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.

There are many masterclasses and talks to watch on the internet. But with the move into the virtual space in 2020, Film London Labs evolved. We went deeper. We’re delivering the best possible tutors, and some seriously brilliant guest speakers, to keep everyone inspired and engaged.

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 Genre Sessions

When staring down (what feels like) apocalypse — or at the very least just the second year of a global pandemic — what better to turn to than cinema. In the past two years, reports have shown that the appetite for genre films has grown, and we’re interested in exploring, with all of you, why stories that provoke our morbid curiosity, thrill and spook us are on the rise, and how to deploy genre techniques in writing and directing to hold up a mirror to the complexities of our times.

In this Lab for directors and writers, we will bring in storytellers and industry experts working across horror, thriller, science fiction and work that artfully upends genre tropes to learn more about how to tell powerful, tension-filled stories that reflect on our world today. Creative producers keen to learn more about how to support writers are also welcome.

This Lab will take place from February 21-23, from 12:30-3pm, on Zoom.

Speakers to be announced.

Register to attend now.

Previous Film London Labs

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 the amazing 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. In June we have The Writers Sessions, followed in July by The Character Sessions and in September by The Finance Sessions. Guests for these labs are still to be announced.

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?