The Owl is an annual workshop for screenwriters working on audience driven scripts for television or film. Backed by the Marché du Film of the Cannes Film Festival and the Athens Film Office, the project was established to help screenwriters who have already achieved early-career success with a distributed TV show or film. It provides tools to help them grow their careers on a global scale.
A group of 10 film professionals with global ambitions will be selected to participate in the mentoring and networking workshops in Athens, Greece and at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Participants will have their accommodation, food and local experiences covered during the workshop in Athens, as well as a stipend and festival pass to make the most of the film market at Cannes.
THE OWL is designed to promote unique voices and attract international producers to ambitious projects. It aims to create a bridge for screenwriters working outside global centres of film production to reach some of the most well-funded and commercially successful film producers in the world. The workshop includes mentorship by industry screenwriting and business experts from the US and UK, as well as the opportunity to attend the Marché du Film to promote their project at the world’s largest film market.
Applications will be accepted online at theowl.afo.events until 15th August 2022.
Applicants should submit an unproduced draft of an audience-driven film or TV pilot script that could be adapted for filming in Greece. A committee of international experts will select the writers of the top five TV scripts and top five feature films to attend the workshop. The selection is based on the writer’s track record and the overall quality of the script, originality, writing style and concept marketability.
Participation in the workshops in Athens will give attendees the freedom to explore their stories and characters alongside industry experts and an international cohort of peers, creating new sources of inspiration and establishing a network of industry connections. Stathis Kalogeropoulos, Head of the Athens Film Office, notes “The goal is to find stories that will attract international decision-makers while also promoting the growth of the film industry in Greece. We’re encouraging screenwriters to transform a story that is set in the suburbs to be able to film it in the neighbourhoods of Athens. Or we can re-imagine the wilderness on Mount Olympus. We could see what happens when an austere modern apartment appears in the middle of a rural fishing village. Filmmakers can create characters and build stories for any genre by setting their stories in Greece, since it is already full of contrasts and allegorical intensity that is known everywhere in the world.”
During the five-day workshop beginning on 5 October 2022, the selected screenwriters will meet in Athens to discuss their projects. The workshop will be led by Tom Abrams and David Isaacs, two USC screenwriting professors who have completed dozens of Hollywood projects. The program will include mentorship from industry experts including Brendan
Fitzgerald (SVP English Language Co-Productions, Sony Pictures), Kristen Barnett (Head of Television, Lea Pictures), Jenny Borgars (Deputy Managing Director, Pathe UK), Pavlina Hatoupis (Executive Producer, The First Lady), Julien Leroux (Executive Producer of Apple TV’s hit series Tehran), Olivia Mascheroni (Agent at Verve Talent and Lit agency).
After refining their work alone, they will receive one-to-one mentorship remotely in February 2023. By the end of the workshop, all attendees will be equipped to pitch their project to buyers in the film market.
The formal conclusion of the workshop will take place during a ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film. At the closing ceremony, two participants will be selected to receive a month-long residency in Greece and a stipend to complete their script.