FilmLab

Our 2021 FilmLab Writers' Room!

Congratulations to our 2021 FilmLab winner and finalists! They will join our showrunner, Daphne Pollon, in an online writers' room this February.

Alice Wang

FilmLab 2021 Winner

Alice Wang is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter based in Toronto. With a degree in psychology and political science from the University of Toronto, she has now transitioned to filmmaking and is at Humber College studying film and multiplatform storytelling. Passionate about representation in media, she aims to tell LGBTQ+ stories, immigrant stories, and stories about belonging and acceptance. In her free time, she loves to beatbox, play the guitar, and kick around a soccer ball.

Eleanor Campbell

N. Eleanor Campbell is a Portland screenwriter whose passion lies in expanding queer representation in episodic television. Eleanor is proudest of her work co-writing and set-producing Kai Tillman’s “Hey Man” which is in post-production. One of her current projects is building the Playwriting/Screenwriting Certification program for The Conservatory Online. Outside of the film world, Eleanor works for Oregon Health and Science University as a Computational Biologist. She lives in South Portland with her dog, Rowena, her cat, Misha, and over two dozen house plants.

Jaime Dunkle

Jaime Dunkle once killed 30 bikers and died twice in a movie. She has performed raw memoir and wild tales in Portland for over 20 years. She directed, wrote and acted in ritual theater and performance art as a youth. She appeared in a dozen b-movies you’ve never seen. She has conducted counter-culture interviews for Suicide Girls, reported for The Oregonian and Digital Trends, and has written columns for Exotic magazine. Jaime also dabbled in stand-up and live sketch comedy and considers herself a humorist. Her columns, new-journalism essays, fiction, and screenplays center on the paradox of absurdity and drama.

Peter Kimball

Peter Hoffman Kimball is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and former bouncer. As a director, his short films have played at festivals on five continents. He is the husband of an ER doctor, the father of multiple children, and the roommate of an obstinate beagle.

Nagham Osman

Egyptian writer/director, born and raised in Dubai, Nagham Osman moved to New York to fulfill her dream to study at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the American University in Cairo where she studied theatre and mass communications. Two years later, she met the Canadian-Syrian director Ruba Nadda at the Cairo Film Festival who offered her a job on the feature film Cairo Time. She also worked on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Fair Game in Egypt as a production assistant. Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami inspired her to pursue directing.

Sabeena Singhani

Sabeena N Singhani (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based journalist and artist. She currently works as an associate producer at CNN, after serving as a journalism fellow at The New School. She received a grant from NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute in the summer of 2020 to begin Ghar, a short documentary that follows three Asian/Pacific Islander women/non-binary folks through their daily lives as new essential workers. Her work centers around home, diaspora, and the gendered body.

Katy Strutz

Katy Strutz is an artist based in Portland, OR who is fascinated by the aesthetics of stop motion in the age of CGI. She endlessly enjoys investigating how best to capture tactile characters in photography, and believes people made by hand are often the most human of all. She is currently working as a character sculptor on Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio",  and has also worked for studios such as Laika, Shadowmachine and Hornet Inc. She is an advocate for pickles of all kinds and is an insufferable, inoperable musical theatre fan.

Luke Zwanziger

Luke Zwanziger is a writer, actor, and filmmaker living in Portland, OR. His screenplays have been semi-finalist at ATX, NYC Midnight, and more. He works as the Director of Video Production at Curious Comedy Theater. He loves film and has been board members of the Eastern Oregon Film Festival and the Ruby Peak Film Festival. He runs a monthly comedy short showcase called Portland's Funniest Videos every third Wednesday. He has performed and taught improv comedy around the world. He loves the art of improv because it allows unfiltered exploration of character and story.

Our 2021 Showrunner: Daphne Pollon

Daphne Pollon side-on portrait in greyscale
Daphne Pollon is a writer-producer of American television comedy. During her twenty-year career, she’s written for shows including It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Murphy BrownStyle and SubstanceThe JobLove and Money, My Adventures in Television, and Sullivan and Son. She’s also created original pilots.  For several years, she taught at USC in Graduate Television Comedy Writing, Graduate Thesis, and Multi-Cam Workshops. She’s lectured at Cornell and has been a recurring guest at the Galway Film Festival and the Dingle Film Festival. Through the WGA, she mentors military veterans in the guild’s comprehensive, year-long writing program. Last winter she was a resident Guest Lecturer at Napier University, Screen Studies, in Edinburgh. Over the summer she continued to mentor her Scottish students and was also a speaker at the fabulous Willamette Writers Conference. Currently, she is (hating) writing a novel and (thoroughly enjoying) consulting on various projects. Raised in San Francisco, she graduated (eventually) from USCB.

