Film London Labs is a year-round programme of events that offers guidance, insight and support for creators when they need it most - at the earliest stages of their projects.

We aim to cultivate creative learning across different storytelling mediums and provide emerging talent with the tools to turn their creative spark into a sustainable career.

Each Lab is a multi-session event that allows deep dives into key areas, each based on the feedback from our filmmakers on what they're most keen to learn more about.

Over the course of each Lab, attendees are able to ask questions and engage with the host and our speakers, and also with each other, building an amazingly supportive network of fellow writers and filmmakers that stay connected to and engaged with each other long after each Lab has ended.

Please follow us on Twitter or sign up for the Film London mailing list for more info.


Film London Labs: The Production Finance Sessions

For the first time Film London will open the training offered to filmmakers selected for our Production Finance Market’s New Talent Strand to participants not attending the market.

Film London Labs: The Production Finance Sessions is for all the producers in our network. Whether you’re working on (or working towards) your first or second feature, this Lab will be relevant to anyone hoping to finance a feature in the near future. Writers and directors interested in learning about the business side of the industry are also welcome!

Our past finance-focused Lab sessions have explored the state of the independent market, finance recoupment 101, commissioners illuminating their process, and sessions on the importance of clarity around how you describe your project and what visual materials you use to do so.

Past speakers include producer Lee Magiday (The Lobster, The Favourite), Senior Commissioning Executive Lauren Dark (Film4), Founder and Managing Director of Bankside and Head Gear Films Phil Hunt, producer Ameenah Ayub-Allen (Rocks, Ali & Ava) and PFM alumni filmmakers Helen Jones and Prano Bailey Bond (Censor).


Dates: Monday 12 September - Friday 16 September (timings TBC)

Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.


Register to attend now.



Previous Film London Labs

Film London Labs: The Writing Character Sessions

This lab explored narrative character-building that will get to the root of interpersonal dynamics as they unfold on-screen. Each session focused on different angles on characterisation at the writing and development stages, including psychoanalytic theory to map out characters and understand the complex reasons they might behave in the way they do.

Guest speakers:

  • Chris Hayward, writer & actor, Brian and Charles
  • Marley Morrison, writer & director, Sweetheart
  • Aneil Karia, writer & director, Surge
  • Claudia Yusef, Head of Development, BBC Films
  • Arabel Charlaff, psychotherapist, Characters on the Couch

Film London Labs: The Directors Sessions

This lab focused on directors’ understanding of what it takes to usher a long-form project through from the development and prep stage through to production. Mainly covering treatments and pitching, balancing commercial and creative work, prepping for a shoot, making the most of rehearsals and working with actors

Guest speakers:

  • Yann Demange, Director and Executive Producer, Lovecraft Country, Top Boy, '71
  • Tash Tan, Executive Producer, Somesuch
  • Emma Obank, Agent, Casarotto Ramsay & Associates
  • Miranda Harcourt, Acting Coach
  • Rob Savage, Director, Host, Dashcam
  • Koby Adom, Director, Noughts & Crosses, Top Boy
  • Dionne Edwards, Director, Teng Teng Films, Pretty Red Dress
  • Georgia Goggin, Producer, Teng Teng Films, Pretty Red Dress

Film London Labs: The Rewrite Sessions

This lab, led by development producer Angeli Macfarlane looked at ways to successfully tackle the re-writing process, advising writers on how to become their own best developer through the right approach to interrogating the material, ordering the structure and focus of the rewrite and managing responses to notes and feedback.

Guest speakers:

  • Cathy Brady - writer & director, Wildfire
  • David Kimbangi - Senior Commissioning Executive, Film4
  • Alice Pearse - Manager, Original Series, Netflix

Film London Labs: The Genre Sessions 2022

This Lab for writers and director brought in storytellers and industry experts to drill down into the market for genre film, and the craft of telling stories that upend genre tropes to reflect today's world in a fresh way.

Guests:

  • Janicza Bravo, director/writer, Zola, on building tension on screen
  • Stacy Gregg, writer/director, Here Before, on bending genre in your first feature
  • Kate Dolan, writer/director, You Are Not My Mother, on writing her debut feature
  • Arabel Charlaff, practicing psychotherapist, on the psychology of fear
  • Stephen Follows, writer, producer and storytelling consultant, on audience expectations
  • Natalie Difford, development producer, on working with development execs
  • Sophie Green, Head of Acquisitions and Development, Bankside Films, on the market for genre

Film London Labs: The Marketplace Sessions 2021

The business of storytelling is constantly evolving and the last few years have only accelerated the pace of change, with shifts in how we engage with technology and of course, new Covid-19 curveballs in the mix.

