HIFF Screenwriters Lab Begins Friday

Film reel
Photo: Jag_cz/iStock/Thinkstock

The Hamptons International Film Festival’s 16th annual Screenwriters Lab is taking place this weekend, April 8–10. The Lab joins established screenwriters, directors and producers as mentors with a select group of promising newcomers to the medium.

Submissions for this year’s Lab increased by 40 percent, out of which only three scripts were chosen, Shane Andries’ The Delegation, Cathy Yan’s Dead Pigs and Marshall Curry and Davy Rothbart’s Biggz.

Andries’ The Delegation centers on a rookie congressional aide who learns of a group of Americans in a remote jungle commune who might be in danger. She convinces a congressman to send delegates to investigate the commune’s leader, Jim Jones.

Yan’s Dead Pigs focuses on five people who cross paths as they search for their place in a rapidly modernizing China.

Curry and Rothbart’s Biggz is about a white, 350-pound aspiring rapper from Detroit who is pushed into a smuggling operation after a leaky roof repair sets him over the edge.

This year’s mentors for the Lab are Debra Granik, the writer and director of the Oscar-winning film Winter’s Bone; Michael Weber, the co-writer of (500) Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars; Pixar writer Mike Jones, who wrote the English adaptations of the Oscar-nominated films The Wind Rises and The Tale of Princess Kaguya; and Master Class participant Alexander Dinelaris, a recent Academy Award winner for Birdman: Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance and co-producer of last year’s Oscar winner The Revenant.

The Lab will also feature a Master Class that will be open to the public on Saturday, April 9. The class will be hosted by Dinelaris, who will walk participants through the stages of a screenplay, from the initial writing of the script to how it changes and transforms in the editing stages to the final edited picture. Dinelaris will use film clips to show participants what it takes to create an award-winning picture like Birdman. The class will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 in East Hampton.

For more information on this program, check hamptonsfilmfest.org or email [email protected].

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