Screenwriting lab 2017

Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts      

The Arab Film Festival organizes in cooperation with Cinephilia Productions the Cinephilia Screenwriting Lab for Shorts. This state-of-the-art platform allows filmmakers to develop their storytelling potential, their criticism faculty and their technical proficiency and aims to develop original, visionary and daring voices in the art of screenwriting from the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. The lab offers the tools that result in a strong narrative short film while focusing on the individual’s unique voice as screenwriter and by connecting like-minded people through shared collaborative feedbacks.


Selecting filmmakers

The lab selects up to 6 filmmakers, 3 from The Netherlands and 3 from the MENA region, who are developing a narrative short film screenplay. The selection is based on the originality of the submitted project. We are looking for visionary narrative short film projects that break the boundaries of the conventional.


Screenwriting lab

During the intensive 10 days lab, filmmakers develop their projects with the help of the lab mentor, Darine Hotait, and fellow filmmakers who give constructive feedback during each session.  By the end of the lab, filmmakers should expect to have a draft completed. The screenplays are then reviewed by a jury. One screenplay will receive the ‘Best Screenplay’ award.

The screenwriting lab for shorts will take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from 5 October until 14 October 2017. Please note that participants are expected to arrive in Rotterdam on October 4th, since the first session will start October 5th early in the morning. The closing award ceremony will be on October 15th. Block your agenda until October 16th so that you won’t have to miss anything.


How to apply

You can apply for the screenwriting lab for shorts via the website of Cinephilia Productions:


June 16- July 31: Open call for applications

July 15: Regular deadline for submissions

August 15: Late deadline for submissions

September 1: Announcement of selection

A non-refundable application fee is required with each application; $30 USD for the regular deadline and $40 USD for the late deadline.

Check all the eligibility requirements on the Cinephilia website.


Cinephilia Productions

Cinephilia Productions is a space of inventive possibilities and novel ventures. It is a progressive approach at independent cinema that centers on perpetual versatility. Cinephilia is an incubator and frequent contributor to the development of filmmakers from the Middle East and Africa through its various initiatives that occupy the space between ideation and production. Cinephilia is a platform designed to embody cinema as a genuine art form.

Cinephilia Productions was founded in 2010 by American-Lebanese film director Darine Hotait. Cinephilia Productions is an independent film production house located in New York City specializing in the production of fiction shorts and feature films.


Lab mentor Darine Hotait

Darine Hotait is an American Lebanese writer and film director. She is the founder of Cinephilia Productions an independent film production house in New York City. She received her MFA in screenwriting and directing from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Click here to get an idea of last year’s screenwriting lab.