Each year Nostos Screenwriting Retreat offers three week intensive screenwriting workshops taking place in the Tuscan Countryside and the gorgeous Elba Island.

The next workshops will happen in Tuscany in September/October 2022.

The retreat gives independent filmmakers from around the world the opportunity to work intensively on their feature-length narrative scripts or their Tv Pilots in an environment structured to foster collaboration and high quality script development. The retreat consists of a three week residential workshop and one on one mentorships. The lab is facilitated by a professional in the field with long-standing experience. In additional to the script guidance provided by the facilitator through workshop sessions and one-one-one meetings, as well as additional professional advice by guest speakers, participants have plenty of time for writing. The participant's projects get workshopped by other International Filmmakers and Screenwriters and are a part of a community of other like-minded artists in a naturally beautiful, protected and inspiring environment.

Here are the Biographies of the team of instructors and facilitators running the retreat:

Marya Cohn is a writer /director and film professor. Her feature script, Hurricane Season, currently in development, was a Nicholls quarterfinalist and received a Tangerine Fellowship to Stowe Story Labs. She wrote and directed the feature film, The Girl in the Book, starring Emily Van Camp and Michael Nyqvist, which premiered at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival, was released by Myriad Pictures and Freestyle Releasing in December 2015, and is currently available on multiple streaming platforms. Her short film, Developing, starring Natalie Portman and Frances Conroy, screened at Sundance, won grand prizes at the Belgian Festival Mondial du Cinéma de Court Métrage and the St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival, and aired on The Sundance Channel and Channel 13’s Reel NY. She has also directed plays at The Here Theater, Rattlestick Theater, Dixon Place, Vital Theater, HB Playwrights’ Foundation and Theater, The Women’s Project, New Georges, NADA 45, and the playwrights’ unit at EST. Marya teaches screenwriting at The New School and is a filmmaking advisor for Vermont College of Fine Arts’ non-residential MFA program in film. She received her MFA from NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television and her BA from Harvard University.

Flaminio Zadra is an Italian Producer and Script Doctor/Mentor with quite a peculiar journey. In fact, he has always preferred to work on an international scale rather than just focusing on what his homeland, Italy, had to offer. After a short career as a journalist, in 2001 he moved from Rome to Hamburg where he started to work with director Fatih Akin. In 2004, back in Rome, together with Alberto Fanni and Paolo Colombo, Flaminio founded Dorje Film through which he co-produced several feature films, among which Akin’s The Edge Of Heaven (Best Screenplay at Cannes Film Festival, 2007), Soul Kitchen (Special Jury prize in Venice Film Festival, 2009), The Cut (2014), In the fade (Golden Globe, 2017) and Julie Bertucelli’s The Tree (2010). Flaminio extended his collaboration to a wide number of filmmakers such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jia Zhangke and Jafar Panahi. In 2018 he came back to Italy to join Moliwood Films, a young Italian film and television production company founded by Pilar Saavedra Perrotta. Together they’re currently co-producing The Story of My Wife, starring Léa Seydoux and directed by Ildikó Enyedi (Golden Bear 2017 for On body and Soul). Flaminio is also a mentor and script Doctor at Biennale College Cinema, at Torino Film Lab and at the Scuola Holden.

Rudy Thauberger wrote the screenplays for the feature films The Rhino Brothers and Chicago Heights (with Daniel Nearing), as well as the short film Goalie (based on his short story). He has also written teleplays for the SyFy network movies-of-the week Snowmaggedon and The 12 Disasters of Christmas. He is a past winner of the BC Literary Rites short story competition, a finalist in the Canadian National Playwriting Contest, a two-time winner of the Monday Magazine short story contest and has been shortlisted four times in the annual 3-Day Novel Contest. He is the co-creater and writer of the web series Coma State (currently in development) and has worked as a story editor on several films and comic books, most recently the feature film Hogtown. His short story Goalie has been anthologized over twenty times. Currently, he’s working on several film, television and comic book projects, including the upcoming webs series 60 Second Screams. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and works as an instructor at the Vancouver Film School.

Federico Muchnik has been making films for thirty years. He studied film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and worked as a producer for PBS. He has also produced content for Disneyland, ABC Television, and HBO. He played the lead role in "The Golden Boat", directed by Raul Ruiz. The film was shown at Sundance, New York, Toronto, and was distributed by Strand Releasing. He co-wrote and co-edited "Secret Courage", a documentary about the Jewish resistance movement during World War II. He has made many fiction-based long form series for the educational markets and filmed numerous projects throughout North America, Europe and Latin America. He has taught filmmaking at Boston University, Emerson College, and in New York and Los Angeles. Most recently, he produced and directed the feature length "This Killing Business" distributed by Filmbox Arthouse in Europe and shown at numerous festivals in the US. He is also the author of The Strategic Producer: On the Art and Craft of Making Your First Feature (Routledge/Focal Press).

