The NYU Production Lab has selected six projects for its 2024 Feature Film Development Studio program, a redesigned initiative that helps emerging artists address both the artistic and commercial elements required to create a market-ready script and investor package.
Six writers/directors who are NYU students or recent alumni and their producing partners are part of the initiative’s third class. The 2024 projects represent a diverse group of subjects and styles, and include a 1970s Soviet Union coming-of-age story, a political tale set in the hurricane-threatened Cayman Islands, and a pre-Civil War drama about a doctor performing experimental procedures on enslaved women.
From this month through September, 11 filmmakers will work with NYU Production Lab staff and industry professionals to workshop their feature-length scripts, create and polish business plans and pitch materials, and hone their presentation skills for investors. Among the presenters working with this year’s class are Academy Award nominated producers Taylor Shung (Past Lives) and Sara McFarlane (Red, White, and Blue). In addition to two weekend intensives, each writer will be paired with a professional screenwriter for one-on-one feedback. The fellowship ends Sept. 17 with a pitch session before a live audience and industry decision-makers.
The program aims to help the artists jumpstart their careers and gain footholds in the industry, says Liz Nord, Head of Programs and Creative Development.
“Our venture is unique among professional artist support programs because it focuses on the creative development and market readiness of projects, emphasizing both the artistic and commercial forces that drive the industry. We select projects that we believe will get made and seen, and we are incredibly enthusiastic about this year’s diverse, dynamic, and talented group of filmmakers,” Nord says. “I’m also excited that each of the projects features fascinating female protagonists, as recent box office successes show that audiences are hungry for characters and stories like these.”