Established in March 2019, the Emerging Talent Lab is an exclusive partnership between SFTV and Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, one of the world's leading independent entertainment companies. It's a three-month program designed to give select graduating students and recent alumni a bridge to the film, TV, and digital media industry by providing funds to help them move their creative projects forward.

Participants in the Emerging Talent Lab work closely with Village Roadshow's creative executives to craft short films, TV pilots, or proof-of-concept projects for longer narrative works (e.g. a scene from a narrative feature). Participants will also meet a few times at Village Roadshow over the course of the Lab to receive mentorship and guidance.


The application process opens in March each year. (Check back for more details on applying in 2020.) You can apply to the Emerging Talent Lab if:

  • you will graduate from SFTV at the end of the semester during which you apply; or
  • you're an alum who graduated from SFTV no more than five years prior to your application date.

The ideal candidate is ambitious, curious, and eager to enter the industry with concrete evidence of their vision and ability in hand. We will specifically target professional or student writers who are looking to direct a project for the first time; directors of short films, music videos, and/or commercials who are looking to develop their first features; and documentary filmmakers seeking to transition to narrative storytelling.

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

All applicants MUST be at least 21 years of age, be eligible to work in the U.S., and not require any visa support or assistance.

How are applicants selected?

All eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of select members of SFTV's faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as Village Roadshow staff members. Select applicants may be asked to participate in phone or live interviews. Applicants will be judged primarily by:

  • Ability to communicate through creative materials and pitches
  • Anticipated commitment to the Emerging Talent Lab as evidenced by their professional performance
  • Readiness to complete a creative project as detailed in the application materials

The Lab will run from May through August each year. Our first Lab cohort began in May 2019.

What can participants expect during the lab period?

Each project accepted by the Emerging Talent Lab will receive a grant of $10,000 to create a single short film, feature film segment, TV pilot, or new media project. Village Roadshow executives will supervise production and post-production and will offer guidance and feedback at every step of the way.

Participants will also have regular evening meetings at Village Roadshow's offices in Century City to receive mentorship and guidance on their projects. These meetings are mandatory.

Timeline for 2020

(dates are subject to change)

  • Late March 2020: Applications open
  • Mid-April 2020: Applications due. Applications arriving later than the date and day specified will be automatically disqualified. No exceptions.
  • Early May 2020: Applicants will be notified of their status.
  • Mid to late May 2020: Mandatory kick-off retreat for all participants.

For full details and instructions, please download the application information packet below:


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