HIFF Announces Screenwriters, Screenplays, Mentors for 19th Annual Lab


For the second year running, women will dominate the Hamptons International Film Festival’s Screenwriters Lab, entering its 19th year from April 5 to 7 in East Hampton.

Pairing rising talent with established screenwriters, directors and producers, the Lab will foster a think-tank for three female-written screenplays: Barbara Cigarroa’s “El Otro Lado (The Other Side),” Sontenish Myers’s “Stampede,” and Kirsten Tan’s “Higher.”

“Over the years, our annual Screenwriters Lab has become a wonderful opportunity for writers to explore the possibilities of their work and receive guidance from some of the industry’s most prolific storytellers,” David Nugent, artistic director of the Hamptons International Film Festival, said in a press release.

This year’s mentors include Michael H. Weber, screenwriter of the Oscar-nominated “The Disaster Artist,” as well as “The Fault in Our Stars” and “The Spectacular Now”; and Caroline Kaplan, who has produced more than 70 films, including “En El Séptimo Dia,” “Sorry to Bother You” and “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Oscar-winning “Sideways” screenwriter Jim Taylor and Oscar-nominated “The Savages” screenwriter Tamara Jenkins will lead this year’s screenwriting Master Class, which is open to the public on Saturday, April 6, at 6 p.m. at the Ross School in East Hampton.

“They will use clips and personal experiences to detail all that goes into writing a script for every type of audience,” the release said. “This is a special opportunity to hear from two of the most talented and versatile writers in the industry.”

Highlights since the Lab’s inception include Michael Tyburski’s and Ben Nabors’ “The Sound of Silence,” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and, the year before, Ísold Uggadóttir’s “And Breathe Normally” and Christina Choe’s “Nancy,” recipients of directing and screenwriting awards, respectively.

Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Short Term 12,” starring Academy Award-winning actors Brie Larson and Rami Malek, went on to win the Grand Jury and Audience Award at SXSW in 2013, and Justin Schwartz’s “The Discoverers,” starring Griffin Dunne, made its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2012.

For more information, visit hamptonsfilmfest.org.