Important Changes to FilmLab 2021

FilmLab winners normally have their pilot script produced by Willamette Writers, but due to COVID that cannot happen this year. The writers room will still take place over Zoom, giving the winner and finalists a chance to experience and work together in a professional writers room setting.

How the writers' room works

Led by an experienced showrunner, winning writers will make edits to the winning script, collectively write a second episode, and potentially map out an entire first season, time permitting.
Oregon Film Logo

FilmLab and Willamette Writers would like to sincerely thank Oregon Film for their support of the 2021 FilmLab Writers' Room. We thank them for their investment in the screenwriting community in Oregon!

https://oregonfilm.org/

Our 2020 FiLMLaB Writers' Room!

Charlie LaTourette

A member of the Dramatist Guild of America, Actors Equity and AFTRA, Charlie LaTourette's writing credits include Another World (NBC), HOOPS (Divine Theatre Company), Chicken Little Was Right! (New York Actors Ensemble), Franks (Theater St. Peters at CitiCorp), Twisted Positions (Courtyard Theatre) and All The Tomatoes (Lion Theatre on Theatre Row.) Three of his plays were produced by PDX Playwrights. He studies at the NW Film Center, and his screenplay Myosotis Love has been a finalist at the NW Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, among others. The script was filmed in 2019.

Lindiwe Mueller-Westernhagen

Lindiwe Mueller-Westernhagen is a songwriter turned screenwriter. Her first short film, Desmond’s Not Here Anymore, won the 2019 HollyShorts Screenplay contest and will be produced in 2020 by the Seattle Film Summit. Her first comedy TV pilot, That Sister Thang, was Fresh Voices runner-up and has been Finalists in other international screenwriting competitions. She was voted by NetworkISA as Top 25 Screenwriters to watch in 2020. She is also a ISA Development Slate writer and a Stowe Story Labs alumni.

Matt Sadowski

Matthew’s love letter to John Hughes (Don’t You Forget About Me, 2006) saw an overnight bidding war for the microbudget doc, after the reclusive Hughes passed away suddenly. The same year, he also filmed his improvised featurette (Most Likely To), which was called “a potent calling card” by Variety Magazine. Matt's second flick was his critically acclaimed narrative feature debut (Pretend We’re Kissing, 2015) featuring Zoe Kravitz and is now available across digital/VOD/ platforms around the world. He received accolades for writing/directing The Brief (www.thebriefseries.com). His next film, Cherries, was a top three finalist at the 2019 Slamdance Script Competition.

Luke Zwanziger

Luke Zwanziger is a writer, actor, and filmmaker living in Portland, OR. His screenplays have been semi-finalist at ATX, NYC Midnight, and more. He works as the Director of Video Production at Curious Comedy Theater. He loves film and has been board members of the Eastern Oregon Film Festival and the Ruby Peak Film Festival. He runs a monthly comedy short showcase called Portland's Funniest Videos every third Wednesday. He has performed and taught improv comedy around the world. He loves the art of improv because it allows unfiltered exploration of character and story.

Emily Redinbo

A native Oregonian, Emily Redinbo lived in the Bay Area, upstate New York, and Boston before returning with her family to enjoy the Pacific Northwest. A medievalist with expertise in ancient languages, she taught writing and literature at Cornell University and Santa Clara University, prior to working for a high tech company in the Silicon Valley. Currently, Emily’s revising her YA novel set in Oregon, a modern retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. She recently completed a feature screenplay about the female chemist who formulated the first effective treatment for leprosy.

Dragos Andrei Dobai

Dragos Andrei Dobai studied Advanced Screen Writing at NW Film School in Portland. He has been working on other projects in the animation field, but '770' is his first live-action short screenplay, and he is thrilled to be one of the finalists. His short is intimate, intense, dialogue-driven, with old school east European sets. With the increased conversation about abortion bans in the US, he thinks we have to tell this story. The message of the movie is NEVER FORGET and never tell women what to do with their bodies.

