How do I apply to Rawi Screenwriters Lab?

The callout for applications is announced on the RFC’s website & Facebook page. During the submissions period, an online application form will be available.

To apply, please visit the Rawi how to apply page

Can I submit a short or documentary script?

No. Rawi Screenwriters Lab targets screenwriters working on a full-length feature narrative screenplay only. Hence applicants will need to submit a feature narrative screenplay.

Can I submit a treatment or an incomplete screenplay?

No. Only completed drafts of the screenplays are accepted. This doesn’t mean that it has to be the final draft. This is because Rawi Screenwriters Lab is most effective when there is already a complete screenplay to be developed further. Also, it is required to have the script written in the standard format.

How many scripts can I submit?

You can submit only one screenplay. If you have more than one, we advise you to select the one you feel most strongly about and are committed to making first.

What is the registration number and how can I register my script?

The screenplay needs to be registered to protect the writer’s intellectual property and obtain copy rights. This can be done through a local official body in your country of residence.

Another way to register your screenplay is online via Writers Guild of America West http://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss/, in which case you will need to pay a fee of 20USD using a credit card.

I don’t have a feature length screenplay, but I want to learn screenwriting. Can I apply to Rawi?

Unfortunately, Rawi’s teaching method centers around educating the screenwriter based on their own style of writing, which requires the screenwriter to provide their own feature length script.

The Lab aims at advancing the skills of screenwriters and not at teaching screenwriting.

What style of screenwriting is required for the Lab?

Rawi does not limit the screenwriter to a specific style, aside from proper screenplay formatting.

How developed does my script have to be for me to apply?

As long as it’s a completed feature narrative screenplay, it can be submitted to the Lab even if it’s a first draft.

Who is eligible to apply?

Rawi Screenwriters’ Lab is aimed at Arab screenwriters only. Arabs who live outside of the region can also apply if their parents are from the Middle East, North Africa or the Gulf, given that they can provide proof of their Arab origins.

If I am not an Arab national but I reside in an Arab country, can I still apply

Rawi targets Arab screenwriters; residents in Arab countries from non-Arab nationalities/origins are not eligible to apply.

I am of Arab descent but I do not have any documents to prove so, can I still apply

Yes, you can apply. The selection committee will particularly look into your case for which you will need to provide a supplementary letter for their review explaining your situation and why you lack such documents as well as the reasons behind your interest in joining the Lab

What’s the language of the Lab?

As this is a very international group, the language used is English, but you don’t have to be fluent in English to participate. We do provide interpreters when needed.

Can I submit the Lab’s requirements in Arabic?

Submissions in English, in addition having English subtitles for all submitted previous work samples, are strongly encouraged. 

This is because members of the selection committee and the Lab’s Creative Advisors do not all speak Arabic, as the Lab always aims to collaborate with readers and advisors not only from the Arab region, but also from all around the world, in order to ensure that submitted projects are being reviewed from different perspectives, and fellows are receiving diverse feedback.

However, Arabic submission will be accepted, but only initially for the 1st screening phase, given that an English translation is provided once requested by the Rawi team.

I haven’t written or directed a feature film before, can I still apply?

Yes. Although having previous works is a requirement for applying, it does not necessarily have to be a feature-length project, it can be any film project you had worked on before (short, feature or documentary), and you don’t have to be the main writer or director.

Can I still apply if I don’t have any previous works?

Submitting previous works is a requirement. However, you can provide a letter explaining your situation and justifying the lack of this main requirement which will be looked into by the Lab’s selection committee who will make the final decision towards whether your application should be considered or not

Can I submit a screenplay I have previously submitted to the Lab?

Yes. However, the re-submitted draft cannot be the same as the one you previously applied with; you will need to provide an updated draft of the script with a letter outlining the changes and developments that have been made.

I have participated previously in the Lab, but now I’m working on a different screenplay, can I apply again?

