HIFF Announces 18th Annual Screenwriters Lab and Master Class

Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters Lab, Photo: HIFF
Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters Lab, Photo: HIFF

The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) has announced the 18th annual Screenwriters Lab and Master Class, which takes place April 6–8 in East Hampton.

The Screenwriters Lab pairs up rising screenwriters with established and knowledgeable screenwriters, directors and producers for a weekend of one-on-one mentoring sessions. The three selected screenplays for 2018 are Esra Saydam’s The Mesopotamian, Anu Valia’s We Strangers and Aemilia Scott’s Birthday Suit.

“We make it a priority to support new writers in establishing their careers with the guidance of experienced storytellers from the industry,” said David Nugent, Artistic Director of HIFF. “We are thrilled to once again guide fresh voices and continue to diversify the narratives coming to the screen every year. We are even more proud that for the first time ever we have three female screenwriters who will participate in the Lab.”

This year’s mentors include Sabrina Dhawan, Alec Sokolow and James V. Hart. Dhawan is the screenwriter of Monsoon Wedding, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and won the ‘Leon D’Oro’ at the Venice Film Festival. Her other produced screenplay credits include Kaminey, Rangoon, 11.9.01 and Ishqiya.

Sokolow has worked on a wide range of media in his career as a professional writer, including film, television, video games. His credited film work has topped one billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts, including Cheaper by the Dozen, Evan Almighty, Money Talks, I am Jane Doe, Goodbye Lover and Toy Story, for which he received an Academy Award nomination and won an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Writing.

Hart is the screenwriter of several acclaimed films, including Hook, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Epic, Contact, Muppet Treasure Island and August Rush. He has served as a mentor and advisor at the Austin Writer’s Ranch, Sundance Film Labs, and the eQuinoxe-Europe Writing Workshops for over 20 years.

Now, Hart is set to lead this year’s screenwriting Master Class, utilizing his HartChart, a story mapping tool for writers working in television, film, novels and plays, to take participants through all the stages of the creative process. He will use clips and personal experience to detail all that goes into writing a script for every type of audience.

This special opportunity to hear from a talented and versatile screenwriter takes place on at the Ross School (18 Goodfriend Drive, East Hampton) on Saturday, April 7 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at hamptonsfilmfest.org.

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