Ian Fletcher

Ian is a playwright and screenwriter based in Oxford, UK. On a whim he decided to enter a local stage play competition to keep busy during a long commute. To his surprise, The Trinity won and was produced at the Burton Taylor Studio in Oxford. He was hooked and has since written two full length plays and two television pilots that have placed in multiple competitions. Never Meet Your Hero is his first foray into webseries and he is pleased to see that all those years spent daydreaming are paying off, as was the plan all along, he swears.

David Musgrave

David M. Musgrave is an established sculpture artist, children’s book writer, screenwriter and architect who enjoys the surprise of abnormal art scale, daring and exhilarating color in design and imaginative writing. Waddle, his 12 foot tall steel duck sculpture, stands in a local park and his children’s book Mrs. Claus Who?, is loved by many.

About the Contest

FiLMLaB started in 2012 during the Willamette Writers Conference. The lab grew out of a desire to expand upon and promote the growing film industry in Portland, Oregon.

The Script to Screen Competition is the main focus of FiLMLaB. Writers submit a script, which is judged by industry professionals in Portland for the first round, then sent to our judges in LA for the final round. The winning script is then produced by Willamette Writers, and is premiered at the Willamette Writers Conference the first week of August.

From our 2019 Winner

"FiLMLaB has made my entire year!  To say I’m grateful for this experience is an understatement – I got to workshop my short, sit in on the casting process, be on set, watch a couple editing sessions, attend festivals – this has forever changed my perception of the movie-making world and the village it takes to make something good.  Not only that, but I’ve gotten to work with and meet so many talented, kind and lovely people that I otherwise would not have.  The support and encouragement alone are an awesome prize.  Thank you, FiLMLaB and Willamette Writers!"

-Alexandra Keister, 2019 FiLMLaB winner

Click here to read the full interview!

Our 2019 Contest was supported by a generous grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. We thank them for their investment in our screenwriting community, and their continuous work toward creating a stronger arts community.

Our 2018 Competition

Writers Room

Our 2018 Competition brought a new twist -- FiLMLaB! Writers submitted their web series scripts to earn a spot in the Writer's Room with Showrunner FJ Pratt (Ellen, Frasier, Sullivan & Son). The winning script launched into production in 2019.

Alexandra Keister, a Portland screenwriter, won with her script "Stripes." Her story was produced by Alyssa Roerhenbeck, and directed by Phil A. Anderson. It premieres at the Willamette Writers Conference in August.

The 2019 FiLMLaB Team

FJ Pratt
Executive Producer FJ Pratt
Alexandra Keister photo
Writer Alexandra Keister
Alyssa Roehrenbeck
Producer Alyssa Roerhenbeck
Competition Coordinator Jon Dragt
Contest Coordinator Jon Dragt
Production Coordinator Amy Souza
Production Coordinator Amy Souza
Screenwriter Randall Jahnson
Consultant Randall Jahnson

The 2019 FiLMLaB Cast

Glenn McCumber: "Jacques"
Jessi Walters: "Genevieve"
Raquel Mansell: Marcelle

The 2019 FiLMLaB Crew

 

