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Short Script Lab (ONLINE)

Start date:
Jan 25, 2023
Ability Level:
Intermediate to advanced

The Doha Film Institute’s online short scriptwriting lab is designed to assist emerging screenwriters and writer-directors from Qatar and the MENA region to complete a new draft of their original short film screenplay with the guidance of experienced international mentors. Screenplays written through this lab may be nominated for production through these DFI programmes:

Qumra Shorts
Qatari Film Fund
Production Funding (MENA region)

The online short scriptwriting lab provides a transformative experience for filmmakers to explore their creativity and individual voice in an inspiring, intensive programme that balances virtual one-on-one mentorship sessions and independent work with moderated group discussions and presentations among peers. Participants will refine their skills in dramatic writing (premise, theme, structure, character, and story), advance the development of their short film screenplays with a new draft, and discuss the regional and international short film landscapes. Candidates are encouraged to develop personal stories that come from the heart, and that reflect contemporary life in the MENA region; they should also be feasible for eventual production in Qatar or the region.

Application Deadline 11 December 2022.

Programme Dates: 25 January – 3 February 2023 (8 full lab days + 2 independent writing days)
Participants have 8 days for group work and 2 days in between for independent work on their scripts. All participants are expected to present a new version of their short film script to their tutors and the DFI team by the last day of the programme.

The online sessions are planned for 2–6 PM, including breaks. However, the schedule can be flexible to meet the needs of selected participants, and all interested filmmakers are encouraged to apply. Participation is required for all eight days, and every session of the lab—as the work, and learning will build progressively from day-to-day.

Language: English

Fee: QAR 1,000
*Qatar Museums Culture Pass members receive a 10% discount

Group Size: Up to eight writers/directors

Ability Level: Intermediate to advanced

The workshop is designed for writers/directors of short films. A total of eight participants will be selected for the workshop, and it is open to writer-directors based in Qatar or the MENA region.

• Candidates must show an aptitude for writing drama.
• Candidates must have written and directed at least one short film
• Candidates must be from or based in Qatar or the MENA region.

Application Requirements

  1. Email all the following required materials as one PDF or Word document to
    • Brief letter of intention explaining why you are applying to the lab (maximum 1 page)
    • CV/brief biography and contact details (mobile number and email address)
    • Detailed treatment (maximum 2 pages) or script (maximum 15 pages) for a short fiction film of 5 to 15 minutes in length that can be shot in Qatar or the MENA region
    • Link(s) to at least one previous short film, as well as a copy of its script
  2. Attach separately to the application email:
    • Qatar ID or equivalent MENA ID/Passport copy

Please note that submission of an application does not guarantee a place in the programme; depending on the number of submissions, some applicants may be waitlisted or declined. Please submit all required materials to on or before 11 December 2022 for consideration.

Candidate Selection

After the application deadline, the lab mentor and the DFI team will review applications. Candidates may be invited for a supplemental interview during the selection process.

Candidates will be assessed on their ability to expand and develop their materials into coherent screenplays as well as their readiness to work with the mentors and other lab participants on substantial re-writes of their script.

Please note that submission of your application does not guarantee a place in the programme; depending on the number of submissions, some applicants may be waitlisted or declined. All applicants will be notified of the results of their submission in a timely manner after the application deadline.


Matthieu Darras
Lab Advisor

Matthieu Darras leads and designed several programs of film/talent development and consultancy that are active worldwide: The First Cut Lab, the Pop Up Film Residency, and the Full Circle Lab. Previously, he founded and directed the European Network of Young Cinema NISI MASA, wrote for the film magazine Positif for fifteen years, and was the artistic director of the TorinoFilmLab until 2018. Matthieu Darras worked for major film festivals in Europe: as a programmer for the Cannes Critics’ Week, as a consultant for the Venice Film Festival, and as a delegate for the San Sebastian Film Festival. He also directed the Bratislava Film Festival. He has been collaborating with the Doha Film Institute since 2016, as Lab Advisor for both the Short Scriptwriting Lab & The Hezayah Scriptwriting Lab, and consulting with projects presented at Qumra.

Britta Krause
Script Editor

Britta Krause is a script consultant and director based in Berlin. She has been working as a tutor with emerging screenwriters and directors since 2012 and most recently for Semaine de la Critique’s Next Step, Filmuniversität Babelsberg, Nisi Masa’s ESP workshop and Attagirl. She was a script editor trainee at TorinoFilmLab’s Script&Pitch workshop in 2012 before joining the laboratory again in 2018 as a trainer for FeatureLab. Britta is currently teaching Script Development Strategies at Filmakademie Ludwigsburg to students of the International Producing program, as well as working one-on-one as a script consultant with writers and directors from all over the world.

Antoine Waked
Script Editor

Antoine Waked has extensive experience in the field of cinema mentorship and education. He is the development executive at Abbout Productions, the leading film production company in Lebanon; the director of the cinema section at Alba University, one of the top filmmaking schools in the country and the co-founder and artistic director of Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival and the Maskoon Fantastic Lab which helps develop and package Arab genre films. Other activities include script consultations for many international films, mentorship in various screenwriting labs and essays and lectures on Arab genre cinema. He also co-directed the award-winning documentary ‘A Certain Nasser’ about the life of pioneer Lebanese filmmaker Georges Nasser.


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  • The Flying Moroccan – Yassine Ouahrani (Morocco)