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Episodic (Fiction) Writing Workshop


DEADLINE EXTENDED to 8 September 2022
Developing a pilot for your series.
Pitching to film producer in Germany.
The aim of the workshop is to provide a training ground for writers to develop an original series and pilot script for the international market. This 6-month workshop will provide participants with the tools to help develop projects from idea to pilot.
Participants will receive professional pitch training.  
Together we want to develop work that will find its place in the international content market for episodic series.
Timeline: Three virtual sessions, October/December 2022 & February 2023.

No. of participants: 10.
Preference will be given to talented film writing professionals or filmmakers who have a track record in writing for film/television.
The program will provide immersive training over three weeks divided into one week in October 2022, one in December 2022 and one in February 2023. During the in-between months’ participants will be required to continue writing pages based on the feedback they have received during the workshop-sessions. At the end of the training, participants will have a first draft of their pilot episode.
The aim of the workshop is to provide continuous mentoring and support for participants as they develop their storylines for their pilot episodes.
Specialized input-sessions on ‘character development’ and ‘dialogue writing’ will be held in October 2022 and December 2022.
Prior to the last session in February 2023, the pilot scripts will be divided between 2 independent readers from the film industry who will provide feedback via a zoom session or give written notes to each participant. These notes will be discussed further in the workshop.
The final session in February 2023 will focus on how participants can take their first drafts to the next level.
An intensive pitch training will be organized for two half days in December 2022 that will focus on how to pitch at national and international film forums and markets.

Participants must submit the following:  
1. Cover Letter with a short CV stating why you are interested in joining the workshop.
2. Log line of not more two sentences of the idea of the series you wish to develop during the workshop.
3. 3-5 page synopsis of your first season or mini series.
Please send your applications to:

* Applicants must have access to Netflix and other streaming platforms (via VPN) as they will be required to watch recommended series as part of the course work.
Last date for submission/deadline: 8th September 2022.
Announcement of final selection: 3rd week of September 2022.

Session 1:  Story Development and Structure
October 1st to 5th & 7th with Sabiha Sumar
10th October Character development with Rachel Mathews

Session 2:  Genre and Tone
December 3rd to 7th & 9th with Sabiha Sumar
12th December Writing dialogue with Rachel Mathews

Session 3: Revising/Re-writing
February 2023 4th to 8th & 10th with Sabiha Sumar
13th February learning to pitch with Rachel Mathews

Session 4
3rd March 2023 (TBC)
Pitching to industry professionals in Germany.

Participants can be single or work jointly with a co-writer. Participants are required to make a commitment for the entire 6-month duration of the virtual workshop. Participants are required to continue writing in between workshops. Two sessions will be set up in between workshops with Tutors to discuss progress.
The same participants will continue throughout the workshops from September 2022 to January 2023.
 Participants can work alone or with a co-author. Participants must commit to the entire six-month duration of the virtual workshop. Participants must continue writing between sessions. Two meetings with tutors will be scheduled between sessions to discuss progress.

Sabiha Sumar
Sabiha Sumar is multiple award-winning filmmaker and Sundance alumnus. She has earned critical acclaim for her narrative films as well as documentaries. 
Sumar's films have been commissioned by Channel 4, BBC, HBO, ITVS/PBS, ZDF, ARTE, 3SAT and Al Jazeera. Her work has been supported by the Sundance Documentary and Feature film programs as well as by Cinereach. Her debut narrative feature film KHAMOSH PANI/SILENT WATERS (2003) won the LEOPARD D'OR (Golden Leopard) for Best Film, Leopard for Best Actress at Locarno Film Festival and 15 other awards worldwide. It was the first South Asian film to premiere at Sundance 2004 and the first South Asian - European co-production invited to EAVE.
Sumar's most notable work in documentaries include: WHO WILL CAST THE FIRST STONE (1988) Research/Writer/Director, World Premiere, London Film Festival with Guardian Lecture for the film, Golden Gate Award, Sanfrancisco International Film Festival, DON’T ASK WHY (1997) for ZDF/3SAT's award winning series Girls Around the World, DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT: A NATION'S JOURNEY (2007), Writer/Director, Sundance Film Festival, Anasy Awards, Abu Dhabi, Best Documentary & EU Best Documentary Award, SAVING FACE (2012) Academy Award® Winner for Documentary (Short Subject) International Documentary Association, Best Short Award, News & Documentary Emmy®, Best Documentary, News & Documentary Emmy®, Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form, AZMAISH A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SUBCONTINENT (2017) TIFF, Locarno and BFI LFF. Her most recent documentary MOTORCYCLE WOMAN (2019) for 3SAT is selected for the Juliane Bartel Media Prize 2020/2021.
In Pakistan, Sumar has directed TV drama series MI RAQSAM (I Dance) 23 episodes for GEO TV & Khuda Dekh Raha Hai (HE IS WATCHING YOU) 20 episodes for A Plus as well as a celebrity talk show THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE, 13 episodes for HUM TV.
Sumar is a recipient of the Honour of Grade de Chevalier awarded by the Ministry of Culture & Letters, France (2004), is an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge (2015), and received a Special Recognition Award from London Asian Film Festival (2017). 
Currently she is developing an international series titled Ordinary, Extraordinary.
Rachel Mathews
Berlin-based screenwriter Rachel Mathews has also directed several award-winning short films and has written radio plays for BBC Radio 4. Her feature script Into the Dark Woods won the Wellcome Trust’s ‘Inspired by Science’ Award. After travelling regularly to Yangon over the last decade, in 2018 she was show-runner on Series 2 of The Sun, the Moon & The Truth (10 x 30’), a Myanmar-set drama series for the British Council/MRTV 4. She has recently been commissioned to co-write a pilot script for Leben (8 x 60'), a high-concept drama series about living forever for Big Window Productions (Deutschland 83, 86 & 89) and is currently developing Emily Bronte is My Bestie (8 x 30’), a teen drama series with Anyway Productions. She is also co-creator with Andreas Fuhrmann of Viktoria Frankenstein, a reimagining of Mary Shelley’s novel set in 1920s Germany for Flare Film. Rachel is a script consultant including for the Open Doors section of the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and the Myanmar Script Fund.

Her award-winning short films can be viewed at vimeo.com/rachelmathews