Celebrating its 21st Anniversary, the HamptonsFilm Screenwriters Lab (April 9-11, 2021*) champions the artistic visions of up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world. The Lab fosters emerging talent by pairing selected fellows with established writers, directors and creative producers for an intimate weekend 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 nightly salons, roundtables, and happy hours with industry guests, board members, alumni, and members of the local artistic community.

*As with the 2020 edition, the 2021 Screenwriters Lab will take place virtually.

Since its inception, over fifty screenplays have taken part in the Lab. Recent projects include Annabelle Attanasio’s Mickey and the Bear (SXSW 2019, 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); Darius Marder (Sound of Metal, The Place Beyond the Pines); Tamara Jenkins (Private Life, The Savages); Jim Taylor (Sideways, Election); Robin Swicord (When They See Us; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button); Mark Heyman (Black Swan, The Skeleton Twins); Peter Hedges (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Ben is Back); Anne Carey (producer: Can You Ever Forgive Me?, 20th Century Women); 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); 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 2019 festival received 40 Academy Award nominations, including 5 of the Best Picture nominations. The Festival has screened the eventual Academy Award Best Picture winner 10 years in a row, the only festival in the world with such a distinction. 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 13 editions have received a total of 421 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 $160,000, HIFF continues to support the artists that create some of the best films each year. The festival also features four signature programs: Conflict & Resolution; Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights; Air, Land & Sea; and Views From Long Island.

Recent program highlights include ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI, AMMONITE, THE FATHER, MINARI, TIME, SOUND OF METAL, THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS, COLLECTIVE, I AM GRETA, PARASITE (Academy Award Winner; Cannes Palme d’Or Winner), MARRIAGE STORY (Academy Award Winner), JOJO RABBIT (Academy Award Winner), THE IRISHMAN (Academy Award Nominee), THE TWO POPES (Academy Award Nominee), FOR SAMA (Academy Award Nominee), THE CAVE (Academy Award Nominee), LES MISERABLES (Academy Award Nominee; Cannes Jury Prize Winner), KNIVES OUT (Academy Award Nominee), PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (National Board of Review Winner), ATLANTICS (Cannes Grand Jury Prize Winner), WAVES (Gotham Award Winner, Film Independent Spirit Nominee), ROMA (Academy Award Winner), THE FAVORITE (Academy Award Winner), SHOPLIFTERS (Academy Award Nominee, Cannes Palme d’Or Winner), CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME (Academy Award Nominee), GREEN BOOK (Academy Award Winner), FIRST MAN (Academy Award Winner), COLD WAR (Academy Award Nominee), BORDER (Academy Award Nominee), CAPERNAUM (Academy Award Nominee), BURNING (Cannes FIPRESCI Prize Winner), THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (Cinema Eye Honors Award Winner), THE SHAPE OF WATER (Academy Award Winner), THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Academy Award Winner), CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Academy Award Winner), DARKEST HOUR (Academy Award Winner), I, TONYA (Academy Award Winner), A FANTASTIC WOMAN (Academy Award Winner), ICARUS (Academy Award Winner), THE FLORIDA PROJECT (Academy Award Nominee), THE SQUARE (Academy Award Nominee, Cannes Palme d’Or Winner), STRONG ISLAND (Academy Award Nominee), MOONLIGHT (Academy Award Winner), MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (Academy Award Winner), LA LA LAND (Academy Award Winner), THE SALESMEN (Academy Award Winner), LOVING (Academy Award Nominee), 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (Academy Award Nominee), TONI ERDMANN (Academy Award Nominee), I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (Academy Award Winner), FIRE AT SEA (Academy Award Winner), THE RED TURTLE (Academy Award Nominee), and THE HANDMAIDEN (Golden Globe Nominee).

Guests & attendees of the Festival include Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain, Edward Norton, Laura Dern, Julie Andrews, Brie Larson, Jordan Peele, Steven Yeun, Frances McDormand, Richard Gere, Timothée Chalamet, Kate Winslet, Annette Bening, Margot Robbie, Noah Baumbach, Charlie Kaufman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Todd Haynes, Holly Hunter, Damien Chazelle, Olivia Wilde, Sir Ben Kingsley, Adam Driver, Mahershala Ali, Lulu Wang, Alan Alda, Sam Rockwell, Tom McCarthy, Alfre Woodard, Madonna, Amandla Stenberg, Julianne Moore, Leslie Odom Jr., 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, Michael Moore, Jamie Bell, Bruce Dern, Amy Ryan, Camila Morrone, Zazie Beetz, 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, 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, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Morgan, Freida Pinto, Jamie Dornan, Brian De Palma, James Schamus, Sting, Tom Hooper, Werner Herzog, Tim Blake Nelson, Elle Fanning, 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, Lee Isaac Chung, Christine Baranski, Don Lemon, Candice Bergen, Steve Buscemi, Marcia Gay Harden, Rufus Wainwright, Sandy Powell, Harry Belafonte, Wim Wenders, Doug Liman, Matthew Modine, Mark & Jay Duplass, Ezra Miller, Dick Cavett, Winston Duke, 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.


Established in 2016, the Melissa Mathison Fund is named for the late Hollywood 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 Kelly O’Sullivan (Mouse, 2020 Screenwriters Lab); 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. 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 eligible and encouraged to submit.

- 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.