The Sam Spiegel Film & Television School-Jerusalem, founded by the Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture and the Jerusalem Foundation, has initiated an international film lab to foster the writing of full-length feature films by the world’s most promising talents. The lab will be launched in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Culture - Cultural Administration, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund of the Jerusalem Development Authority, and the Israel State Lottery- Mifal HaPayis Council for Culture and the Arts, with the participation of the Jerusalem Foundation, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Sam Spiegel Foundation, Mishkanot Shaananim, the Kronhill Pletka Foundation, the Israel Film Fund, the Jerusalem Film Festival, and the French Institute of Tel Aviv.
The Jerusalem International Film Lab will cultivate tomorrow’s filmmakers to produce quality full-length feature films to stand at the vanguard of international cinema, while positioning and bolstering Israel’s contribution to the international cinema realm.
Each year, for a period of seven months, The Jerusalem International Film Lab, assisted by world-class script editors, will accompany 12 (Writing directors, or alternatively, directors who work with a scriptwriting partner) directors in creating their first or second full-length film. The mentoring process of writing and discussion will take place in Jerusalem, within both individual and group formats, in addition to on-line Internet contact throughout the entire period of writing.
Every year, 12 promising young filmmakers (8 from across the world, 4 from Israel) will be accepted to the Film Lab. The selected participants will arrive in Jerusalem’s Mishkenot Shaananim (www.mishkenot.org.il/en) for two periods of writing and discussion: the first for 11 days, and the second for a six-day duration. During their stay, they will meet with four of the world’s leading script editors, who will share their professional insight and skills in helping the young writers realize the top potential of their story-line and script. Moreover, the participants will receive feedback from their own colleagues as well. During the period between the scheduled Jerusalem-based Film Lab activities, the writers will continue their scriptwriting endeavors, remaining in ongoing Internet contact with their script editors, as well as advancing in the film production process upon the entry of a producer.
During the third stage, only those participants (no less than eight) whose films have been chosen by the Film Lab to be those most fit for production will arrive in Jerusalem, in order to present their scripts before Film Lab’s panel of international judges, within the framework of the Jerusalem Film Festival http://www.jff.org.il/?cl=en .The panel of judges will select two exemplary projects, which will be awarded production grants to enable production of the scripts.
The selected participants and their upcoming films will attract international attention amongst producers, international and Israeli film funds, co-production markets, pitching points, and leading international festivals.
The annual budget of the Jerusalem International Film Lab is approximately $350,000.
The sum of the prizes is approximately $80,000.
Attached are the bylaws of the Jerusalem International Film Lab, which contain additional data regarding the activities and the schedule of the Film Lab, as well as the process of selecting candidates.
Jerusalem International Film Lab Personnel
Initiator and Director: Renen Schorr, Founding Director of The Sam Spiegel Film & Television School-Jerusalem
Managing Director: Avishay Kahana
Members of the Advisory Committee – International (under establishment):
Olivier Pere (Locarno Film Festival), Georges Goldenstern (Cinéfondation, Cannes Film Festival), Sonja Heinen (Director of Co-Production Market , Berlinale World Cinema Fund), Alesia Weston (Sundance Institute- Feature Film Program, International), Joana Vicente (Independent Filmmaker Project, New York), Savina Neirotti (Torino Film Lab), Anthony Bergman (Producer, New York), Katriel Schory (Israel Film Fund)
Members of the Steering Committee-Israel:
Renen Schorr (Chair), Yoram Honig (Jerusalem Film Fund), Yigal Molad Hayo (Israel State Lottery-Mifal Hapayis), Tal Kramer-Vadai (Mishkenot Sha'ananim)
Hagai Levi (Chair), Ronit Weiss Berkowitz
Selection Committee- International (under establishment):
Yoram Mandel(Chair), Joseph Cedar
Script Editors – International:
Clare Downs (Britain), Gino Ventriglia (Italy),Hagai Levi (Israel)
Matthieu Darras(France), Isabelle Fauvel (France), Violeta Bava (Argentina)
The Acceptance Process
The Film Lab will accept candidates from Israel and internationally via two different means:
1. Internationally, the Film Lab will make an outreach to leading institutes and figures in cinema education and industry to refer suitable candidates. Simultaneously, the Lab will draft scouts from across the world to identify promising candidates who meet the qualifications for acceptance.
2. In Israel, the Film Lab will release a Hebrew-language announcement, to appear on the website of the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School-Jerusalem, which will also appear in the Israeli press and be distributed via the networks of Israeli professional filmmaker organizations (the Producers’ Guild, the Directors’ Guild, the Scriptwriters’ Guild, and more). The announcement will include an open call for registration.
December 1-10, 2011: Film Lab Opening, first stage (11 days), Mishkenot Shaananim, Jerusalem
March 4-9, 2012 : Second stage (6 days) Mishkenot Shaananim, Jerusalem
July 6-9, 2012: Third stage (4 days) During the Jerusalem International Film Festival.
