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

The next workshop will happen in Tuscany in September 2020.

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:

Bryan Delaney is a playwright, screenwriter and dramaturg. From 2010 - 2014 he ran the New Playwrights Programm at The Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theatre. His TV pilot Jordan (co-written with Daniel Dowling) was one of the winning scripts in the 2015 BAFTA Rocliffe TV Drama Competition and was selected for the BAFTA Forum List. He was a winner of the 2013 BBC Writers-room open submissions competition to develop new TV drama/comedy for the BBC in London. He is the recipient of the 2014 Theater Masters Visionary Playwright Award in conjunction with the Aspen Institute. Plays include The Seedbed (nominated for L. Arnold Weissberger Award; finalist Verity Bargate Award; public reading Manhattan Theatre Club, 2014, scheduled for production at New Jersey Repertory Theatre, 2015); The Onion Game (selected from 2,800 scripts as a BBC Writers-room winner (above); public readings at New York Stage and Film and the Vineyard Theatre off-Broadway); The Cobbler (Irish Classical Theatre: Katherine Cornell Award; joint winner 16th International Playwriting Competition); Solemn Mass for a Full Moon in Summer (translation of Michel Tremblay’s play, Rough Magic, Dublin), The Bohemians (Carnegie Hall, New York), Stretching Larry (Theatre Upstairs, Dublin). He is co-writer (with Catherine Eaton) of the feature film, LIV, (shortlisted for Sundance Screenwriters Lab) currently touring festivals all over the world. He was a script consultant and a member of the creative team behind We Need to Talk About Ireland – a contemporary reflection on Ireland that was broadcast around the world on St. Patrick’s Day, 2014. He was invited to give a master class on storytelling at the Future of Storytelling Summit in New York in 2014 and was an Aspen Scholar at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival. Other awards include two playwright’s bursaries from The Peggy Ramsay Foundation and two travel awards and an artist’s bursary from The Arts Council of Ireland. In 2006 he was awarded the Samuel Beckett Centenary International Writer’s Residency at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris. He also teaches advanced playwriting and screenwriting at University of Pennsylvania and playwriting at Harvard Summer School and is an invited guest of the 2015 New Play Festival at the University of Iowa. He is represented by Gersh.

Joanna Pickering is an actress, writer, and activist. Her one act play 'Beach Break' was a top five finalist radio broadcast for HBO's Catalyst Content festival, a Screencraft Stage Play finalist, and aired on British radio in 2018. It debuted in “The Deunde Series” with Primitive Grace Theater Company, at the Bridge Theater, New York. Joanna has written for stage with Primitive Grace Theater ensemble from 2018 to 2020. She also teaches playwrighting with Roadmap Writers. Her own plays have received scholarships to workshop with The Dramatist Guild, Rohm literary agency and Margaret Atwood's agent Phoebe Lamore, and her full play is in development at The Actors Gym with academy winning screenwriter, director, producer Bobby Moresco, and directed by Amanda Moresco. The play is recently awarded a scholarship to mentor with Vice president HBO talent development and programming and adapt to screen. Her film 'Boardwalk' screened at The Film Anthology Archives in New York. It was nominated for best film and best suspense thriller at NYC Web Fest 2019. Her screenplays in development have been awarded a top 15 mark of distinction from Touchstone and Disney's chief of production, David Kirkpatrick. She is a 2020 fellow for Robert Mckee, as well as recipient of the Screencraft development program. Joanna is represented with 3 Arts Entertainment and has a TV series in development. Her acting credits include her small role in Danny Boyle's executively produced ‘Creation Stories,' principal role in ‘Alice Fades Away’ with star cast, as well as independent films screening at The Whitney Museum, NY, ‘Pelleas’ alongside Alice Eve (Star Trek), and award-winning film 'Four Keys'. Stage credits include performing Lady Macbeth, King Herod as well as Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. Joanna speaks on Women in Film panels, is the jury president of NY2PARIS/NYIIF film festival, on the advisory board member for The Chelsea Film Festival, and a participant speaker for UN Create2030. Her creative writing and social political essays can be found online.

Flaminio 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.

Nora Jaenicke is an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter currently residing between Berlin and New York City. She grew up in Italy with German parents and studied Film at the European Institute of Design in Rome and Screenwriting at Vancouver Film School. Later on she was able to deepen her studies in Psychology and Creative Writing by obtaining a Bachelors of Liberal Arts at Harvard University Extension Studies, while on a full scholarship. 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 a Summer Intensive Course in 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.

Every year we offer One Full Scholarship to a selected writer. 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.

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 we judge the premise-concept, presentation and originality of the story.

Script should be no shorter than 70 pages and no longer than 160 pages. The recommended length is 80 to 125 pages.

We look forward to reading your work!

Overall Rating
  • This was my first submission on FilmFreeway and it was a good experience. Nora was very kind in her communication with me. Hopefully one day I will get to experience their retreats held in Italy.

    July 2020
  • Turi Haim

    Great people! Definitely worth the submission.

    May 2020
  • Lara Mrkoci

    My time on Elba working on my feature screenplay was priceless. I came there with only an outline and left with 72 pages of my feature. In the first week I met one-on-one with Rudy to go over my beat sheet. He's the perfect instructor for a writing retreat because he focusses on helping you tell the best version of the story YOU want to tell--he doesn't impose his own taste and he is passionate about storytelling in all forms. He helped me work through my story so that by the time I sat down to write the screenplay, it just flowed. While at this retreat I noticed my approach to my writing shifting, for the better, and I feel that I left with a deeper understanding of my craft.

    I'm so grateful to Nora for bringing together a group of writers that were supportive and generous with their ideas. We would discuss story over breakfast, and do cold reads with wine in the evening. The opportunity to focus on writing for three solid weeks is a gift that any writer should give themselves. And if you want to make that gift truly memorable, take yourself to Elba. It is an enchanting island and my experience there has sparked new friendships and more than a few new story ideas!

    December 2018
  • Kaylee Kilkenny

    Thanks to Nostos I was able to FINALLY able take a second to breathe. The energy of the entire Nostos family helped me take those breaths and use them to propel me towards a healthier path in my writing journey. Being able to share space (both mental and physical) with several wonderful writers for three weeks led to me gaining a better understanding of my identity as a writer. Big big thanks to Nora and Rudy for all their help on this journey!

    November 2018
  • Faye Yuan

    This retreat far exceeded my expectations of what writing in Tuscany could be. The perfect combination of group workshop, live readings, one-on-one mentoring, and silent writing to help overcome writer's block, kill the necessary darlings, and achieve timely breakthroughs. Nora is an excellent leader and Rudy the most trustworthy facilitator. Upon returning from the retreat, my producer has already marveled on more than one occasion, "Is this what the Tuscan sun does to you?" I would not trade this group for anything!

    October 2018