Project Involve Lab Fellowship

Partner Film Independent

What is it? For more than 25 years, Project Involve has been Film Independent’s most vital professional development program—a key component of their ongoing effort to build a more inclusive and equitable industry. Each year, 30 filmmakers from underrepresented communities in media and entertainment are given the chance to hone their skills, form creative partnerships, create short films and gain industry access needed to succeed as working artists. The program pairs fellows with mentors at the top of their respective fields to provide hands-on filmmaking experience, from pre-production through premiere and much more.

Details SFTV provides a $10,000 grant each year to an alum who’s accepted into this fellowship.

Deadline Extended: September 14, for non-Members; September 28 for Film Independent members

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, deadlines and details for many of these programs are still shifting or are not yet available. Check back frequently for updates. Have a quick question? Email SFTV’s Career and Film Festival Manager, Lex McNaughton.

Emerging Talent Lab

Partner Village Roadshow Entertainment Group

Founded in 1997, Village Roadshow Pictures has produced and financed over 100 commercially and critically acclaimed films, including THE MATRIX trilogy, the OCEAN’S franchise, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and JOKER.

Village Roadshow is an independent studio and financier with longstanding relationships at all major US studios and streaming platforms. In recent years, they've renewed their focus on original material, developing elevated, accessible movies and television created by top-tier writers and filmmakers. Their unique process promises a swift and uncomplicated path to production – a true rarity in Hollywood – all with the benefit of a globally recognized brand. From films like AMERICAN SNIPER and MYSTIC RIVER to READY PLAYER ONE and EDGE OF TOMORROW, the Village mandate has been, and will always be, to create films with timeless appeal and a truly singular point of view.

What is it? The Emerging Talent Lab is a program designed to give select graduating students and recent SFTV alumni a bridge to the media and entertainment industry and to help them move their creative projects forward in a concrete and significant way.

Participants in the Emerging Talent Lab will work closely with Village Roadshow creative executives to create short films to be used as calling cards on the film festival circuit and for other professional opportunities. Participants will also have regular group meetings with Village Roadshow to receive mentorship and guidance on their projects.

Details Open to 2020 graduates and alumni no more than 8 years out from their date of graduation.

The ideal candidate is ambitious, curious, and eager to enter the industry with concrete evidence of their vision and ability in hand. We specifically seek writers who are looking to direct for the first time; short film/music video/commercial directors looking to develop their first feature who want to use the short as a proof of concept; and documentary filmmakers seeking to transition towards narrative.

Preference will be given to directors, producers, and screenwriters with specific film, television or new media projects already in development. Projects may be submitted by one applicant or a team of two (max). Applicants may only submit ONE project for consideration.

Applicants will be asked to submit substantial plans for their project including: Artistic Approach, Creative Statement, Script, Distribution Plan, Budget, and at least one recommendation letter.

All applicants MUST be 21 years or older, be eligible to work in the U.S. and not require any Visa support or assistance.

Applicants will be judged primarily by:

  • Their ability to communicate through creative materials and pitches
  • Their anticipated commitment to the Lab as evidenced by their professional performance
  • Their readiness to complete a finished creative project as detailed in application materials

Application timeline
 May 22, 2020 - June 12, 2020 (By midnight)
The program is currently scheduled to run late summer to early winter. Applications are currently being read and 2nd round interviews are tentatively scheduled for early August. With safety in mind, applicants will be updated regarding the program dates as needed. Succussful applications may give consideration to how they would shoot under the circumstances currently facing the industry. 

Screenwriting Lab Fellowship


Partner Film Independent

What is it? The Screenwriting Lab is a week-long workshop that takes place each February. It’s designed to provide hands-on story guidance and career development for emerging screenwriters who are working on fictional feature screenplays.

Details SFTV provides a $10,000 grant each year to an alum who’s accepted into this fellowship.

Application timeframe June 17 to August 19, 2020.

Story Development Residency

Partner Film Independent

What is it? The new Story Development Residency will involve a select group of alumni who are screenwriters and who will develop a feature-length, narrative screenplay or episodic series over a 12-week period.

Residents in this program will begin their journey with a full week of masterclasses on the craft of screenwriting, and will workshop their screenplays with script consultants and esteemed professional writers. They'll have at least five in-person touchpoints with Film Independent staff and mentors, who will track progress and provide continued support. In the final week of the program, residents will reconvene to learn as a group about industry best practices for pitching and developing stories from a producing perspective.

Participants will also have opportunities to interact with professionals in the film industry through Film Independent’s year-round networking events, education sessions, screenings, and showcases.

Details Open to 2020 graduates and alumni no more than 8 years out from their date of graduation. This lab is scheduled to run from January 2020 - May 2020

Application timeline
 Open Fall 2020 

Complimentary Passes to the Film Independent Forum

Partner Film Independent

What is it? Each year, the weekend-long Film Independent Forum is packed with interactive panels, workshops, and in-depth discussions that give attendees an opportunity to seize the tools and strategies they need to get their projects off the ground. The program includes off-the-record networking lunches plus Industry Connect, which provides valuable one-on-one meetings with key figures and decisionmakers throughout the entertainment industry.

Details A limited number of complimentary passes will be made available to SFTV alumni who graduated eight or fewer years ago. 

Application timeline
 TBD