1.The Film Lab will work towards the betterment and the advancement of the selected projects, assisted by first-class international script editors, within a seven-month work process. The personal voice of each participant will be placed at the crux of all endeavors.
2.The Film Lab will accompany the selected participants and assist them in the process of preparation towards the presentation of the films before a panel of judges of the Film Lab, within the framework of the Jerusalem International Film Festival (“pitching”).
3.The Film Lab will work towards the betterment and the advancement of the feasibility of production for the selected projects, via the awarding of production grants.
4.Throughout the entire duration of the Jerusalem-based activities, the Film Lab will fully host the Film Lab participants from across the world and from Israel, and will provide flights, transportation, lodging and board (breakfast and lunch: full meals; dinner: partial meal).
5.Throughout the period of activities in Jerusalem, the Film Lab will make suitable workspaces available for use by the participants and the editors.
6.The Film Lab will act to maintain ongoing contact between the participants and the script editors during the non-Jerusalem-based work periods.
7.The Film Lab will publicize its activities and that of its participants within the international trade media, amongst international film funds, at “pitching” events throughout the world, and more. At the closing ceremony, the Film Lab will produce a commemorative brochure featuring the participants and their projects.
8.The Film Lab will act to advance the projects towards preparing the scripts for additional “pitching” stages in international festivals.
9.The Film Lab shall retain no rights whatsoever to the scripts which it develops. However, the participant will be obligated to award proper credit to the Film Lab, as further stipulated.
Obligations of Participants
2.Participants in the Film Lab are obligated to make themselves fully available for all activities of the Film Lab for a period of seven-and-a- half months, as detailed in the schedule of activities appearing in this document, or with any reasonable changes made to the said schedule.
3.Film Lab participants will maintain full secrecy in all that relates to their work in the Film Lab, including details of the scripts of additional participants.
4.Film Lab participants understand that the work process in the Film Lab demands full cooperation with the script editors and the Film Lab administration, adherence to the time schedule and to the regulations, and a full obligation to strive towards the common process with diligence, depth, and a positive spirit.
5.Film Lab participants pledge to refrain from participation in other writing workshops/labs which conflict with the schedule and the work process of the Film Lab and the writing of the scripts, unless with the approval of the Film Lab administration.
6.Film Lab participants understand that all activities of the Film Lab will be carried out in the English language. Film Lab participants are personally responsible for any and all translation expenses incurred in the projects/presentation material/previous films.
7.Film Lab participants will make English-language publicity information available to the Film Lab administration, including a curriculum vitae, still photos, and excerpts from previous films. The Film Lab reserves the right to use this information in its publications and towards advancing the participant. Film Lab participants agree to be interviewed on their work, within the framework of the Film Lab.
8.The participants will take part in a wide range of activities of the Film Lab’s work, including feedback on their colleagues’ scripts, meetings with members of the Israeli film industry, film students from Israel and the world, critiques on Film Lab activities, and more.
9.Film Lab participants (and no fewer than 8) whose scripts are selected by the Film Lab as those most fit for production, will reach the third, concluding stage of presenting the scripts before a panel of judges at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, while accompanied by a producer who is affiliated with a known, reputable production company. Expenses incurred in the air travel of the producer, his lodging and meals will be borne by the producer/production company, and in no way whatsoever by the Film Lab. The director and producer will present the panel of judges with details of the film’s budget and initial or advanced funding sources.
10.If their film reaches production, Film Lab participants pledge to grant credit to the Film Lab within the body of the film. In the opening credits, it will be noted “Script developed in the Jerusalem International Film Lab, founded by the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School-Jerusalem,” and in the ending roller, a similar frame will appear, which also lists the names of the supporting entities, as provided by the Film Lab. Moreover, the production will note the development of the script at the Film Lab in all film publicity, including all spin-off products from the film, should they be created (books, plays, and the like), and in any existing or future media.
11.In the event that a participant chooses to cancel his participation in the Film Lab up to two months prior to the commencement of the Film Lab’s activities in Jerusalem, the Film Lab will not demand a cancellation fee, and his or her place will be given to a participant on the waiting list. A participant who cancels his or her participation less than two months prior to the opening, for reasons which are deemed unjustified by the administration of the Film Lab, will be required to pay a fee of $10,000 to partially cover expenses incurred by the cancellation of his or her participation.
12.The administration of the Film Lab is authorized at any stage to cease the activities of a participant who does not meet all the conditions, or who was unable for any reason to work within the framework of the Film Lab, to maintain its scheduled timetable, and/or to advance in the writing of the script and/or to perform in the spirit of the Film Lab.
13.A participant who ceases his participation in the Film Lab upon his own decision will be held liable for the full expenses of his or her travel arrangements, lodging, meals and salary for his or her editor, up to the point of cessation.
