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Patrick Frater

South East Asia is to get its first dedicated script workshop with the launch of the Southeast Asian Fiction Film Lab later this year.

The lab takes as its role models the Sundance Institute, Italy’s TorinoFilmLab, and the Jerusalem International Film Lab. It will select five film makers with work-in-progress scripts.

The participants will work with script consultants over a period of nine months to develop and refine their screenplays. The lab provides two week-long sessions in Chiang Mai, Thailand and a final session in Singapore in June 2017.

Projects are to be selected and prizes awarded by juries that include the Cannes festival’s Christian Jeune, Tokyo Filmex program head Shozo Ichiyama, and Thai New Wave film maker Pen-ek Ratanaruang. The winning project will receive a $15,000 cash prize.

SEAFIC is the initiative of festival consultant and producer Raymond Phathanavirangoon (“Headshot,” “Sandcastle”.) It is supported by Thailand’s Purin Foundation with sponsorship from the Singapore Film Commission and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Our goal is to create a world-class script lab that helps projects realize their full potential. Too often projects are rushed into production without enough time for script development. A well-developed screenplay can also help filmmakers find more financing, and thus help them realize their vision,” said Phathanavirangoon, SEAFIC’s executive director.

While other script labs are limited to first and second time directors, SEAFIC will also accept directors who have three films under their belt. All project submissions must have a director and a producer attached, a script that is developed to at least first draft status, a realistic budget and a financing plan.

Franz Rodenkirchen is attached as SEAFIC’s script consultant and helped develop the syllabus with Phathanavirangoon over the past three years. He currently also works with the TorinoFilmLab, Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink, Berlinale Talents, and Copenhagen’s CPH:LAB.

“Our mission is to identify and support artists in the region who have the courage to question and challenge, to create change, and to inspire others to do the same. SEAFIC is our first step in supporting independent film in the region,” said Visra Vichit Vadakan of Purin.

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