Promoting unique, independent voices by helping filmmakers and content creators advance the cause of saving coastal seas, beaches and marine life.


These free labs, conducted by Marc Ford, are an in-depth, two-day program designed to help filmmakers and content creators who are currently in post-production on their feature-length and short documentary films. The following Labs are available all year round March.


These Documentary Labs are open to all filmmakers, regardless of background, level of education/training or previous accomplishment. Fellows (Tipstors®) receive year-round support, including access to the Film Independent ForumDirectors Close-Up and more.

1. Directing Lab

Directing Lab is a five-week program for directors prepping independent feature films. The Lab runs April through May.

2. Screenwriting Lab

Screenwriting Lab is a week-long workshop designed to provide individualized story and professional development for emerging screenwriters with a fiction feature screenplay. This full-time Lab takes place in February.

3. Producing Lab

Producing Lab is a week-long intensive designed to help creative independent producers develop their skills. This full-time Lab takes place in October.

4. Episodic Lab

Episodic Lab is a month-long workshop where Fellows gain the tools needed to revise and refine their pilots and navigate a changing industry landscape. The Lab meets 2–3 evenings per week in August.


In addition to Labs listed above, our Artist Development programs encompass a wide range of initiatives that help filmmakers push their projects forward, including:

1. Project Involve

Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program that, for over 25 years, has helped filmmakers from communities underrepresented in entertainment hone skills, form partnerships and launch careers as successful working artists.

2. Fast Track

Fast Track is a four-day film finance market where select fiction and nonfiction filmmakers pitch to top executives, financiers, agents and distributors.

3. Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal Sponsorship opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists, allowing them to seek grants and solicit donations for their project.

4. Global Media Makers

Global Media Makers is an innovative mentoring initiative that connects visual storytellers from around the world with leading U.S. entertainment professionals.

5. Grants & Awards

Grants & Awards are available to help filmmakers advance their current projects and acknowledge professional accomplishments in independent film.

To learn more about Film Independent Fellows and their projects, visit our Tipstors® Guide.