Eligibility and Definitions
Applications to participate in the Jerusalem International Film Lab are eligible for submission by writing directors(A director who does not serve as the sole scriptwriter of the project is allowed to invite his scriptwriting partner to the Film Lab, upon advance approval by the Film Lab staff. All expenses of the participation of this scriptwriter will be borne by the director or his representative.), whose age at submission of the project does not exceed 40 years, who are within the process of working on their first or second full-length film, and have directed at least two short films or a television drama or documentary film, or an episode in a television series (two from any of the above), whose production has inspired international and/or local attention.
A candidate who has directed only one short fiction film which has attracted international
attention is eligible to apply for acceptance to the Film Lab. The Film Lab is entitled to separately examine exceptional cases such as this and others.
The filmmaker declares that he or she possesses the script for a full-length film, which he or she wrote or was a full partner in writing; that he or she possesses full copyrights to the script, and possesses the ability to develop it independently, or with the assistance of a scriptwriting partner.
Israeli and international Film Lab projects that meet the qualifications of the Jerusalem Film Fund (www.jerusalemfilmfund.com) will also be eligible to receive a cash award from the Fund upon reaching the third stage Film Lab “finals.” Film Lab prize winners are automatically eligible to submit their project directly to the Film Fund’s “production package” for investment in the production, according to the Fund’s regulations.
Each candidate is eligible to submit one project per year.
Priority will be given to candidates who are presently in the first stages of production (i.e., have acquired a known production company, and/or public and/or private investors, previous participation in local or international “pitching” events, and the like).
Schedule and Selection Process
The process of identifying suitable candidates will be carried out by scouts, along with a simultaneous call by the Film Lab administration for additional referrals. Candidates’ applications for participation will commence registration process on February 27, 2011 and close on May 1,2011.
Presentation kits will be submitted according to the regulations described further, in quadruplicate printed copies as well as one digital copy on disk. Previous works will be submitted in DVD formats, with English-language subtitles appearing on the films.
At the first stage, the Selection Committee will review all of the applications.
Sixteen to 20 of the projects chosen by the Selection Committee will receive notice no later than June 20, 2011, that they have passed entry to the second stage.
Those who enter the second stage are required to provide a full-length script in English, according to the submission regulations detailed further, within three weeks of receipt of the notice.
Candidates will receive final answers no later than July 17th .
From the moment the notice of acceptance to the Film Lab notice has been received until November 1, 2011, the participant will work to provide an additional version of the script in English. This version will be remitted to the editor designated to the project prior to the opening of the Film Lab.
The Film Lab administration will arrange the “matching” between the participant and the script to a designated editor.
Bound folder (spiral or glued) containing these English-language application documents:
(13 font, Times New Roman or Courier New, 1 ½ -spaced)
The folder will include four printed copies and a fifth copy in a DVD/CD format. All five copies must be identical, and each must include all of the following details:
1.Curriculum vitae of the applicant’s professional background (or where applicable, of the scriptwriting partner) (Up to two pages)
2.Application forms—details on the applicant including a written consent to the conditions set by the Film Lab, as updated until the application date
3.Detailed English-language synopsis (up to 10 pages, Times New Roman or Courier New, 1 ½ -spaced)
4.Premise (up to five lines)
6.Two short films or a television drama or a documentary film or an episode from a television series (two from the above list) that were directed by the applicant, with English translation within the body of the film (DVD format only)
7.In the event that the story upon which the script is based is not original, it is required to attach a document approving the use of the original composition
8.An appendix of productions, including details on the producer and/or production company and/or funding (if existing) and an outline of the film’s budget (up to two pages)
Applicants are to submit a script that is 100-120 pages in length, in English. The script should be prepared with the use of script writing software, or according to the following regulations:
1.Desired font: Times New Roman or Courier New, English-language
2.Font size: minimum 13
3.Numbering of scenes: outside the margins
4.Space between lines: single-space
5.Width of “descriptive paragraph:” between 0 to 15
6.The first instance in which a character appears in the script, the name of the character will be bolded. In addition, a brief description of the character (age, short characterization) will be provided
7.The name of the “speaking character” will be written at a location of 6.5 (and bolded)
8.Dialogue lines will appear without space following the line in which the character’s name appears. Width of dialogue between 3 to 12 (not centered)
9.If there is a “description” that relates to the dialogue, it will appear within parentheses and at a width of ‘5’ to ‘10’ (not centered)
10.It is preferable not to “cut” dialogue or a description at the end of the printed page
11.Pagination will appear centered at the bottom of the page
The Sam Spiegel Film & Television School-Jerusalem and/or the Jerusalem International Film Lab reserve the rights to change at any time, even during the operation, the conditions of participation and/or any other detail, including the cancellation of the entire project or parts of it thereof.
For questions/clarifications- Avishay Kahana: firstname.lastname@example.org