The MPI Short Film Lab is a comprehensive program that provides filmmakers with hands-on training and mentoring to take their initial film concepts through the process of developing an outstanding short film script for production.

Filmmakers accepted into the program receive fellowship grants and participate in screenwriting workshops followed by directing workshops. After the workshop stage, MPI will choose an official selection from the Lab. The filmmaker who wrote this script will receive a grant of $10,000. MPI may select one or more scripts to develop further for possible production as an MPI Original Film.


In these eight-week virtual workshops, filmmakers develop and rewrite original concepts and scripts under the guidance of award-winning screenwriters. The workshops are designed so that filmmakers can hone their storytelling craft through an intensive process of writing, revising, reading, and the giving and receiving of constructive criticism. The first session of each workshop begins with a script from each filmmaker in the rough draft stage. Writers present their work to the group twice: first to get initial feedback on their rough draft and a second time to get feedback on the revised draft.

Stage 2: MPI Directing Workshop

Select filmmakers in the MPI Screenwriting Workshops advance to participate in MPI’s directing workshop. Led by award-winning directors, the course teaches the skills needed to effectively manage a crew, communicate with a cast, and prepare for pre-production, production, and post-production. Participants rehearse scenes from their scripts and also run mock casting sessions. At the end of the workshop, each filmmaker’s final product receives critical feedback from the instructors and the other participants.

Stage 3: MPI Original Films

MPI will choose an official selection from the Lab. The filmmaker who wrote this script will receive a grant of $10,000. Additionally, select filmmakers may also be invited to participate in MPI’s Production Lab.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to develop my film Infraction through MPI’s Short Film Lab. To have the opportunity to workshop your story with other filmmakers under the guidance of MPI is immensely valuable. Being in a group of filmmakers that are writing at a high level and believe in their work is immensely beneficial, whatever the outcome.

Timothy Blackwood, MPI Filmmaker

Each year, MPI puts out a call for applications based on a specific theme. Applications for the 2024 Lab are now closed.

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