JSFL is aimed at writers/directors from all over the world that are developing a 1st or 2nd fiction feature film. Projects must be at an advanced stage of development, having a full script, which is a solid, workable draft. If the script writer is not the director, he/she must submit and participate with a director
Each edition of the JSFL lasts 7- 8 months, during 3 sessions that take place in Jerusalem.
The first session is 4-6 days, usually in December, the second is an online session 4-5 days, usually in March or April and the final 3-5 day session takes place in July.
The first two sessions focus on writing: each filmmaker progressing through dialog with the script editor they have been assigned. The Producer must attend in one online meeting during these sessions. Between these two sessions, and before the final one, an online meeting is scheduled, to aid the progression of the writing.
The third session revolves around the JSFL pitching event, which takes place during the Jerusalem Film Festival, and introduces the projects to an internationally renowned jury and an audience of influential decision makers including Producers, sales agents & festival programmers.
The film Producers must be present and take part in the pitching.
In preparation for the third and final session, the filmmakers are required to produce one scene from the script (not longer than 3 min), which will be screened at the pitching event and will serve to communicate the artistic vision of the director. In addition, the filmmakers will receive a short pitching training ( courtesy of the Shuster Polakoff Foundation) before the final event.
The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab Grand Production Prize- 35,000-50,000 USD
The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab- Emerging Filmmaker Production Award- 15,000-20,000 USD
Generously donated by the Beracha Foundation
The Lab holds the rights to change the amount of the prizes. The prizes will be given to the main director/ writer of the film.
JSFL selects a mix of Israeli and international projects, 12 in total. The international projects are by invitation only, while the Israeli projects can apply through an open call.
Eligible Lab applicants are writer/directors, who are within the process of working on their first or second full-length feature 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.
The filmmaker declares that they possess the script for a full-length feature film, which they wrote or were a full partner in writing; that they possess full copyrights to the script, and possess the ability to develop it independently, or with the assistance of a script writing partner. In the case that a film is submitted by a script writer, which is not a director, the project must be attached to a director, and the director must take part in the lab as well.
Each project must have a producer committed to the project and he/she can not be the filmmaker him/herself.
English is the working language of the JSFL. Candidates must have sufficient fluency and comprehension.
 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 script writer will be borne by the director or his representative.
In the case that a film is submitted by a script writer, which is not a director, the project must be attached to a director, and the director must take part in the lab as well. All expenses of the participation of this director will be borne by the script writer or his representative.
 A candidate who has directed only one short fiction which has attracted international attention is eligible to apply for acceptance to the JSFL. The Lab is entitled to separately examine exceptional cases such as this and other.
International projects- materials must be submitted in English.
Israeli projects- materials may be submitted in Hebrew.
Participation fee is 1,000 Euro per project.
Throughout the entire duration of the Jerusalem based activities, the JSFL will host the JSFL participants from across the world and from Israel, and will provide local transportation, lodging, and board (full breakfast; lunch and/or dinner). Participants must pay all air-travel costs for the sessions. This includes the expenses of the Producer for the third session. JSFL will cover two nights of lodging for the Producer in July. In many countries bursaries and scholarships are available for this kind of training.
The application is by invitation only. JSFL utilizes scouts to identify promising candidates from around the world, whose project and creative profile meet the qualifications and standards of the Lab.
No direct registration options are available.
Selected projects apply online between May 28 to June 22
A call for Israeli projects is open for application between May 28 to June 22, 2023, during which submissions are made online. The JSFL is open to graduates of all film schools, who meet the criteria.
The selection process includes 3 stages:
1. Submission of project dossier.
a logline & short synopsis
3-5 page synopsis
link to director's previous work
biographies and filmographies of all partners and project status.
Projects selected for 2nd stage:
2. Submission of full script.
Candidates will have approx. 10 days from notification to submission of script, which means script must be ready in advance (at the International projects, in English).
Projects selected for 3rd stage:
3. Physical Interview for Israeli projects, and Online Interviews via Skype/Zoom for International projects.
Both writer/director & producer must be present in the interview.
Selected filmmakers will be informed by the end of October 2023.