Mariona Lloreta is a Catalan-American interdisciplinary artist working internationally in film, painting and dance. Mariona’s work celebrates the universal thread that binds our human experience as it examines the fine line between presence and absence, wholesomeness and brokenness, past, present and future. Her work dives into themes of identity, spirituality and collective memory, while reflecting upon the beauty and vulnerability of human existence. Recent projects include directing experimental film "In the Absence of Things" in partnership with Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Chicago and Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City and writing, directing and co-producing experimental film "A lua nunca morre" in Rio de Janeiro which has so far won the Best Experimental Film Award and Best Cinematography at Oscar-Qualifying Reel Sisters in Brooklyn, NY, and has been selected by Oscar-Qualifying Edmonton International Film Festival, acclaimed New York Latino Film Festival, NALIP's Latino Media Fest, San Francisco Independent Film Festival and Miami Film Festival, among others. Her previous film, “Amenze, in between worlds,” which she wrote, directed and filmed, won Best Cinematography at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival (Brooklyn, NY) received a Best International Film nomination at the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, GA, and was selected by dozens of film festivals, including Oscar-qualifying Zinebi in Bilbao, Spain. Mariona also edited award-winning feature film "The Ghost and the House of Truth" (2019) in South Africa and produced narrative short film "On Monday of Last Week" (2018). She has directed and produced several documentary films, including "ReSignifications", commissioned by New York University and "The Lagos Music Salon" for Sony Music artist Somi in Nigeria. Mariona is currently working on a narrative feature film, on a documentary film commissioned by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston, on an experimental short film called "Altars" and she is also producing several female-led, international projects. Mariona currently serves as Affiliate Professor of Screenwriting at Emerson College in Boston and as instructor at creative writing agency GrubStreet.

Nora Jaenicke is an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter currently residing in Berlin. She has worked in Cologne, Germany, for a Documentary Film Production Company and as a Set Designer in Los Angeles, before starting to write and direct her own films. Her feature length screenplay Whales was selected to be a part of the Kitzbuehl Writing Residency in August 2017 and was a semi-finalist at Oscar qualifying Nashville Film Festival. Her first feature film is slated for production in May 2021. She has made several short films that won multiple awards at festivals all over the world, has been a Guest Lecturer at various Universities in New York City and teaches filmmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is also the founder of Nostos Screenwriting Retreats and runs a Film Festival on the Italian island of Elba.

In total, we are selecting up to 12 writers for each retreat. As to the accommodations we have single rooms or double rooms available within small apartment complexes, all located in the gorgeous Tuscan Countryside.

For the next Spring 2022 retreat there is a chance to apply for a full scholarship for the workshop happening on Elba and the Mainland Retreat.

Send the treatment of your feature script, TV pilot or a first draft of your current screenplay, a log line and biography to win this exclusive three week writing retreat on the Elba Island and the Tuscan Countryside.

We judge each script and treatment with a point system in different categories.

These categories include: premise-concept, presentation, structure, plot, pacing, dialogue, characters, theme and style for the screenplays.

For treatments (must be detailed, and 15 - 30 pages long) we judge the premise-concept, presentation and originality of the story.

Script should be no shorter than 60 pages (if it's a feature script, Tv Pilots can be shorter) and no longer than 160 pages. The recommended length is 80 to 125 pages for feature scripts. *** Please note that we only accept English-language submissions. ***

We look forward to reading your work!

Overall Rating
  • Brandon Stark

    For the first time in over four years, I have reached a level of peace and focus on writing I could not have achieved without the Nostos Screenwriting Retreat.

    Nora and her team have created a writing environment that not only lets screenwriters take a step back from their everyday lives but an opportunity allowing writers to see true potential within their own projects and work.

    From the home cooked meals to the special guest speakers, I’ve learned certain lessons and skills that have allowed me to take my writing to the next level. I feel confident, recharged and ready to move forward with my screenwriting career.
    Attending the Fall 2021 Nostos Screenwriting Retreat was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for these kind words, Brandon! We are honored that you chose Nostos as a home to develop your project further, and we wish you the best of luck on your career!

  • edoardo berardi

    I received a very good retreat of my screenplay, with a lot of details and advices.
    Thank you!

    June 2021
  • Gunseli Orhon

    It was great to be selected by Nostos Screenwriting Retreat. I hope to participate in the future with new projects.

    June 2021
  • I was a participant of the December Online Workshop, which was very enriching for my project. I had a great time discussing story ideas with Rudy and the other members, an invaluable experience that resulted in insightful and very constructive feedback. Recommended to all screenwriters and filmmakers, whether you are embarking on a new personal project or have been stuck with the writing or development of an idea for some time.

    February 2021

    It is impossible to put into words what I experienced during Nostos Screenwriting Retreat Sep./Oct. 2021! I will never forget this great atmosphere, the wonderful filmmakers I had the opportunity to meet. I hope that the friendships started there will last and that together more than once, maybe on film sets. The best indication of how successful it was was that, after three weeks, none of us wanted to come back...

    February 2021