Film Program - Writers' Lab

2020 PROGRAM DATES

    2020 PROGRAM DATES

    APPLICATIONS OPEN:

    December 2, 2019

    APPLICATIONS CLOSE:

    January 15, 2020    

    PROGRAM START:

    TBD

    PROGRAM END:

    TBD

      *2021/2022 program application dates are to be determined. To receive notifications regarding key program dates, please CLICK HERE.*
Overview
Program Design
Apply

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Writers’ Lab is one of four labs in the Film Program. It is a 5 1/2-month, full-time program that offers a productive and immersive screenwriting experience for up to five (5) writers a year. The Writers’ Lab champions a writer’s unique voice as they develop and accelerate multiple projects for the screen.

The Writers’ Lab affords participants the opportunity to:

  • Strengthen their cinematic writing and story skills
  • Deconstruct and engage in the entire script-to-screen process
  • Build a greater understanding of the business and professional screen industry
  • Engage fully in the creative and collaborative process of screenwriting
  • Broaden their creative and business network
  • Generate a body of work that showcases their voice
  • Develop and package projects for the marketplace
  • Define what their unique offerings are within the marketplace and their strengths as a writer

The Writers’ Lab exposes writers to a variety of approaches and constant practice. Writers are continually writing and explore different ways of working within the highly collaborative and immersive Lab environment.  


ELIGIBILITY

This program is designed for emerging/mid-level writers who have:

  • Professional writing experience and a growing body of work
  • A proven track record of artistic collaboration
  • A narrative feature screenplay that speaks to their abilities as a screenwriter
  • A slate of projects in development that is aligned with their creative vision
  • A desire to create and a commitment to work as a screenwriter within a professional artistic framework

We are looking for writers who bring different points of view, different types of projects, and different experiences and skills to the table. Writers can have experience in grassroots independent filmmaking, or can be transitioning from other forms of writing (plays, novels, journalism, videogames etc.).

Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.


TUITION & FEES

Tuition for all 2020 Film Program labs is $8,000.00.

If accepted into the program, you are eligible to apply for a CFC scholarship of up to $8,000.00 based on financial need.

Please note that there is a $100.00 application fee via PayPal for all Film Program applications.


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact Deborah Fallows, CHRO, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact programs@cfccreates.com.

Program Design

The Writers’ Lab is an immersive conservatory-like forum focused on the creative, collaborative, technical and business aspects of screenwriting.

Writers often have different goals/trajectories coming into and upon leaving the program, so we focus on helping them realize their individual potential by taking a customized approach to deliver on each writer’s needs.

Throughout the Writers’ Lab, writers exercise their cinematic storytelling skills and their ability to execute through continued engagement in the script-to-screen process. Writers hone their creative process and ability to articulate what makes them and their projects distinct through the following:

CREATIVE & COLLABORATIVE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

A series of workshops, case studies and complex production exercises that expose writers to a variety of perspectives and approaches to the narrative script-to-screen process. Writers leave the program with a comprehensive understanding of storytelling and screenwriting techniques. Writers continually exercise how to articulate their creative vision on the page, engage with feedback and manage the professional rewriting process.

BUSINESS OF WRITING & THE MARKETPLACE

Writers meet with producers, funders, story editors, writers/showrunners, directors and other industry professionals to gain valuable insights on creating content for the screen. Bridging the gap between a writer’s creative aspirations and the business of filmmaking, experts and mentors share knowledge, coaching and feedback on navigating the industry, building a slate, representation, their feature project and larger career-strategy.

FEATURE PROJECT ACCELERATION

Writers need to be able to develop multiple projects that support their voices as screenwriters. Writers come into the program with a primary feature project and project slate that support their voice. Through the Lab they work to identify and articulate the distinctive elements of these projects. These projects and slates can include dramatic features, documentaries, shorts, TV or web series, VR or AR projects, etc.

Writers also produce a short teaser piece in the Lab, which champions their original voice and acts as a proof of concept for their primary feature project.


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact Deborah Fallows, CHRO, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact programs@cfccreates.com.

Apply

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

PART 1: COMPILED PDF

As part of the online application form, you will be asked to upload a single PDF file comprised of each document listed below in their respective order. Be sure to include your full name at the top of each page, as well as the title of the document.

1. LETTER OF INTENT (ONE PAGE)

This is our introduction to you! Please include a description of what your immediate and long term goals are as a writer. How might the lab specifically help you advance your craft and/or primary project?

2. RESUME/ CURRICULUM VITAE

A current and brief account of your previous work experience, education, and qualifications.

3. FILMOGRAPHY/ WRITING CREDITS

Please include a list of all your writing credits to date. This should include work from film and TV, theatre, novels, short stories, etc. Please include the year the piece was written, as well as its production status.

4. PROJECT SLATE 

A rundown of all film, television, documentary and web projects you are interested in exploring that have not yet been produced. Please include a brief synopsis (one paragraph per project), including genre, stage of development, funding history and key creatives (directors, producers), if applicable. Please include your primary feature project in your project slate.

5. TWO LETTERS OF REFERENCE

From anyone who is familiar with your work as a writer. 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.

PART 2: FEATURE SCREENPLAY

SCREENPLAY

Submit the screenplay you believe best showcases your writing and original voice. Submissions should be an un-produced, feature length screenplay in proper screenplay format, between 80-110 pages. This screenplay cannot be co-written. Your script should be proof-read and clearly marked with your name, feature title, and draft date on the cover page.

You will be asked to provide the current title of your screenplay, stage of development, as well as a brief description of your feature screenplay, including a summary of the plot, major characters and story points.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Why are you interested in telling this story and why now? What is your connection to the material? Please also indicate if your script is based on source material (play, short story, short film, graphic novel etc.), the source material author (if not you), and that you have the option and/or rights to adapt the material.


SELECTION PROCESS

APPLICATION

Please review the application requirements in advance of submitting.

All applicants will be notified via email of their application status. Due to the high volume of applicants, feedback will only be offered to shortlisted applicants.

INTERVIEW

A selection committee comprised of industry professionals and key program staff is assembled to create a shortlist of applicants who will be selected for an interview.

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 design and expectations.

The interview is structured as a conversation with the filmmaker and is intended to assist the committee in determining which candidates will best contribute to, and benefit from, the program’s design.

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

Applicants selected for the program are contacted shortly after interviews. 


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The CFC is committed to providing accessible practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation at any stage of the application process or have any questions regarding appropriate accommodations please contact Deborah Fallows, CHRO, at: dfallows@cfccreates.com.


CONTACT

For questions and clarifications, please contact programs@cfccreates.com.

Applications for this program are closed.