Writers' Lab

Writers' Lab

Writing is a rigorous, near-constant process of revising, reimagining and rewriting. The Cineplex Entertainment Film Program Writers' Lab will elevate your cinematic storytelling skills through vigorous development, writing, story editing and workshopping a range of different concepts and properties. Please find additional information below, and if you have any questions, please contact programs@cfccreates.com.


ELIGIBILITY

This program is designed for writers who are deeply committed to expanding their craft and who are ready to engage in a demanding development and filmmaking experience. We are looking for writers with unique, inspired voices and a strong understanding of cinematic storytelling.

To apply, you must have at least a first draft of your feature screenplay that showcases your voice and approach, as well as several other feature project ideas to develop, a proven commitment to the craft and some exposure to the film and television industry.

You must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada to apply.


LAB DESIGN

Project Development

Through a series of highly productive workshops, writing assignments, story editing sessions and actor table reads, you will develop your feature script ideas and film projects. Writers are challenged to define and articulate the distinctive elements of scripts and the components that make a property viable and attractive in the international market.

The goal for each writer is to leave the program with an expanded project slate, including at least one solid, produceable feature script that champions your original voice.

Craft and Collaboration

Writers are immersed in a myriad of perspectives and approaches to story editing through a series of workshops, writing exercises, case studies and productions. Sessions are customized each year to meet the needs of the writers, both as a group and individually, as required.

Writers leave the program with a more comprehensive understanding of storytelling, screenwriting techniques and how to effectively engage with feedback on different levels.

Business and Marketplace

Writers are exposed to a variety of perspectives on the current landscape of filmmaking and writing. You will meet with producers, distributors, funders and other key players in the industry to gain a better understanding of various business considerations and expand your awareness of how these factors impact project slates and long-term career strategy.

Writers engage in a number of sessions focused on the business of writing and develop business plans that help define your long-term career goals. You will be challenged and coached on how to best represent yourself and your projects within the industry, bridging the gap between creative aspirations and the business of screenwriting.


APPLICATION PROCESS

Deadlines and Fees:

Applications are now closed. 

Writers' Lab Application Requirements:

Letter of Intent: A one page description outlining what you hope to achieve by attending the lab. Include your expectations of the program and touch on your immediate and long-term goals as they relate to strengthening your craft.

Curriculum Vitae: Your CV should include a summary of duties performed in each job listed. No more than 3 pages.

Filmography (If Applicable): Outlining your experience in the film industry. All writing, development, production and post-production experience is valid. Only completed projects should be included.

Feature Screenplay: Submit the strongest sample of your writing and original voice. Submissions should be an un-produced, feature length screenplay in proper screenplay format, 80-120 pages. This screenplay cannot be co-written, nor can it be adapted without permission. Script should be proof read and clearly marked with your name, feature title, and draft date on the cover page.

Feature Project Pitch: Please submit 2-3 pages prose (as per below) accompanying the feature screenplay that you submit.Include the following: genre, logline, synopsis, description of principal characters/basic story, development/funding history (if applicable), key creatives attached to the project (if applicable) and a brief outline of your next steps.

Please indicate if your feature is based on source material (play, short story, short film etc.). Proof of option is required for all features based on source material.

Project Slate: This can include Film, TV, documentary and/or web projects. For each project include: a short synopsis (3-5 sentences), a brief summary of development history/funding, and a brief outline of your next steps. Only include projects that you are committed to developing creatively. Your feature screenplay submission should be included on your slate.

2 Letters of Reference: From anyone who is familiar with your writing ability. The letters should emphasize your proven commitment to your craft and be addressed to the ‘Writers’ Lab Selection Committee.’ These can be uploaded with the application, or emailed by the referee to programs@cfccreates.com.

Option Agreement (if applicable)


SELECTION PROCESS

A selection committee comprised of industry professionals and key program staff is assembled and short-lists applicants for interviews.

All applicants will be notified by April 30th of whether or not they have been short-listed for an interview. Applicants whose submissions are not short-listed will be notified by email. Due to the number of applications we receive, we are not able to give individual feedback at this stage of the process.

Interviews usually take place in March and April, and decisions are made by the first week in May. These are approximate dates, as scheduling depends on the availability of the selection committee.

The interview is a conversation with the filmmaker about his or her work and who they are, and is intended to assist the committee in determining which candidates will best contribute to and benefit from the program’s design. Prior to the interview we will put you in touch with a recent alumnus or alumna to answer any questions you have about the program, expectations, and design.

Whenever possible, the CFC sets up in-person interviews with those applicants based outside of Ontario. At minimum, phone interviews are arranged.