- The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) will host its 12th annual Screenwriters' Lab co-sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation April 13 through April 15 in East Hampton. HIFF, as part of their year-long screening events and programs, is proud to continue the series and play host to emerging screenwriters who are looking to further their foray into the world of film.
The Lab has screenwriters meet for one-on-one mentoring sessions with established screenwriters and producers, whose films include THE CHILDREN OF MEN, IRON MAN, THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE, TAKE SHELTER, and SHERRYBABY. These mentors will advise them on how to develop their scripts and move their projects closer to production. HIFF provides an environment in which participants are able to share and discuss their projects during the day, and in the evening meet with board members, sponsors, and the local artistic community.
"The Screenwriters' Lab is one of our most stimulating year-round activities, because we work with artists during the early phases of the creative process," states Director of Programming, David Nugent
. "The Lab's relaxed exchange of ideas and creative energy allows us to support emerging artists which is very important to us."
Following the Lab, the festival will assist writers in connecting them with important industry contacts, and continue to support the writers as they revise their scripts. According to Executive Director, Karen Arikian
, "Thanks to the vital support of the Sloan Foundation, selected screenwriters will also be invited back to the festival in October to continue to refine and advance their projects. The staged reading that they participate in as an initiative that we think is crucial to nurturing the next generation of artists."
2012 Screenwriters' Lab Mentors
• Jon Robin Baitz
is an acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, and actor. OTHER DESERT CITIES, which is currently running on Broadway, won the Outer Critics Circle Award in 2011. His other plays include THE FILM SOCIETY, THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE, THE END OF THE DAY, A FAIR COUNTRY (Pulitzer Prize finalist 1996), THE PARIS LETTER, a new adaptation of HEDDA GABLER (Broadway, 2001), and many others. His TV work includes PBS's version of his play THREE HOTELS, for which he won the Humanitas Award, and episodes of WEST WING and ALIAS. He also created the hit TV show BROTHERS & SISTERS, which ran for five seasons. His screnplays include THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE and PEOPLE I KNOW. He is a founding member of Naked Angels Theatre Company, and on the faculties of the MFA programs at The New School for Drama, and SUNY Stony Brook/ Southampton.
• Laurie Collyer
is an award winning film director and screenwriter. Her highly acclaimed 2006 film, SHERRYBABY, was awarded the Crystal Globe for Collyer and Best Actress for Maggie Gyllenhaal
at the 2006 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; Best Actress at the Milan International Film Festival; a National Board of Review Award for Top Independent Film; and was nominated for numerous other prestigious awards including a Golden Globe, a Gotham Award, and the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. Her documentary NUYORICAN DREAM won the coveted Joris Ivens Award at Cinéma du Réel festival, as well as the Audience Awards at both L.A. Outfest and Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Her latest film, SUNLIGHT, JR., starring Norman Reedus
, Naomi Watts
, and Matt Dillon
, is currently in post-production.
• Sophia Lin
won the Piaget Producers Award at the Independent Spirit Awards, and in 2011, she was named one of Variety's
Ten Producers to Watch. Her production credits include Vincent Gallo's
BUFFALO '66, David Gordon Green's
ALL THE REAL GIRLS and UNDERTOW, and Craig Zobel's
GREAT WORLD OF SOUND, which garnered three Gotham Award nominations (including winning the Breakthrough Director Award) and two Independent Spirit Award nominations. Sophia's recent production, TAKE SHELTER, directed by Jeff Nichols
and starring Michael Shannon
and Jessica Chastain
, won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival Critics Week, was nominated for two Gotham Awards and five Independent Spirit Awards, and was named one of the Top 10 Independent Films of the Year by the National Board of Review. Her most recent production, COMPLIANCE, premiered at Sundance 2012 to critical acclaim, and will be released by Magnolia Pictures. Sophia's next production, a horror film by newcomer Jeff Brown, THE BEACH HOUSE, will begin production this summer.
• Hawk Ostby is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. A native of Oslo, Norway, Ostby lived in India, Malaysia and Singapore before moving to the United States. His screenplay credits include FIRST SNOW, CHILDREN OF MEN (for which he won numerous awards, including a USC Scripter award, and was nominated for an Oscar), and the blockbuster hits IRON MAN and COWBOYS & ALIENS. His upcoming projects include INSIDE OUT and AKIRA, an adaptation of the hit Japanese anime film.
2012 Screenwriters' Lab Participants, Screenplays And Project Descriptions
• Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal - BRIGHT AS DAY. In BRIGHT AS DAY, set against the backdrop of the recent London riots, a disaffected teenager finds a temporary refuge from the adult world as she bonds with a run-down old horse from the local, urban riding stable.
Burke and Eyal are a writing and directing team who use actor-centric filmmaking methods. They were recently featured in Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film." Burke and Eyal started their collaboration while attending NYU's Tisch Graduate Film Program, where Burke received a fellowship for excellence from director Ang Lee. Their debut feature, STRANGER THINGS, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the 2011 Slamdance Film Festival; Best U.K. Feature at the 2011 Raindance Film Festival; and Best Feature at the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival. It was an official selection of the 46th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, BAMcinemaFest, and IFP's Independent Filmmaker Lab, where it won the lab's top award, the Independent Filmmaker Lab Finishing Grant. Eyal is a fellow of the Toronto International Film Festival Talent Lab and Burke is a fellow of the talent lab at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The duo recently directed a short film, THE TIME MACHINE, which is currently in post-production.
