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The Lab

The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab was launched in December 2011 by The Sam
Spiegel Film & Television School, Jerusalem to foster the development and production
of full-length feature films by some of the world’s most promising talents.

The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab became the third film lab of its kind
in the world, along with The Sundance Institute (USA) and The Torino Film Lab (Italy).


Each year, the Sam Spiegel International Film Lab brings to Jerusalem 12 talented young director-writers who are at the advanced stages of writing their first or second full length feature film. All participants conduct their writing over a seven-month period, and are invited for two periods of writing and discussion in Jerusalem under the mentorship of three of the world’s top script editors, in addition to online contact throughout the entire period of rewriting. The Lab also works to promote the production feasibility of the projects.


13 of the Lab's projects have already been shot in: Hungary, Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, Montenegro, Singapore, Italy, Israel, Germany, USA, Uruguay and Argentina.

The films have screened at the world's top film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Tribeca, Sundance, Pusan and more. 

Internationally, the Film Lab reaches out to leading institutes and figures in film education and industry to refer suitable candidates. Simultaneously, the Lab’s scouts identify promising candidates from all around the world who meet the qualifications for acceptance.


All candidates have directed at least two short films or a feature that has inspired international attention. The Israeli selection is open to all Israeli film school alumni.
The highly competitive selection process for the Lab has resulted in its four edition's world-class projects with unique and provocative content. All possess that special urgency of films that MUST BE MADE, covering a range of social and political topics and or autobiographical in poignant, character-driven plots.


Finalized scripts are presented before the Lab’s panel of international jury members, within the framework of the Jerusalem Film Festival, at the beginning of July, in an annual prestigious pitching event.


The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab's Closing Events


The Lab’s pitching event is an international platform to present the outstanding projects, developed in the Lab, to a select group of producers, sales agents, distributors and other professionals from all over the world (Deicison Makers). 


Following the pitching event, the Decision Makers meet the Lab's participants (and their producers) for an exciting and fast-paced speed dating session, hopefully creating new partnerships towards the development of the projects.


The Lab invites 7 international cinematic figures each year to serve as the jury at the Lab's pitching event. The members of the jury read the finalized scripts before arriving to Jerusalem in July. 


After the pitching event, the jury awards production prizes totalling $70,000, generously donated by the Beracha Foundation, at the prestigious award ceremony held at the historic St. Andrew's Scottish Church, overlooking the old city of Jerusalem. 


The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab wishes to create a prominent new center for international film content in Jerusalem. The Lab serves to connect the wide range of filmmakers visiting Israel—and Jerusalem -- from across the world, transforming Jerusalem to one of the focal points of the world film industry for developing content and production. The Lab positions graduates of Israeli film schools at the vanguard of promising, talented filmmakers from across the world and generates new international cooperation for Israeli directors, producers and writers.


The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab operates under the direction of the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, Jerusalem.

For a full list of our supporters.

View complete news list >>
Renen Schorr stepping down from Sam Spiegel Film School
International registration ended June 7th
12 International projects will pitch in July's closing event
2019 Force of Nature award announced
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