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Hamptons Festival Enlists Oscar Winners to Mentor Up-and-Coming Writers

The Hamptons International Film Festival has corralled filmmakers including Debra Granik, writer and director of 2010 indie success “Winter’s Bone”; Michael Weber (pictured above), co-writer of “The Fault in Our Stars;” and Pixar writer Mike Jones, who wrote the English adaptations of Studio Ghibli films “The Wind Rises” and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” to serve as mentors for its 16th annual Screenwriters Lab.

Alexander Dinelaris, the Academy Award winning co-writer of “Birdman,” will speak at a master class during the lab, which is coming up in April.

The Hamptons lab pairs up-and-coming scribes with established screenwriters, directors and producers for a weekend of one-on-one mentoring sessions. For this year’s program, HIFF selected three screenplays including Shane Andries’ “The Delegation,” about a congressional delegation investigating a remote jungle commune;  Cathy Yan’s “Dead Pigs,” about five people searching for their place in a rapidly modernizing China; and Marshall Curry and Davy Rothbart’s “Biggz,” about a wannabe rapper who gets embroiled in a smuggling operation.

This year’s lab is the first to be supported by the Melissa Mathison Fund, named after the late screenwriter of “E.T.” and other films.

The Screenwriting Lab will take place April 8-10 in East Hampton, New York. The festival itself runs Oct. 6-10.

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