HamptonsFilm has announced the selected fellows, screenplays, and mentors for the 23rd edition of its annual Screenwriters Lab, which will take place April 14 to 16.
The three selected screenplays for 2023’s Lab are “Theory of Colors” by Shehrezad Maher, “Blue Boy” by Tyler Riggs, and “Arc” by Keisha Rae Witherspoon and Jason Jeffers. The Lab pairs rising screenwriters with established screenwriters, directors, and creative-producers for a weekend of one-on-one mentoring sessions.
“It is with great honor and excitement that we are able to help foster emerging talent through the intimate one-on-one mentorship program provided within our Screenwriters Lab for the 23rd year in a row,” said HamptonsFilm Artistic Director David Nugent. “We look forward to hosting our talented slate of writers and mentors as part of our year-round programming here at HamptonsFilm.”
This year’s mentors include producer and 2AM’s Founding Partner and Head of Production David Hinojosa whose most recent work includes Halina Reijn’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” Billy Porter’s “Anything’s Possible,” and Celine Song’s upcoming “Past Lives.”
Award-winning filmmaker Ekwa Msangi, known for her feature film “Farewell Amor,” which premiered in competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival will be a mentor as well as Samuel D. Hunter, a MacArthur Genius Grant-awarded playwright and screenwriter best known for his award-winning full-length plays, including “The Whale” (which he adapted into the film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Brendan Fraser, who won an Oscar for his performance), “A Case for the Existence of God,” and “A Bright New Boise.”
HamptonsFilm also announced that Shehrezad Maher and her project “Theory of Colors” is the recipient of the 2023 Melissa Mathison Fund. The fund was established in 2016 and named for the late Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and strives to foster the continued development of female writers in the industry. Previous recipients include Farida Zahran’s “The Leftover Ladies,” Lana Wilson’s “Back Seat,” Kelly O’Sullivan’s “Mouse,” Kirsten Tan’s “Higher,” Aemilia Scott’s “The Birthday Suit,” Annabelle Attanasio’s “Mickey And The Bear,” and Cathy Yan’s “Dead Pigs.”
“Each year we look forward to the unique and valuable experience offered by our Screenwriters Lab which helps to amplify new voices in screenwriting,” said HamptonsFilm Executive Director Anne Chaisson. “We are especially proud to have honored eight female screenwriters with the Melissa Mathison Award. These screenwriters get the added bonus of mentorship for a whole year, plus a live audience screenplay reading in New York City each winter, with a casting director and professional actors.”