• Carolyn Kras - MAGNETIC. In MAGNETIC, William Gilbert, an eccentric doctor and physicist whose theories are rejected by all his colleagues, reluctantly takes on the most dangerous patient in England, Queen Elizabeth I; will he lose his head or his heart to her?
Kras is a Los Angeles-based writer for screen and stage. Her screenplay MAGNETIC is currently in development with producers Diane Nabatoff and Alex Ross and won the following awards: the Alfred P. Sloan Carnegie Mellon First Place Screenwriting Award; First Place Award (period genre category) in the Screenplay Search contest; Second Place Award in the Writemovies.com contest; and Nicholl Fellowship Quarterfinalist recognition. Carolyn's plays have been produced or developed at The Looking Glass Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, Theatre Seven of Chicago, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Theater Masters National M.F.A. Playwrights Festival. She was a finalist for the Heideman Award from Actors Theatre of Louisville and served as an Artist-in-Residence at the Ragdale Foundation. Carolyn holds a B.A. in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.
• Seith Mann - COME SUNDAY. COME SUNDAY is a story about a father, a son and the Black, Baptist church.
Mann is a Morehouse College alumnus and a graduate of the Graduate Film Program at New York University. His thesis film, FIVE DEEP BREATHS, premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, won Best Narrative Short at the 2003 IFP Los Angeles Film Festival, and the 1st Place King Award and The Carl Lerner Award for Film with Social Significance at the 2003 New York University First Run Festival. It was subsequently selected to screen at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival and the Cinefondation Competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Seith won the Gordon Parks Award for Emerging African-American Filmmakers in the Best Directing Category at the IFP/New York Market. Seith also received the Emerging Narrative Award, the Gordon Parks Award and for Screenwriting and the Richard Vague Film Production Fund Award for his feature screenplay, COME SUNDAY. Seith completed the prestigious ABC/DGA Television Directing Fellowship Program, where he shadowed on television shows including GREY'S ANATOMY and ALIAS. To date, Seith has directed over 30 episodes of television including THE WIRE, GREY'S ANATOMY, HEROES, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, NURSE JACKIE, DEXTER, and many others. He has been nominated for a DGA Award, five NAACP Image Awards, and won a NAACP Image Award for Directing for his episode of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.
• Laura Oaksmith - THE BUCK DECISION. THE BUCK DECISION is based on a true story. George, a transplanted city journalist and Doris, a rural housewife, find themselves working together to expose the hidden practices of the local hospital. For this unlikely pair, it's a personal quest, and together they uncover the dark history of the eugenics movement in the U.S.
Oaksmith is currently an executive recruiter with Cavan Executive Search, a NYC-based retained search firm specific to non profits and higher education. Earlier in her career, Laura was the VP of Distribution for Gotham Entertainment Group, and then went on to co-found Acetylene Entertainment, distributing independent films nationally. Laura began her post graduate career in Virginia state politics, working on a successful gubernatorial campaign. She was then appointed as the Virginia Film Commissioner by two consecutive Governors. Following her tenure as film commissioner, Laura then served as the Executive Director of the Virginia Film Festival at the University of Virginia. A second screenplay of Laura's, FRAN'S SURVIVAL, was recently selected by Zoetrope as a top ten finalist out of 2,500 submissions.
Past Screenwriters' Lab mentors include Michael Cunningham (THE HOURS, EVENING); James Vanderbilt (ZODIAC); Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (HALF NELSON); Whit Stillman (METROPOLITAN, THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO); Ira Sachs (FORTY SHADES OF BLUE, THE DELTA); Jeff Sharp (Producer, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME); J.D. Zeik (RONIN); Maggie Greenwald (SONGCATCHER); and Dylan Kidd (RODGER DODGER).
The 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival, taking place October 4 through October 8, is now open for submissions online through Withoutabox (www.withoutabox.com/login/1160). Our Early Bird deadline is April 6. Now entering its 20th year, HIFF continues to thrive as a prestigious forum for independent and international film and is an Academy Award-qualifying festival for short live-action and animated films. The Festival is held for five days in early October in venues stretching from Montauk to Southampton, and attracts roughly 15,000 visitors annually. At least 20 countries are represented in the slate of roughly 120 films that are showcased each year, with an awards package worth over $100,000. The festival continues to highlight new voices in cinema, as well as act as a bellweather to the awards season, with films from the 2011 edition earning 24 Academy Award nominations (THE ARTIST; THE DESCENDANTS; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; UNDEFEATED; PINA; PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY; THE SHORE; THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM) Other highlights from our 2011 festival include WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN; MELANCHOLIA; MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE; LIKE CRAZY; JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME; THE RUM DIARY; LE HAVRE; THE FAIRY; THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD; BULLHEAD; THE KID WITH A BIKE; SLEEPING BEAUTY and BULLY. Past lineups have included THE KING'S SPEECH; BLACK SWAN; 127 HOURS; TOY STORY 3; BARNEY'S VERSION; UP IN THE AIR; THE MESSENGER; THE YOUNG VICTORIA and RABBIT A LA BERLIN from our 2009 edition as well as 2008 Academy Award and Golden Globe Best Picture SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, 2008 Independent Spirit Award Best Feature winner THE WRESTLER, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO; CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH; WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY; TWO LOVERS; VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR; SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK; NOWHERE IN AFRICA; THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY; THE SAVAGES and OPEN WATER (world premiere).