g The Film Panel Notetaker: 8th Annual Screenwriter's Lab In Hamptons Announced

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

8th Annual Screenwriter's Lab In Hamptons Announced

The Hamptons International Film Festival announced today that it will host its 8th annual Screenwriters’ Lab co-sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation this May 9-11 in East Hampton. Last fall, I sat in on the screenplay reading of Caitlin McCarthy's Wonder Drug during the 2007 HIFF. Looks like a great group of screenwriters have been selected for this Lab coming up this weekend. Coincidentally, I've been to a couple of screenplay readings in the last few weeks. First was Jay Paramsothy's and Catherine Torphy's The Emperor Has Arrived on April 21 and next up was Leah Meyerhoff's Unicorns on May 1. If anyone has any more screenplay reading announcements that will take place in and around New York, please send them my way.

More from the HIFF Screenwriter's Lab announcement below:

The Hamptons International Film Festival will host its 8th annual Screenwriters’ Lab cosponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation this May 9-11 in East Hampton. Over the course of one long weekend, emerging screenwriters will benefit from the expert tutelage of seasoned mentors who will advise them on how best to revise their scripts in preparation for production.

During the lab in the Hamptons, our emerging screenwriters will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one each day with established screenwriting mentors who will advise them on how to develop their scripts. Within this intimate environment, our screenwriters are encouraged to take risks and discover new possibilities for their projects. Participants also attend group discussions over meals, while evening events bring them together with board members, sponsors, the local artistic community, and other friends of the Festival.

Following the lab, The Hamptons will assist writers in making contact with friends of the Festival, including industry producers, agents, and development executives, and continue to support the writers as they revise their scripts. We will hold screenplay readings and eventually invite films developed at the Screenwriters' Lab to screen at the Hamptons Film Festival. This process allows the Lab in conjunction with the Festival to establish a community and ongoing support structure that develops and promotes diverse voices, artistic ambitions, and the audiences that rejoice in both.

“The Screenwriters’ Lab consistently provides one of the most exciting and fulfilling aspects of the Hamptons’ year-round activities,” states Director of Programming David Nugent. “The level of talent from both the writers and mentors is outstanding and the weekend is always a highly charged forum of ideas, creativity, discussions and great work. As always it is a pleasure partnering with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize in Science and Technology originated at the Hamptons. With the Screenwriters’ Lab, we have established a year-round collaboration supporting selected filmmakers who turn their narrative talents to the realm of science and technology and explore those themes in fresh, innovative ways and depict scientists and engineers in a realistic and compelling fashion.”

Our 2008 Lab Participants, Screenplays and Project Descriptions:

1) ALEX R. JOHNSON - LA SOBRINA
Cookie Rodriguez had just started driving the night shift for a Brooklyn car service when her niece turns up dead in the Williamsburg waterfront. Frustrated with the police investigation, she starts one of her own and finds that her niece was caught up in a corrupt world of gentrification, bribery, and Brooklyn real estate.

2) JAMES PONSOLDT - REFRESH, REFRESHThree teenaged sons of Marine reservists fighting a distant war must prove to themselves their worth as men. In measures of heartbreak, brutality, and humor, REFRESH, REFRESH takes an honest, unflinching look at the unforeseen repercussions of violence and how we inherit a war at home.

3) BRADFORD TATUM - BOOK OF WATER
BOOK OF WATER combines historical fact with a vibrant magical realist style to tell the story of the life of Leonardo da Vinci. An Alfred P. Sloan supported script.

4) AVI WEIDER - ZEROES AND ONES
In creating an intelligent machine out of discarded computer parts, a young woman uncovers her grandmother's long-buried secret of her survival from Auschwitz and finds a release from her own haunting memories. An Alfred P. Sloan supported script.

2008 Screenwriters’ Lab Mentors Are:

1) MARIA MAGGENTI (filmmaker/screenwriter) Maria Maggenti began her career in 1995 as writer/director of THE INCREDIBLY TRUE ADVENTURE OF TWO GIRLS IN LOVE. Her second feature film, PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS, produced by InDigEnt premiered in competition at Sundance in January 2006 and was released by Strand Releasing in February 2007. In January 2007 she was one of five filmmakers selected for the Sundance Global Short Film Project for the GSM Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Maggenti recently sold “The Beard”, a half-hour single camera comedy series to Showtime. She has also adapted Jane Green’s bestseller “Jemima J.” for Lifetime Television, and spent three seasons as a writer on the hit CBS/Bruckheimer drama “Without A Trace”. Maggenti received her MFA in filmmaking from the NYU Graduate Film Institute and received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy & Classics from Smith College. In 2001-02 she was an adjunct professor of feature screenwriting at the NYU Graduate Film Institute.

2) IRA SACHS (Ira Sachs is a filmmaker living in New York City. His most recent film, MARRIED LIFE, starring Rachel McAdams, Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan and Patricia Clarkson was produced by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Anonymous Content and was released by Sony Pictures Classics in March 2008. MARRIED LIFE screened at the 2007 Toronto and New York Film Festivals. His previous film, FORTY SHADES OF BLUE, starring Rip Torn, received the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. In 1999, Sachs was given a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. His first feature, THE DELTA, was released theatrically in 1997 by Strand Releasing, after screening at the Sundance, Toronto, and Rotterdam Film Festivals.

3) JEFFREY SHARP (producer) Jeffrey Sharp, President and CEO of Sharp Independent, has produced numerous feature films, including BOYS DON’T CRY (1999), YOU CAN COUNT ON ME (2000), and PROOF (2005). Those adapted from books include NICHOLAS NICKLEBY (2002) adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens, A HOME AT THE END OF THE WORLD (2003) adapted by Michael Cunningham from his novel, THE NIGHT LISTENER (2006) adapted by Armistead Maupin from his novel, and EVENING (2007) adapted from Susan Minot's novel by Michael Cunningham and Susan Minot. Sharp Independent recently partnered with HarperCollins to develop and produce feature films from the publishers’ vast list of book titles. This partnership is called Sharp Independent at HarperCollins. Jeff holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Colgate University.

4) WHIT STILLMAN (writer/director/producer) Whit Stillman is a former journalist and fiction writer who in the 90s came out with three films on “doomed” bourgeois youth – METROPOLITAN, BARCELONA and THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO. Taking the characters from the latter and extending their story, he wrote the S.F. Chronicle bestselling novel “The Last Days of Disco, with Cocktails at Petrossian Afterwards” (Farrar, Straus), winner of the first and last “Nightlife Literature Award.” Since 1998 he’s lived in Europe writing the scripts for a cycle of films on foreign subjects.

The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate the American Independent film - long, short, narrative and documentary - and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences. The festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the hope that these programs will enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all.

The Sixteenth Annual Hamptons International Film Festival will be held Wednesday, October 15 through Sunday, October 19, 2008.

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