No, applications from Rawi Alumni will not be considered; it is not accepted for a fellow to participate in more than one round. This is mainly to give opportunities to a larger number of aspiring Arab screenwriters to benefit from the Lab, given that the skills and experiences the Fellows acquire while at the Lab should help them with developing their scripts in general and not just the script with which they participated in the Lab.

Are there any restrictions in terms of the script characters or the writer’s point of views or opinions?

No, the Lab aims to strengthen the Arab writers’ voices, and this cannot be achieved without securing a safe space for the writers to express themselves freely.

Do you consider adaptations?

Yes, as long as the underlying rights of the source material are secured.

If I miss the deadline but I have all of the Lab’s requirements ready, can I apply to the Lab?

If you missed the deadline by a small margin, you can still send in your application material, but you will also need to provide a letter explaining your reasons for being late and why you must join the Lab in its current round and not the next one.

How do you select projects?

An Advisory Committee of writers, scholars and film professionals called “Creative Consultants” work with the Rawi Screenwriters’ Lab team throughout the selection process. The primary short listing is based on script merits: story, originality, writing style, and individual voices, etc. Where applicable, we look very closely at the directing work of the writer.

For more information on Rawi’s selection committee, please visit Creative Consultants.

How many screenwriters will be selected?

Normally, eight screenwriters are selected each year to participate in the Lab.
For more information on Rawi Alumni, please visit Fellows.

When and where will Rawi Screenwriters Lab take place?

The 19th edition of Rawi Screenwriters Lab 2024 will be held at the Faynan Ecolodge in Wadi Faynan, southern Jordan.

If my project was selected, who will cover my travel and accommodation expenses?

Rawi Screenwriters’ Lab is one of the programs of the Royal Film Commission - Jordan (RFC), and all expenses including participants’ travel and accommodation are covered by the RFC.

Can the project’s co-writer or director attend the Lab with me?

For certain circumstances, yes. But an explanation letter should state the goals behind such interest, if the committee accepts the request, they would have to cover their own expenses.

However, the Lab focuses mainly on the writer and on empowering their voices, not on the production of the film.
If I apply, how long would it take to find out if I am accepted?
The reading and evaluation process can take up to four months from the time of the submissions deadline.

All applicants who have successfully submitted full applications will be contacted by the Rawi team with their application status once the selection committee has made its final decision.

Would the RFC help me produce my film post Rawi Screenwriters Lab?

The Lab is intended to support the screenwriters creatively, and the focus of the lab is specifically on screenwriting, not production or the business aspect of filmmaking. However, the Rawi Screenwriters Lab team is available to support all Alumni on an advisory basis throughout their creative process, providing an ongoing resource for introduction, advice, recommendations, etc.

What does the RFC expect in return?

Participants are required to acknowledge and credit the program in the following form: “The script (or film project) was developed with the assistance of Rawi Screenwriters’ Lab, a project of the Royal Film Commission – Jordan”. Further details on this are provided in the Lab’s terms & conditions, included in the application form, which all applicants have to agree to prior to submitting their projects to the Lab.

Do you accept genre and hybrid formats?

While the Lab is for feature-narratives, we do accept hybrid formats (Fiction with documentary elements) and stories from all genres, including animation.

Does my story have to take place within an Arab community?

While there are no strict requirements regarding your story's setting or cultural context, it's important to note that Rawi Screenwriters Lab is dedicated to supporting Arab screenwriters. We welcome stories exploring diverse themes and settings, including those outside the Arab region. However, given the Lab's focus on promoting Arab voices in storytelling, scripts that delve into Arab communities, cultures, and experiences are given more significant consideration during the selection process. While we encourage all Arab screenwriters to submit their work regardless of setting, stories that resonate with and reflect the richness and diversity of Arab heritage are prioritized in the final selection.

How long is a feature-length screenplay?

Each page in script standard format is accounted for as an approximate one-minute filming session. A feature film screenplay will typically be between 90-120 pages.