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Screenwriting for Beginners – Online Workshop

Start date:
May 03, 2020
Ability Level:

Discover the creative process of writing for the screen, all from the comfort of your own home with DFI’s exciting new online Screenwriting for Beginners Lab. This fascinating lab will include the foundations of screenwriting, with mentors covering the ‘architecture’ of screenplays (storytelling, screenplay guidelines, non-verbal storytelling and characterization) and the ‘formatting’ of a screenplay (visual grammar and Celtx/Final Draft).

Taught remotely, the lab is offered in separate English and Arabic sessions, both blending online lectures, assignments and group discussions to give participants a comprehensive and well-rounded understanding of screenwriting. As this is a beginner’s lab, the aim is for participants to produce a minimum of one scene for their screenplay. They will also have the opportunity to continue their filmmaking journey with the DFI development team, working towards further education and grants.

Application Deadline: 23 April 2020

Lab Dates: 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 May 2020

Arabic: Online sessions: 21:00 – 22:15
English: Online sessions: 21:00 – 22:15

Lab Fee: 300.00 QAR *Qatar Museums Culture Pass members will receive a 10% discount on this lab’s fee. To avail of the discount, simply include a copy of your Culture Pass when applying.

Group Size: 8 – 10 participants will be selected for each lab.
Level: Beginners
Location: Online
Language: English & Arabic

Lab schedule

3 May: Introduction to stories
5 May: Building your characters
7 May: Story architecture
9 May: Visual storytelling
11 May: Writing for the screen

Submission Requirements:

Applicants should submit an email to with the following:

  • Original short film logline and synopsis
  • Applicant’s CV or short bio
  • Copy of applicant’s ID
  • A short paragraph explaining your interest in this lab

Applicants should be 18 years old or above.

Lab Mentors

Anthea Devotta

Anthea Devotta was born and raised in India. She holds an honours BA in Film and Television Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London and has over a decade of experience in the film industry. She currently works at Doha Film Institute’s Film Training and Development team, where she coordinates filmmaking workshops and labs with a focus on short and feature-film development. She also coordinates the institute’s Producer Lab and Series Lab and is a key member of the team behind Qumra, working closely with international mentors and project delegates. Anthea was selected to participate in the ‘Less-Is-More’ script editor programme and for the last four years has been passionately working on the Hezayah Scriptwriting lab. Before moving to the Middle East, she worked in film and video production in London and is also the co-founder of The Write Retreat—a writing residency in Mallorca, Spain.

Amna Al-Binali

Amna Al-Binali graduated from Qatar University with a degree in English Literature and Linguistics. She has been working with the development team at Doha Film Institute since 2013, where she reads scripts and helps local filmmaking talent. She directed her first short film, ‘Doctor’s Office’, at the La Fémis Gulf Summer School in 2015. ‘The Notebook’, her second short film, showed at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival in 2015, and ‘The World Is Not Blue’ was produced as part of the Qatar Film Fund. She holds an MA in Screenwriting from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Fahad Ahmed Al-kuwari

Fahad Ahmed Al-kuwari is a writer and art director, who was born in Qatar. He comes from an art and design background and holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a master’s degree in Film and Screen Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. He began his career in filmmaking through working in the art department with the Qatari production house Innovation Films and went on to join Doha Film Institute as an Art Director and a Youth Programmes Coordinator.

He was a member of the Ajyal Film Festival creative committee and has been involved in the education sector as a guest lecturer at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. Along with his colleagues, Johan Granberg and Ben Robinson—Fahad Al-kuwari received a Merit Award from The CIDA Awards for Excellence for developing a production design curriculum to be taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.

Throughout his Career, Fahad worked on several short films as part of Doha Film Institute’s Qatari Film Fund initiative, including ‘Aljohara’ (2016), ‘Our Time is Running Out’ (2017), and ‘A Journey to from Love’ (2016). He also wrote and directed ‘Ruqya’ (2011) and wrote ‘I’ (2012). His first participation in a feature-length film was on the set of Mira Niar’s ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ (2012).