at an important juncture and helping develop a discussion around their films, both within the film community and beyond. With prizes of cash & in kind goods and services valued at more than $165,000, HIFF continues to support the artists that create some of the best films each year. The festival also features three signature programs: Conflict & Resolution; Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights; Air, Land & Sea; and Views From Long Island. New in 2019, the Zicherman Family Foundation Award is presented to an early-career screenwriter who has demonstrated singular vision and dedication to their craft. With a cash prize of $10,000, this award seeks to both celebrate their current work and encourage the development of future projects.

Guests & attendees of the Festival include Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain, Joel & Ethan Coen, Edward Norton, Laura Dern, Julie Andrews, Brie Larson, Jordan Peele, Frances McDormand, Richard Gere, Timothée Chalamet, Annette Bening, Margot Robbie, Noah Baumbach, Charlie Kaufman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Todd Haynes, Holly Hunter, Damien Chazelle, Aaron Eckhart, Olivia Wilde, Sir Ben Kingsley, Adam Driver, Mahershala Ali, Lulu Wang, Alan Alda, Sam Rockwell, Tom McCarthy, Alfre Woodard, Madonna, Amandla Stenberg, Julianne Moore, Sir Patrick Stewart, Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Daveed Diggs, Bill Murray, Kumail Nanjiani, Melissa Leo, Jonathan Pryce, Mark Ruffalo, Rosamund Pike, Rob Reiner, Trey Edward Shults, Sienna Miller, Domhnall Gleeson, Dan Rather, Michael Moore, Jamie Bell, Bruce Dern, Amy Ryan, Camila Morrone, Darren Aronofsky, Nadine Labaki, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Edwards, Andy Serkis, Susan Sarandon, Spike Jonze, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Aldis Hodge, Emilio Estevez, Matthew Broderick, Joe Wright, Tye Sheridan, Calvin Klein, Lakeith Stanfield, Jennifer Garner, Renee Zellweger, Peter Sarsgaard, Anthony Bourdain, Rupert Everett, Daniel Kaluuya, Ralph Lauren, Hilary Swank, Jason Blum, Paul Giamatti, Richard Jenkins, Paul Dano, Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Alan Cumming, Peter Hedges, Mariska Hargitay, Alex Gibney, Sally Hawkins, Michael Barker, Hong Chau, George Tillman Jr., Hope Davis, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Morgan, Freida Pinto, Jamie Dornan, Brian De Palma, James Schamus, Sting, Tom Hooper, Tim Blake Nelson, Elle Fanning, Eamonn Bowles, James Lipton, Alexander Skarsgard, Patricia Clarkson, Howard Stern, Isabella Rossellini, Julian Schnabel, Chinonye Chukwu, Stanley Tucci, David Duchovny, Geralyn Dreyfus, Alessandro Nivola, Malin Akerman, Alex Winter, Neil Labute, Edie Falco, Shailene Woodley, Jane Goodall, Davis Guggenheim, Christine Baranski, Don Lemon, Bennett Miller, Candice Bergen, Steve Buscemi, Marcia Gay Harden, Rufus Wainwright, Sandy Powell, Harry Belafonte, Wim Wenders, Doug Liman, Matthew Modine, Cory Michael Smith, Mark & Jay Duplass, Ezra Miller, Dick Cavett, Penelope Ann Miller, James Cromwell, Bill Pullman, Costa-Gavras, Christie Brinkley, Christine Vachon, Dane DeHaan, Timothy Hutton, Billy Joel, Emma Roberts, Kayli Carter, Teddy Schwarzman, Joel Schumacher, Jeff Zucker, Richard LaGravenese, Emily Browning, Oren Moverman, Josh Singer, Lola Kirke, Lucy Walker, and Amagansett resident Carter Burwell.


HamptonsFilm will cover travel, accommodations, and meals for its selected fellows for a collaborative weekend of creative development and one-on-one mentorship. Following the conclusion of the Lab, participating fellows may choose to extend their stay in the Hamptons to continue to work on their projects.

Sponsor: HamptonsFilm
Value of Goods/Services: 3,000 U.S. Dollar


Established in 2016, the Melissa Mathison Fund is named for the late screenwriter, and is instrumental in ensuring that female voices are showcased for years to come. The Fund is awarded annually to one Screenwriters Lab fellow, and the recipient will have a staged reading of selected scenes from their project produced later in the year. Recipients include Kirsten Tan (Higher, 2019 Screenwriters Lab); Aemilia Scott (Birthday Suit, 2018 Screenwriters Lab); Annabelle Attanasio (Mickey and the Bear, 2017 Screenwriters Lab); and Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs, 2016 Screenwriters Lab).

Sponsor: Melissa Mathison Fund
Value of Goods/Services: 5,000 U.S. Dollar

The following materials are required for your 2020 Screenwriters Lab submission:

1. A completed draft of a feature-length screenplay (PDF only). Treatments, outlines, short films, and episodic pilots are not eligible for consideration.

2. A cover letter detailing why you are interested in the HamptonsFilm Screenwriters Lab. Please include a brief synopsis (one or two sentences), the project’s current status, and any relevant development history, awards received, or labs & workshops attended. We also advise that you submit a brief CV and/or bio, with samples of previous work if you intend to direct the project with which you are applying. While such experience is not required to be considered for the Lab, we do value learning about your background.

4. The non-refundable application fee. While electronic payments through FilmFreeway is strongly preferred, if you choose to pay by check, please make them payable to the Hamptons International Film Festival.


- The HamptonsFilm Screenwriters Lab welcomes projects of any genre.

- Writing partners & teams are encouraged to submit, though producers and other collaborators are not eligible to participate in the Lab.

- International screenwriters are welcome to submit, though to be considered, the project must be translated into English.

- Adaptations are eligible for consideration, though the submitter must retain rights to the material.

- Screenplays that have previously been submitted are welcome to re-apply. Over the years, the Lab has accepted multiple projects that had been previously submitted that had demonstrated further development.