Philip A. Anderson: Director

Alyssa Roehrenbeck: Producer 

Amy Souza: Production Coordinator

Eric Macey: Director of Photography  

Efrem Peter: Camera Operator  

Sean Conley: First Assistant Camera

Jasmine Karcey: First Assistant Camera 

Christopher Alley: Gaffer

Ryan Fitz: Key Grip  

Travis Buffington: Grip and Electric Swing

Rory Leonard: Grip

Heidi DuBose: Sound Mixer

Jade Harris: Production Designer/Costumer Designer

Kameron Gates: Makeup Artist 

Jon Dragt: Script Supervisor  

Ashley Blincow: Production Assistant  

Proudly Supported By

Companies and Organizations

Regional Arts and Culture Council

Gearhead Production Rentals

Deep Sea Pictures

Koerner Camera

Galaxy Sailor Productions

Canby Film Festival

Klamath Film Festival

Individuals

FJ Pratt

Phil Anderson 

Alexandra Keister

Eric Macy

Jade Harris

Efrem Peter

Heidi DuBose

Kameron Gates

Glenn McCumber

Jessi Walters

Raquel Mansell

Randall Jahnson

Stefen Feuerhardt, Attorney at Law

Amy Souza

Kate Ristau

Donations

Nicholas Restaurant

Off the Waffle

Crater Lake Soda

Xylem Cider

Ecliptic Brewing

New Cascadia

Hot Lips Pizza

Nossa Familia Coffee

Heathman Hotel

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From the FiLMLaB Blog

Willamette Writers Script to Scree FilmLab Open for submissions

The FiLMLaB Experiment 2016

By Ruth Witteried | February 28, 2016

“At FiLMLaB, the experiment is you.” No, really. We mean it. The FiLMLaB experiment 2016 is all about you, the writer, and what happens when you step into the lab. It is not easy being the subject of an experiment. Nor is it any fun having limitations placed on your creativity: seven pages, four characters, and…

FiLMLaB Contest Prompts 2016

By Ruth Witteried | January 11, 2016

If you braved the cold temperatures and came out to the FiLMLaB kickoff Tuesday night at TaborSpace, then you are probably already working on your story ideas for the 2016 short screenplay contest. If not, then read about the short screenplay writing prompts now!

film poster for 2015 FiLMLaB winning script Bug Eyed Bill

Will There Be A Bug Eyed Bill For 2016 FiLMLaB?

By Ruth Witteried | January 4, 2016

We are preparing for the 2016 FilmLab launch this Tuesday, January 5th, at Tabor Space! We’ve had lots of helpful suggestions as to what the contest should look like this year: shorten the page count to just four pages (because seven isn’t hard enough!); have two writing prompts instead of three; utilize the conference theme as…

FiLMLaB Turns Five

By Ruth Witteried | December 7, 2015

Being five is going to be so awesome! We should have a party. With cake. I suggest Tuesday, January 5th. Our regular hangout, The Old Church, is closed for remodeling, so we’ve booked the Copeland Commons room at TaborSpace instead. We’ll still open the doors at 6:30 and get things going at 7:00, which means I will…

2015 FiLMLaB Winner – The Return of Bug Eyed Bill

By Ruth Witteried | October 4, 2015

2015 Winning Script – “The Robbery” (renamed “The Return of Bug-Eyed Bill”) by J. Mark Scarbrough

Bug Eyed Bill Heads To The Portland Film Festival

By Ruth Witteried | August 31, 2015

Just over three weeks ago, THE RETURN OF BUG EYED BILL (our 2015 FiLMLaB winner) debuted at the 46th Annual Willamette Writers Conference to a packed house and an enthusiastic, inquisitive audience eager to see the winning short script and what we and director Mike Parisien had done with it. But if you missed it in…

Bug Eyed Bill Premiers At The WWC

By Ruth Witteried | July 27, 2015

As Willamette Writers heads into the last two weeks of organizing their annual conference, finalizing details for workshops, classes, pitches and celebrations; FiLMLaB, likewise, is putting the final editorial and post-production touches on winner Mark Scarbrough’s short film, The Robbery. Yes, it is a film now, his short script transformed by director Michael Parisien of…

The Cast Of 2015 FiLMLaB

By Ruth Witteried | June 29, 2015

The cast of 2015 FiLMLaB assembled on Sunday, June 28, to breath life into Mark Scarbrough’s winning script, The Robbery. After months of work planning, promoting and executing the Willamette Writers annual FiLMLaB Contest, I got to sit on my ass and watch other people work as they combined their many talents to bring Mark’s…

FiLMLaB Announces 2015 Director

By Ruth Witteried | June 22, 2015

Every year as the FiLMLaB Contest wraps up in May we have to pivot quickly and get busy with preproduction; or more accurately, find a director and production team to do it for us. As a nonprofit, Willamette Writers is not in the business of making films, but we can, through FiLMLaB, help aspiring screenwriters…

How to Lose FiLMLaB and Win BlueCat: An Interview with Susan Fleming

By Ruth Witteried | June 5, 2015

As the 2014 Film Coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference, I was also in charge of overseeing the FiLMLaB competition. Round after round of judging took place until five scripts elevated to the coveted “finalists” stage. Those five finalist scripts were sent to Hollywood for our celebrity judge’s review. Susan Fleming’s SIX MONTHS OF WONDER…