Screenwriters Lab Returns

HamptonsFilm’s selects for the fellows, screenplays and mentors for its 24th edition of the annual Screenwriters Lab, happening on April 5-7.


Photo: Courtesy of HamptonsFilm

The yearly generative gathering, which pairs lucky, talented fellows with established writers and producers, returns to East Hampton for a weekend of one-on-one mentorship and creativity. Mentors for 2024’s Lab include filmmaker and actor Michael Covino, whose work includes his feature directorial debut The Climb, which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best First Feature at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards; director, screenwriter and producer Bart Freundlich, known for his 1997 Sundance Film Festival hit The Myth of Fingerprints, starring Julianne Moore; and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker Celine Song, whose critically acclaimed feature directorial debut Past Lives was nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 96th Academy Awards. Song is an alumni of the Hamptons International Film Festival and was awarded the festival’s Breakthrough Artist Award last year. 

Selected screenplays for this year’s lab are Pygmalion by Agnes Skonare, Little Phnom Penh by Chheangkea, and Diary of a Muslim Cynic by Sarah Mokh. The Lab pairs rising screenwriters with established screenwriters, directors and creative-producers for a weekend of one-on-one mentoring sessions. “In considering selections from this year’s record number of submissions, these three projects really stood out with their distinctive voices and unique approaches to storytelling. We are also honored to have three artists who have all exhibited work at our festival return to mentor these emerging artists,” shares Artistic Director David Nugent.

HamptonsFilm will also present one of the participating screenplays with the 2024 Melissa Mathison Award. The award—which was established in 2016 and ​named for the beloved late screenwriter—strives to foster the continued development of female writers in the industry. This year’s recipient will be announced at an upcoming date and will receive access to a casting director and a staged reading of their project in New York City.