Since its launch in 2011, The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab has become a leading force in the development of groundbreaking feature films by some of the world’s most promising talents.
Each year the Lab selects 12 international writer/directors who are at advanced stages of writing their first/second narrative feature film. The participants are invited to Jerusalem for three working sessions, over an eight month period.
The selected projects undergo an in-depth process with one of our acclaimed script editors, after which they are presented to an audience of jury members and decision makers, highly esteemed film professionals at a celebratory communal event in Jerusalem. The jury awards production prizes totaling $70,000, generously donated by the Beracha Foundation.
The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab supports bold storytellers, who look deeply into the human experience in search for their unique truth.
The projects speak for themselves.
The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab supplies filmmakers with creative oxygen- time, mentorship and deadlines.
The Lab participants are invited to Jerusalem for two 4-7 day writing sessions which take place in December & March. During these days, the Lab's devoted script editors lead an in-depth process with the filmmakers, listen to each project, defining its needs: Searching for its heartbeat, the pulse of the story, mining for the characters' emotional truth. Asking difficult questions that need to be faced in order to make each script the best it can be.
Between the face-to-face sessions, filmmakers meet the script editors online to continue the work in progress. As the third session nears, the developed scripts are submitted for the jury's reading. At this point producers/directors are required to create a short scene which best reflects the artistic intent and vision of the film-to-be.
In the third and final three-day session, which takes place in July, the projects meet the world! At the pitching event, director/producer teams present their projects and scenes to the prestigious jury members, as well as to an audience of relevant decision makers from the international film circuit. Based on the full script and the artistic vision, the jury awards production prizes totaling $70,000, generously donated by the Beracha Foundation.
This final session creates opportunities for the projects' producers to meet potential partners- co-producers, sales and distribution companies, funders- and solidify their production packages.
Conducted in the Sam Spiegel work ethic, the eight-month Lab is as rewarding as it is demanding.
Work in Progress
JSFL is a long term relationship.
Since the very beginning of the JSFL, our alumni have proven themselves as meaningful artistic players in the festival circuit and with audiences worldwide.
JSFL takes pride in the alumni's achievements, and they are many. "Son of Saul" won the Best Foreign Film Academy Award. JSFL alumni films have premiered at the most prestigious film festivals, such as Cannes- "The Kindergarten Teacher", "Run", "Apprentice" and "One Week and a Day"; Berlinale- "The Black Frost"; Venice- “Acusada”, "Banat"; Sundance- "Imperial Dreams", “Photograph”; Tribeca- "We are Young, We are Strong", "I Dream in Another Language"; San Sebastian- "Barash", "A Taste of Ink", Busan- "Mr. Kaplan, Rotterdam- "Chaco" and have won numerous significant awards.
To support the completion of the films, in 2018 JSFL created a Work in Progress (WIP) program, open to projects developed at JSFL, as well as other projects by JSFL alumni, directors & producers.
The JSFL WIP takes place in July alongside the pitching event. The WIP showcases
3-5 films in post-production, each eligible for a cash award of $25,000. This prize will be granted to the film with a bold creative vision and finest execution, as selected by a jury comprised of international & Israeli professionals. The prize is generously donated by the Beracha Foundation.
Call for the WIP program will be announced by late April 2020.
Life is a work in progress.