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Screenwriters Intensive

Launched in 2013 as part of our Diversity Initiative, the Screenwriters Intensive is designed to provide an intimate group of emerging screenwriters the opportunity to hone their craft in a 1 or 2 day concentrated workshop. Like the Utah-based Screenwriters and Directors Labs, the Screenwriters Intensive focuses deeply on the creative process and fosters community amongst the participants. The intent is to give fellows specific tools they can use in the continued development of their material, so they are inspired and empowered to refine their voices as artists and do their best work.

The program typically supports between 10 and 15 writers who are developing a narrative feature screenplay. Although the particulars of the workshop may vary depending on the participants and location, program elements can include a hands-on writing workshop led by Sundance creative advisors such as Joan Tewkesbury (Nashville, Thieves Like Us); screenings of recent Sundance films followed by in depth conversations with the filmmaker; writer roundtables with Sundance advisors and alumni filmmakers; and individual feedback sessions about participants’ screenplays with Sundance advisors and staff.

We hold a Screenwriters Intensive annually each spring in Los Angeles; in addition, we sometimes travel with the program (as we did in October 2013 with the Screenwriters Intensive | Philadelphia, with support from a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.) We utilize the application process for the January Screenwriters Lab each year to select projects and filmmakers to participate in the annual Los Angeles Intensive; there is no separate application, so applying for the January Lab is the best way to be considered for the program.

Screenwriters Intensive • Philadelphia
Saturday, October 26, 2013

With support from a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Sundance Institute will be hosting a Screenwriters Intensive in Philadelphia on Saturday, October 26, 2013. In collaboration with Scribe Video Center, this one-day workshop will support 8 to 12 local screenwriters who are currently developing a narrative feature-length screenplay. Veteran screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury (Nashville, Thieves Like Us) will lead Designed Obstacles, a working session that will provide each writer with tools to delve deeply into their characters and make vital discoveries to enrich their stories. The workshop will be followed by a private conversation with Sundance Institute staff and a Sundance alumnus filmmaker, as well as a public reception for the community.

We are currently seeking applicants for the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive at Scribe. In order to be eligible, applicants must be based in the Philadelphia area, and must be developing a feature-length narrative screenplay. Additionally, we are seeking writers whose projects fit broadly into the Sundance model; specifically, films that are independent in terms of story and spirit, character-driven, and reflective of the writer’s authentic voice and personal, unique vision.

Apply Now*

*Application guidelines can be found at The deadline to apply is October 4, 2013.

Questions? Contact:

Amanda Johnson •
Media Center Manager at Scribe

Shira Rockowitz •
Feature Film Program Manager at Sundance Inst