IFP’s unique year-long mentorship program supports first-time feature directors when they need it most: through the completion, marketing and distribution of their films. Focusing exclusively on low-budget features (<$1million), this highly immersive program provides filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films – and their careers.
Through the Labs, IFP works to ensure that talented emerging voices receive the support, resources, and industry exposure necessary to reach audiences. Open to all first time feature documentary and narrative directors with films in post-production.
Applications are now open. The deadline for documentary submissions is March 6th, 2015, while the deadline to apply for narrative submissions is April 3rd, 2015.
2015 Program Dates
Time Warner Foundation Completion Lab: Documentary: May 11th – May 15th Narrative: June 8th – June 12th
Independent Film Week & Marketing Lab: September 2015
Distribution Lab: December 2015
Concussion Director Stacie Passon on Going from the Labs to Sundance
“IFP Narrative Lab was an immersive year long intensive that helped me focus my energy to what need to be accomplished with our film. It gave my team invaluable access to industry and thought leaders. It was inventive, cautionary, insightful and inspiring. If you’re lucky enough to be a part of this lab, as we were, it will change your entire perspective of the filmmaking process, the industry and where we all go from here.”
How it Worked for Do I Sound Gay? Director David Thorpe
“IFP’s Filmmaker labs changed my life! The year-long first-time filmmaker lab gave me an epic turbo boost of knowledge, feedback, support and community, so much so that I can’t begin to imagine what it would have been like to complete my first doc feature without IFP in my corner. Over the course of the year I met, for the first time in my life, dozens of veteran producers, directors, editors, sound designers, music supervisors, distributors, marketers — you name it — from independent doc filmmaking, all of whom generously shared their knowledge and their desperate passion for making films at any cost and against all odds. By the end of the IFP lab, I felt like I belonged, I would be a director, I *would* cross the finish line. And I did! I tell anyone I meet working on a first feature to put together the most kick-ass application they can.”
How it Worked for I Believe in Unicorns Director Leah Meyerhoff
Above all else, the IFP Labs taught me that I could not wait around for someone else to give me permission to make my film. I needed to decide to make it myself, on my own terms. Specifically, I learned to set a start date and not look back. This advice applied to production, post-production and now distribution. Filmmakers often get in their own way, waiting for a specific outcome, when the most important thing is to keep moving forward with whatever resources you currently have on hand. The IFP Labs pushed this DIY ethos, but with a twist: “Do it Yourself, with Others”. Through their continued mentoring and support, I took my debut feature “I Believe in Unicorns” from a glimmer of an idea inside my head to a full fledged film coming soon to a screen near you. The labs gave me hands-on experience and practical advice which has proved immensely useful in a tangible way. I am honored to have been adopted into the IFP family and am excited to watch this community continue to expand.