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The Writers Lab now Launches in Europe

Photo Credits, clockwise from top left: Les Kaner, Edvin Kalić, Kenneth Dolin, Lena Stahl, Fares Sokhon, Finlay Jack Holdaway, Zoe Sala Coixet

The Writers Lab (TWL) is delighted to announce the launch of The Writers Lab Europe (TWL Europe) bringing the pioneering virtual script development programme to women over 40 in Europe for the first time. Submissions will open from 6th – 31st Jan 2022Learn more and apply at The Writers Lab website.

TWL Europe will be produced by TWL co-founders Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon and partner Untamed Stories, helmed by development producers Julia Berg and Ruth Spencer who recently launched the same Lab in the UK and Ireland supported by Cate Blanchett´s Dirty Films.

Mentors and Guests include Susanne Bier (The Night Manager), Jasmila Žbanić (Quo Vadis, Aida?), Jantje Friese (Dark), Christina Ham (Them), Ameenah Abdul Allen (Rocks, Ali and Ava), Isabel Coixet (Secret Life of Words) and Nadine Labaki (Capernaum). More mentors to be announced.

Partners include German Films, The Netherlands Filmfund, Screen Ireland, The Polish Film Institute, The Austrian Film Institute, Aurora Studios from Finland and screen.brussels. Award winning European based production companies Wildside, a Fremantle Company (My Brilliant Friend) and Germany-based Odeon Fiction (Spy City) also join. The Lab is in association with Drehbuchforum Wien (Screenwriters Forum Vienna) and Women in Film and TV (WIFT) Finland.

The Writers Lab, the first programme devoted exclusively to script development for women and non-binary writers over 40, brings the co-founders of its pioneering Lab to writers in Europe after a successful launch in 2021 in the UK and Ireland. The US programme, produced by co-founders Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), is supported by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Oprah Winfrey.

The virtual programme for European writers will be held April 2022, with ongoing mentoring, development and marketplace sessions in the months following. Submissions of both Features and Pilots (both 1-hour and ½-hour) will be accepted for consideration in English language (on writers discretion may be later translated into original language). Up to 15 writers will be selected to participate in an opportunity for unique and emerging voices reflecting the diversity of the populations across the whole European region, aided by the support of the funders for each territory.

Writers selected for the Lab will work one-on-one and in group sessions with acclaimed screen industry leaders to develop their scripts and their craft, and to build tools and strategies to achieve success. Recent UK Mentors included: Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here)Angela Kang (The Walking Dead) and Tanya Qureshi (I May Destroy You).

Founded in 2015 in New York, The Writers Lab US welcomed its seventh, largest and most inclusive class to date in October 2021. With demand for streaming content from diverse voices skyrocketing globally, the Lab now accepts pilot scripts as well as narrative features to further TWL’s mission of amplifying the still marginalized voices of women over 40.

Alumni are gaining traction in the industry. Four TWL films are currently in production contracts. Fifteen TWL alumni have landed writer-for-hire jobs. Ten have signed with representation. Two have won the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship.

Submissions will open from 6th-31st January, 2022. Find all details and apply at The Writers Lab website.

The Writers Lab co-founders, Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon, said:  “We are thrilled to bring script development support to women writers across Europe, in partnership with such enthusiastic advocates from so many regions. Discovering and championing women’s stories for international markets is essential for balance in our global conversation.”

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