The Writers Lab, the development and marketplace programme devoted to script development for women and nonbinary screenwriters over 40, is opening its first combined UK and European edition.
Julia Berg of UK production outfit Untamed Stories will again partner with the co-founders of The Writers Lab US, Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon, to launch a combined UK and European Lab this year. The US programme, produced with New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT), is supported by Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. Last year’s UK Lab was supported by Dirty Films, the production company headed by Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton, Coco Francini and Georgie Pym.
Advisors and guests will include Succession writer Susan Soon He Stanton, Call My Agent! star Camille Cottin, The Split writer Abi Morgan, I May Destroy You story consultant Stephanie Yamson, Call Me By Your Name casting director and line producer Stella Savino, founder of the British Blacklist Akua Gyamfi, Better Things creator and star Pamela Adlon and 11 Flowers producer Didar Domehri.
The virtual programme will run from September 2023 to March 2024, with submissions accepted for English-language feature and pilot episode (one hour and half hour) scripts being considered. Submissions are open from April 12 to May 10, with up to 15 writers being selected.
The Writers Lab UK and Europe 2023 is supported by partners Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Screen Scotland, Northern Ireland Screen, The Austrian Film Institute, ORF, FISAplus – Film Industry Support Austria and Drehbuchforum Wien (Screenwriters Forum Vienna). The Lab is in association with German Films, Netherlands Film Fund, and Reclaim The Frame, whose director Melanie Iredale will also be a guest speaker.
Gráinne Bennett, skills development executive – creativity and creative collaboration at Screen Ireland, said: “Screen Ireland strives to give full voice to diverse creative talent and we are proud to support The Writers Lab and its mission to inspire talented women and nonbinary screenwriters 40+.
”The inclusion of the UK and Ireland for a combined European lab will further expand development opportunities for this important demographic to access a wider network of peers, learn from industry leading mentors and gain greater exposure for their screen stories.”
“Writers Lab UK – women screenwriters is a great initiative designed to nurture female-led stories. I loved being part of a project with a focus on encouraging emerging voices to reach their potential,” added The Power writer and previous UK mentor, Claire Wilson.
The US incarnation of the programme was founded in 2015. The first UK and Ireland edition launched in 2021, with a European edition running in 2022.
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