This Lab for independent producers covered how to get projects off the ground in the current funding climate — whether film, TV, podcasting or other IP — and offered writers/directors with a big idea advice on what to do with it, how to package their ideas and in which direction to run with them.

Guests included:

  • Hester Ruoff and Bart Ruspoli, producers, Boiling Point
  • Surian Fletcher-Jones, Head of Drama, Working Title
  • Claire Broughton, Head of Podcasts, Hat Trick
  • Nell Whitley, Executive Producer, Marshmallow Laser Feast

Film London Labs: The Character Sessions 2021

During our inaugural Film London Labs: The Character Sessions, our writers and directors heard insights and lessons from industry practitioners and established creators oriented around exploring the creative process around character-building and navigating best practices around casting for their debut projects and beyond. We explored how to get to the root of interpersonal dynamics as they unfold on-screen, complex characterisation during the writing and development stages, casting the right performers that will make characters jump off the page (and make the film marketable), and how to best coach, direct and collaborate with actors and non-actors alike all the way through to production.

Guests:

  • Shaheen Baig, Casting Director
  • Joanna Scanlan, After Love
  • Miranda Harcourt, Acting Coach
  • Adjani Salmon & Ali Hughes, Co-writers, Dreaming Whilst Black
  • Marielle Membreno, Development Executive, Protagonist Pictures
  • Eleanor Gordon-Smith, Philosopher, Broadcaster and Author, Stop Being Reasonable: How People Really Change Their Minds

Film London Labs: The Writers Sessions 2021

Drawing on the success of our first two Writers Sessions in June & September 2020, this third iteration is targeted towards emerging writers, writer/directors or writer/producers working in the narrative space who are about to embark on, or already working on, their first or second feature film script. Each session focuses on one of the central tenets of screenwriting, anchored in examples from the most riveting contemporary cinema available today.

Tutor: Angeli Macfarlane

Guests:

  • Aleem Khan, Writer/Director, After Love
  • Rita Kalnejais, Writer, Babyteeth

Film London Labs: The Writers Sessions (Summer 2020)

Film London Labs: The Writers Sessions took place in seven sessions across three weeks, led by story producer Angeli Macfarlane and featuring some really special speakers drilling into their process and their best advice for writers working on longform projects, both feature film and TV.

Tutor:Angeli Macfarlane

Guests:

  • Mae Martin, Writer/Director, Feel Good
  • Alrick Riley, Director, Spooks, Hustle, Once Upon A Time
  • Arabel Charlaff, psychodynamic psychotherapist

Film London's Jordan McGarry and Nadia Oliva with Angeli Macfarlane and Arabel Charlaff on Zoom call as part of Film London Labs: The Writers Sessions

Film London Labs: The Writers Sessions (Autumn 2020)

Our first installation of this Lab sold out so quickly we ran it again, with a new line up of speakers for a new cohort of writers.

Tutor: Angeli Macfarlane

Guests:

  • Rungano Nyoni, Writer/Director, I Am Not A Witch
  • Alejandro Landes, Writer/Director, Monos
  • Arabel Charlaff, psychodynamic psychotherapist

Film London Labs: The Genre Sessions (Winter 2020)

Following on from two installations of Film London Labs: The Writers Sessions, we went deeper. We learned there is a real appetite for training in genre writing so our next collaboration with Angeli Macfarlane was Film London Labs: The Genre Sessions.

Tutors: Angeli Macfarlane, Ludo Smolski


What previous attendees say

I loved participating on the last session, it was incredibly inspiring. I managed to rework an old script and I'm two weeks into shooting it as a feature film. Highly recommended. Sign me up!
I was fortunate enough to do this - can't recommend it enough. Sign up!
Well I literally finished the first draft of my feature script today so that feels like a big step forward for me and one that I feel is intrinsically linked to the impact of the course. The new skills given to me by the lab helped propel my project forward, giving me the confidence to push on and finish the first draft.
This course is so good! Now I know exactly what I need to change on my script. Lots of re-writing from now on.

Coming up soon from Film London Labs

This upcoming season from Film London Labs features a wide array of sessions spanning many different aspects of filmmaking. Watch out for upcoming labs on Directing, Character Development and the Independent Film Marketplace in the months ahead. To be the first to hear updates on this year's labs, sign up to our mailing list.

If there is anything that you'd like us to cover in a future Film London Labs session, we'd love to hear from you. Please fill out the feedback form on this page or let us know what you'd like to see on social media.

Want to learn more?