The !f Istanbul Screenwriters Lab, organized in association with the Sundance Institute, one of the world's leading creative hotbeds of independent film, is a unique process that allows for up to four emerging Turkish writer-directors to receive one-on-one screenplay development guidance from well-known industry mentors each year. Additionally, it hosts up to three regional filmmakers developing their first or second projects, by invitation only.
Launched in 2011, our vision is to support the development of original stories for the screen. Working in this region at a time of great upheaval and change, we are particularly interested in projects that challenge conventional narratives and give voice to under-represented stories. Lab Advisors in the past have included Naomi Foner, Howard Rodman, Rose Troche, Dante Harper, DV DeVincentis, Zachary Sklar, Jeremy Pikser, Athina Rachel Tsangiri, Yesim Ustaoglu, Reha Erdem, Ümit Ünal, Barış Pirhasan, and many more.
We are proud to have supported some of the most exciting young filmmakers working in this region today, including Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Yiannis Veslemes, Rinio Dragasaki, Yonatan Dekel, Ceylan Özgün, Mehmet Can Mertoğlu, Nehir Tuna, and many more.
We thank the Açık Toplum Foundation & Paul Federbush, International Director of the Feature Film Program at the Sundance Institute for their support.
The !f Screenwriters Lab is taking a break in 2018 as part of a restructuring to better serve our vision of supporting independent regional filmmakers. Our enthusiastic support of previous Lab graduates as they bring their projects into the world continues as always.