The London Screenwriters’ Festival is an annual three day conference for screenwriters.
Jump to the main website HERE.
In 2018, the LSF will be held at Regents University in Regents Park, from the
7th to 9th of September. Directions to the venue HERE.
For the three days, over 1,000 screenwriters, filmmakers, producers, practitioners, actors and executives congregate to share ideas, build powerful relationships, hear pitches and get a creative shot in the arm.
Most delegates report massive breakthroughs in their understanding of the business and craft, as well as huge acceleration toward their career goals. However, perhaps the most vital part of the festival is the inspiration and sense of belonging you will experience when you attend. Year on year, delegates report that the community at the festival is one of the main reasons they return.
The Main Events
During the three days of the festival there are around 130 structured seminars, lessons and workshops.
There are four separate strands so that at any one moment, you can choose from up to four different sessions.
You do not need to book a place for any of these sessions, they are all on a first come, first seated basis. Occasionally, some sessions are so popular, seating will run out. We will try and give you advance warning about these sessions so you can get there early if you want to attend.
Between sessions there are half hour breaks, with a ninety minute break for lunch. Onsite, there is breakfast, lunch and dinner available, plus drinks, tea and barista coffee. The breaks are a great opportunity to network with delegates and speakers.
In the evenings (Friday and Saturday of the festival) we host networking drinks which most delegates and many speakers attend. It’s a chance to unwind, consolidate old relationships and create new relationships.
Additionally, on the Thursday night before the official opening of the festival, there is a networking party where you can pick up your pass early.
Over half the delegates usually attend this Thursday event.
On the Saturday night of the festival we host The British Screenwriters’ Awards, presented by Rhona Cameron.
As a festival pass holder you are invited to attend the awards on the Saturday night of the festival (seating limited to 450).
There is a floorplan of the venue (that will be updated in September) HERE
We also film most sessions so you don’t miss out. These sessions form an ever growing library of world class seminars and workshops that are available to delegates only. When you sign up you will get access to all past video sessions as well as the sessions from the festival for which you have purchased a pass. You can watch a sample video, an ‘In conversation with Harry Potter director David Yates’ by clicking HERE.
Every year we have around 150 industry professionals who come and speak. In the past we have played host to industry experts including…
- Joel Schumacher (Director & Writer – The Lost Boys, The Client, Falling Down)
- Ted Tally (Writer – Silence Of The Lambs, Red Dragon, The Juror)
- Lynda La Plante (Writer – Prime Suspect, Above Suspicion)
- William Nicholson (Writer – Gladiator, Les Miserables, Shadowlands)
- Charlie Brooker (Writer – Black Mirror, A Touch Of Cloth)
- Joe Eszterhas (Writer Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge)
- Mike Leigh (Director & Writer – Secrets & Lies, Naked, Life Is Sweet)
- David Hare (Writer The Reader, The Hours)
- Dan Mazer (Writer- Borat, Ali G)
- Lisa Albert (Writer & Producer – Mad Men)
- Olivia Williams – (Actor The Sixth Sense, An Education)
- Gurinder Chadha (Writer and Director Bend It Like Beckham)
- Frank Spotnitz (Writer & Producer – Hunted, The X Files, Millenium)
- Duncan Kenworthy (Producer- Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings)
- Edgar Wright (Director & Writer – Tin Tin, Scott Pilgrim, Shaun of the Dead)
- David Reynolds (Pixar & Disney staff writer – Finding Nemo, Emperor’s New Groove, Mulan)
- John August (Writer – Dark Shadows, Big Fish, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory)
- Ian Brennan (Creator – Glee!)
- Ash Atalla (Producer – The I.T. Crowd, The Office)
- Robert Popper (Writer & Producer – Friday Night Dinner, Look Around You)
- Stephen Mangan (Actor – Greenwing, Episodes)
- Jessica Hynes (Writer & Actor – Spaced)
- Sally Phillips (Actor & Writer – Smack The Pony, Miranda)
- Griff Rhys Jones (Writer & Performer – Not the 9 O’Clock News, Alas Smith & Jones)
Over 500 industry professionals have now presented at the LSF including execs and producers from the broadcasters, Hollywood studios, UK productions (large and small and everything in between).
Alongside the industry professionals, world class screenwriting tutors and practioners from the UK and Hollywood also attend, providing what are often the most widely attended sessions of the festival. They have included…
- Pilar Alessandra (Pitching expert)
- Linda Aronson (non linear expert)
- Julie Gray (Story expert)
- Christopher Vogler (Heros Journey expert)
- Linda Pogieter (Negotiation expert)
- Luke Ryan (Producing expert and active producer)
- Kate Leys (Script expert and also active script editor)
There is an up to date list of speakers HERE (there will be around 150 by the end of October 2015).
