Script Lab
2024 applications open - turn your short film idea into a completed script

Filmmakers take part in a session at Asesthetica Short Film FestivalFilmmakers take part in a session at Asesthetica Short Film Festival

Key information

2024 applications open
Taking place: July - November 2024

What's involved

Develop a complete short film script
Attend industry events & grow your network

Script Lab is back offering 10 new writers expert guidance and support to turn a short film idea into a ready to shoot script.

Script Lab sees 10 writers applying with an idea for a short film which over the course of 4 sessions with BFI NETWORK Talent Executives and an expert script mentor will develop into a short script that's ready to go.

Session 1 is an in-person event in Leeds covering the fundamentals of screenwriting and a kick off session with your mentors exploring all the different facets of your idea. As well as input from mentors Script Lab relies on peer support so everyone can feed in their thoughts to help guide the project. The remaining sessions take place online moving from a refinement of your idea though to a first draft and then a discussion of your second draft in the final session. The programme culminates at Aesthetica in November where you can connect with other filmmakers including our Creative Producer Lab cohort.

We hope to foster a supportive, lively and creative environment in which participants are encouraged to engage meaningfully with their peers’ work within the group. You’ll come out of Script Lab with not only a strong script and new skills but a community of writers that will support you through the process.

Who is it for?

The programme is open to writers from any creative discipline with an initial idea for a short film under 15 minutes in length. You don’t need to have made a film before or even worked in the medium, this is a suitable course for artists working in different mediums who want to make the move into screenwriting.

Ideas must be original to the writer, and not an adaptation of third-party existing material. We will consider applications from co-writing teams as well as individuals. Applicants must be over 18, not in full time education and be based in the North (as defined by the BFI).

Applicants will ideally have a dedication to working as a writer in creative arts with an idea which is distinctive, different, has a strong perspective and has potential for a clear plot, character arc and creative approach. 

Programme Overview

  • Tuesday 7th May - applications open
  • ***Deadline extended: Wednesday 5th June 17:00 - applications close
  • Mon 10th June - invitations to interviews
  • 13th/14th June - group interviews
  • 17th June - notifications sent

Course Dates

All applicants must be able to commit to the online development sessions and industry workshops detailed below, as well as completing work in between sessions.

  • Friday 19 July , 11:00 - 17:00 - Session 1 in-person Leeds
  • Friday 2 August, 10:00 - 13:00 - Session 2 online
  • Friday 30 August, 10:00 - 13:00 - Session 3 online
  • Friday 27 September, 10:00 - 13:00 - Session 4 online
  • 6-10 Nov Aesthetica Short Film Festival, date TBC 

Film Hub North will cover the cost of travel to in-person events, and a day pass for Aesthetica in York.  Please note, we cannot cover travel costs outside of the North of England

How to apply

Script Lab applications can be made via our online form.

The application form will ask for details about your creative experience and your short film idea. You’ll also be asked to provide a sample of your previous work. If you’d like to prepare offline before completing the application form, we’ve put together a downloadable list of the questions asked for reference.

If you have any issues with the online form, require application support or would like to apply in another way, please email using the subject line “SCRIPT LAB APPLICATION.”

Apply here

Script Lab a development programme for early-stage short film script ideas. If you have a more developed idea with an existing script, you might want to consider applying for BFI NETWORK Short Film Funding.

Through our programmes we aim to support early career filmmakers in developing their craft and building industry networks both regionally and nationally. While we aim to offer continued support to graduates of our programmes, this does not guarantee success in receiving BFI NETWORK Short Film Funding.