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.
Each edition of the JSFL lasts 8 months, during 3 sessions that take place in Jerusalem.
The first session is 5-7 days in December, the second is 3-5 days in March, and the final 3 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. Between these two sessions, an online meeting is scheduled, to aid the progression of the writing.
The third session revolves around 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 participants 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.
Following the global pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions JSFL moved all the work of the 9th edition, and reconstructed the schedule to meet the new conditions. Looking toward JSFL 10th edition we will continue to create the best possible conditions for our promising, selected participants to immerse themselves and progress their projects.
The exact structure and dates of the 10th edition will be published later on, depending on the global situation.
The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab Grand Prize- 50,000 USD
The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab- Emerging Filmmaker Award- 20,000 USD
Generously donated by the Beracha Foundation
The Factory 54 Artistic Vision Award- 8,000 USD
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 scriptwriting partner.
Each project must have a producer committed to the project.
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 scriptwriter will be borne by the director 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 fully host the JSFL participants from across the world and from Israel, and will provide local transportation, lodging and board (breakfast and lunch: full meals; dinner: partial meal). Participants must pay all air-travel costs for the 3 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 June 1st to June 5th.
A call for Israeli projects is open for application between May 16th to May 31st, during which submissions are made online. The JSFL is open to graduates of all film schools, who meet
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 English in advance.
Projects selected for 3rd stage:
3. Online Interview via Skype/Zoom.
Both writer/director & producer must be present in the interview.
Selected filmmakers will be informed by mid September.