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Short Script Lab

Short Script Lab (Online)

Start date:
Nov 25, 2024
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:

The online short scriptwriting lab provides an inspiring, intensive programme that balances virtual one-on-one mentorship sessions and independent work with moderated group discussions among peers. Participants will refine their skills in scriptwriting, advance the development of their short film screenplays, and discuss the regional and international short film landscapes—notably thanks to case studies of recent successful short films represented by their authors. Participants will also be introduced to film packaging (drafting synopsis, intent note, mood board, etc.) and short film production opportunities.

Application Deadline: 6 October 2024

Dates: Late November 2024

Follow-Up Meeting: Mid-January 2025 (1 day)
Participants have 8 days for group work and 5 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. One month after the lab session, participants submit a new draft to mentors and meet for a final one-on-one feedback session.

The online sessions are planned between 3:00 – 7:30 PM (AST), 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 throughout the entirety of every session of the lab—as the work and learning will build progressively from day-to-day.

Language: English

Fee: QAR 1,000.00

Group Size: Up to 8 writers/directors

Ability Level: Intermediate to advanced


The workshop is designed for writers/directors of short films. A total of eight projects will be selected.

  • Applicants must have written and directed at least one short film.
  • Independent writer/directors or project teams consisting of two co-writers, or writer/director and producer, are welcome to apply.
  • Applicants from Qatar and the MENA region including the diaspora, as well as DFI grantees (from any region), are prioritized for participation.
  • Applicants from emerging countries and regions are also encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements

  1. Please email all the following required materials as one PDF or Word document to
    • Basic project information:
      • Project title, genre
      • Genre
      • Countries of production
      • short synopsis
      • current status (treatment, script draft, etc.).
    • Director’s statement
      • Explaining your motivation for applying to the lab and your intention for this project as a writer/director (maximum 1 page). Please mention the current status of the project and how long you have been working on it.
    • Brief biography, filmography, and contact details (mobile number, email address, and country of residence) of applicant(s).
    • Detailed treatment (maximum 2 pages) or script (maximum 15 pages) for a short fiction film of 5 to 15 minutes in length.
    • Link(s) to at least one previous short film and a copy of its script.
    • If available: visual treatment, mood board, cast details, development budget, producer’s statement.
  2. Attached separately to the application email:
    • Qatar ID or equivalent MENA ID/Passport copy (for each individual, if applying as a team)

Candidate Selection

After the application deadline, the lab mentor and the DFI team will review all 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 and their readiness to work with the mentors and other lab participants on substantial re-writes of their scripts.

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. All required materials must be submitted to on or before 6 October 2024 for consideration. Applicants will be notified of the results of their submission in a timely manner after the submission deadline.


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 for 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.

Celine Roustan
Project Coach

Céline Roustan is a dedicated curator and champion of short films, with almost a decade of experience. She has made significant contributions as a programmer and writer for the popular website Short of the Week, promoting directors and their films. Currently a programmer at SXSW, where she also programs features, and the Palm Springs ShortFest, Céline has programmed for the San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Dublin International Film Festivals and has also been on the screening committee for the Toronto International Film Festival for several years. In addition to programming, Céline has served as a jury member and industry speaker and mentor at various international film festivals and markets, providing invaluable guidance to aspiring filmmakers on their path to success.