The British Screenwriters’ Awards
Join us in celebrating great screenwriting at the Great British Screenwriters’ Awards at the festival. It’s about time someone put the originators and architects 0f great storytelling front and centre. And we rose to the challenge in 2014 and launched the British Screenwriters’ Awards.
Hosted by screenwriter, writer and comedian Rhona Cameron, you can be sure it will be a hilarious and star studded night to remember.
As a festival pass holder you are invited to the Awards on the Saturday night of the festival though you should remember that seating is limited.
You can find out more about the awards HERE.
During the festival there are also separate events that are included as part of your ticket. You must apply for each of these events ahead of the festival and the process for appliaction differs slightly for each.
The Great British PitchFest!
Most popular of these additional initiatives is the Great British Pitchfest where you get the chance to pitch your projects to execs, producers, agents and filmmakers. Each delegate gets ONE ninety minute slot for the Pitchfest and the booking system goes live on 9th Sept. These slots go fast so make sure you are available to book yours (we will email you about this closer to the time).
During your ninety minute slot you can pitch as many execs as you can get to – there is a queuing system and the most popular execs will have the longest queues. Thinking strategically could get your up to eight pitches with little or no waiting in line, or as few as three if you are late, don’t plan and make poor choices. Success in the pitching will be entirely up to your preparedness, and of course a killer idea.
You can read more about the PitchFest HERE.
Other popular sessions include… The Advanced Mentoring Script Labs
The objective of the Labs is to assist writers who have a fully developed screenplay in a specific genre, to move their work to the next level.
There are six three hour Labs at the festival, covering a variety of disciplines and topics. Within each Lab there is space for up to six writers. Each year the labs are different.
Past Labs have included ‘Writing For Disney with Finding Nemo writer Dave Reynolds, Writing The Hollywood Thriller with Basic Instinct writer Joe Eszterhas and Writing For Channel Four with former Channel Four Commissioner Gub Neal. Submissions open 28th July and close 13th Aug and we encourage the writers and expert leading each Lab, to connect and begin work before and after the festival. Successful applicants are announced on 8th Sept. MORE HERE
Other popular sessions include… The Actors Table Read
The actors table read is an opportunity for you to get your screenplay worked on by professional actors and a director. This has proven to be our most successful initiative to date with 99.8% positive feedback from the 200 people involved last year.
In 2018 we aim to have 144 slots available, double last year.
If you submit a script to the process and you are selected, you will attend a one hour session where you, the director and the actors will work on one sequence (between 3 and five pages) of your script.
These are closed sessions and they run throughout all three days of the festival. Submissions open on 19th June and close 30th July. Successful applicants will be announced on 1st Sept
More HERE including a short behind the scenes video.
You can see the actors and directors who will work on your scripts HERE
Other popular sessions include… Script Chat
After each session, speakers are invited to meet delegates in round table sessions that we call ‘Script Chats’.
These informal and intimate chats can often run for an hour or more. It’s our way of giving direct access to specific experts so that if you want to, you can tale the conversation to the next level. We have found that even the biggest names are happy to spend time coaching and sharing in Script Chats.
You do not need to book a place at a script chat, just turn up. Sessions that are followed by a script chat will marked accordingly on the schedule. MORE HERE
You can see the Pitch 70 or so Execs attending the PitchFest HERE (most will go online around September).
Other popular sessions include… The Script Surgery
Submit a two page outline and the first ten pages of your script and we will offer expert feedback in a fifty minute one on one session.
The booking system for Script Reading goes live on 17th July. You can choose your slot when the sessions go live (last year all slots went in the first hour). If you get a slot, one of our readers will connect with you before the festival.
On the day and time of your booking, go to your appointment with a print out of your outline and first ten pages of script, and you will be met by your script doctor. At any one time, six script doctors are in session and we aim to offer help on around 100 projects. MORE HERE
You can read up about the team of script doctors HERE
We also operate a drop in desk over the three days of the festival. So if you want to just rock up with your script, get some feedback or ask for career advice, head over to the Script Surgery and book yourself a slot in one of the drop in sessions.
Other popular sessions include… The Legal Clinic
Do you have legal issues you need a lawyer to help you with? All delegates at the festival have the option to apply for the legal clinic that is run by Blue Pencil Media.
You can ask any question you like and their legal team will do their best to answer your concerns. MORE HERE
Other popular sessions include… Meet The Experts
Get a full half hour with seasoned film producers, distributors and executives.
Have your project grilled by a team of heavyweights. Meet The Experts is not for the feint hearted and you can be certain of a very tough conversation. Think Dragons Den but for writers concepts and projects. MORE HERE
Other popular sessions include…The Elevator Pitch
Feel the fear and do it anyway! The idea is simple… the elevator doors open, you step inside, only to find yourself alone with a top executive… You have 90 seconds to get them to accept your business card!
The elevator pitch will take place several times throughout the festival and always during breaks so you never need to miss a session. No booking needed, it’s first come first served. MORE HERE
During the festival and within the main sessions there will be many ‘interactive’ workshops too, where you may be invited to submit a script for editing, or to read a script in preparation for a special ‘script to screen’ session, such as the one with Joe Eszterhas and Basic Instinct that we ran in 2013 or Silence Of The Lambs with Ted Tally in 2015.
These sessions will come online in the late Summer and we will send you emails about them as and when they lock down.
Getting Your Pass
You can sign up now and get your pass HERE. Passes cost £348 (inc VAT).
We offer a full refund if you cannot make it (up to 30 days before the festival). After that you can transfer your pass to someone else. Just let us know if you want to do this.
One pass will get you full access to the festival. Last year we sold out nearly one month before the festival, so don’t wait.
You will need a pass BEFORE you can book any of the additional sessions such at the PitchFest, Labs or Actors Table Read.
Once you sign up you will be sent an introductory email with a link to the Festival Network called LSFConnect, where we share the archive of festival videos (over 150 seminars online now).
Inside the network you can also connect with other creatives and start your festival experience right away. There is a short introductory video that you should watch BEFORE joining the network. You can watch that video HERE. If the link that you have been sent has expired, drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will get a direct invite sent out to you.
You will be sent a special delegate guidebook (PDF link via email) which you should print out and read.
This will give you an overview of the whole event and offer additional detail where needed. This book will be updated in mid October and should be re-downloaded and printed out at that time. We will email you about this update when it becomes available.
Many delegates skip printing and reading this document and subsequently miss out on many terrific initiatives simply because they did not know about them until deadlines passed. Spend fifteen minutes sooner rather than later, getting to grips with everything on offer.
When you arrive at the Festival you will be able to collect your Festival pass from registration. Without your pass you will not be allowed entry into the events, so please don’t lose it.
You can collect your pass on the Thursday Night Networking party on the 6th September 2018, or on the Friday morning of the festival. We advise getting to the venue early as there may be bottle necks for the first hour or so.
Registration will stay open during the festival in case you cannot make Friday morning.
In the three days running up to the festival (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) we run a series of one day masterclasses.
We have designed these to be as useful as possible for delegates, especially those traveling from great distances. They are competitively priced at £40 per day (for LSF delegates).
By far the most popular is Pitching Thursday with Pilar Alessandra as it sets you up for the pitch of your life in the Great British PitchFest. You can get more information on Festival Week HERE.
## Important Operational Emails ##
Once signed up, we will email you regularly with updates when needed. We will always do this with a header using hashtags. An example email header might be…
## PitchFest Booking System, Goes Live On Friday ##
This would signify this is an operational email from us that you should read and not leave till the end of the week or delete as spam. We do send a lot of these emails as we don’t want you to miss out on the good stuff.
Dates and Deadlines
There is a list of current dates and deadlines on the website HERE.
If these deadlines change, we will let you know via email and update the page accordingly.
LSF Talent Directory 2018
As a delegate you will be invited to list your details in the 2018 Talent Directory. This document will be circulated to other screenwriters, filmmakers, producers and agents attending the festival. It will be published and shared a few days before the festival. We will send PDF copies to all delegates, all speakers and all pitch execs attending the festival. Submissions open on 29th May and the deadline for inclusion in the Talent Directory is 6th Sept. More HERE
Want more convincing? We have a ton of feedback from both delegates AND speakers (and execs) that you can read HERE. Below is just one random quote…
What made LSF different from so many events was that you guys clearly thought about the experience of the delegate when organising the event.
Colleen Burn, Screenwriter
Whoahhhh! There’s a lot going on!
Yes there is and that’s what is SO awesome about the festival. We have lovely staff who will answer your questions, as will the veteran delegates who offer so much too.
Getting the most from the festival is all about getting prepared and then letting yourself go, allowing the experience to take a hold of you.
81% of our delegates give the event 5 stars
99% said they would recommend it.
99% also say that it is value for money.
Get your pass HERE
Or sign up for updates with the email sign up below.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Additional Courses, Workshops and Masterclasses
An intensive two-day workshop that breaks down the art and craft of reading scripts to help improve your own writing, to also improve your feedback for other writers and most importantly, to earn you money as a professional reader.
In this two day practical masterclass with Pilar Alessandra, we will show you how to deconstruct your ideas and then rebuild them into marketable projects that commissioners will be clamouring to read.
Talent is great but relationships get you hired. The ability to create powerful new relationships in any given situation is one of the primary factors in the success of your career and that of any screenplay that you write. A one day masterclass.
Don’t fall at the first hurdle. Prepare for an extraordinary PitchFest at the LSF by joining Hollywood pitch guru Pilar Alessandra who will transform you pitch so you can present professionally and with confidence.