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  • Writer's pictureLee Hamilton

Networking Events for Screenwriters

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Not everyone loves networking, but it really does get easier the more you do it.

The key here is to do it.

In this industry, it’s pretty much essential and for several good reasons.

It provides opportunities to meet industry professionals, agents, producers, directors, and fellow writers who can provide crucial guidance, mentorship, and potential collaboration opportunities. Building these relationships can lead to script sales, writing gigs, and even partnerships that can span your entire career.

Networking can also help you stay up-to-date with industry trends and understand what kind of scripts are currently in demand. You'll also gain insights into the practical aspects of screenwriting, such as pitching, script formatting, and the often-intricate process of navigating the film and television industry.

I appreciate not everyone can just whisk themselves off to a film festival or a happy hour meetup, so this (alphabetical) list covers both online and in-person events worth checking out.

Alumni events – If you’re a graduate from a screenwriting course or filmmaking school, don’t forget to keep in touch with your peers, mentors, and lecturers! Use your already established connections to broaden your network. Sign up to your school’s newsletter and keep abreast of any news, events, or classes that may be of use to you. It’s a lot easier to network with people you already know.

Austin Film Festival Writers Conference – Four days of panels, workshops, networking, and a shared passion for storytelling.

BAFTA (UK) - BAFTA offers a global programme of live events and screenings all year round, giving our audiences unparalleled insights into the creative, inspirational worlds of film, games and television.

BANFF World Media Festival – Situated at Banff, Canada, this festival is dedicated to world television and digital content and its creation and development. Network, pitch, listen, and learn.

BFI (UK) – Members can access previews, talks, and special screenings.

BFI Film Academy: Opportunities for young creatives (UK) - Events for 16 to 25-year olds are run by the BFI Film Academy team and take place online and at BFI Southbank, with partner events taking place across the UK.

Birmingham Film & TV Market - The BFM is a UK marketplace event that provides opportunities for Midlands based filmmakers and investment and distribution bodies to connect and close production deals. Completed films, films in development or production stage, as well as film concepts.

Eventbrite - Never miss an online (or local) screenwriting event by bookmarking this site. It’s worth broadening your search to include filmmaking, directing, cinematography, and more. The more you can learn about the film industry as a whole, the better.

Film Festivals & TV Festivals – Wikipedia has a very comprehensive list of every film and tv festival in the world. Discover if there’s one near you.

Film Independent – This well-established organization host networking opportunities in LA, but there’s also a calendar of other events to look out for, such as pitch programs, in-depth classes, screenings, and talks.

Film Unions and Guilds – If you’re interested in more than just the screenwriting aspect of filmmaking, it may be worth checking out events hosted by other organisations, such as the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Animation Guild, or the Association of Talent Agents (ATA),

ISA Events – A whole host of free online and in-person talks, presentations, and meetups on everything craft and industry related.

London Screenwriters Festival – There are over 150 speakers, ScriptLabs, an online community, PitchFests, and more at the UK’s biggest screenwriting event.

Meetup Groups – There could be a screenwriting or filmmaking group near you and you don’t even know it. If there isn’t, maybe you could be the one to get the ball rolling and create one. Notable meetups that are already establish include, the LA Entertainment Connections, Filmmakers Network – Hollywood, and the Los Angeles Film & TV Meetup Group.

NEM Zagreb (Croatia) – This event is focused on TV content creation in the low production capacity countries of the CEE region, with its main objective being to educate, connect, produce, co-produce and promote professionals, companies and projects.

Royal Television Society (UK) – Most events, masterclasses, previews, and talks are free for members, but open to all.

ScreenCraft Writer’s Summit - A two-day virtual event that features keynote conversations with today’s top screenwriters, showrunners, producers, and other industry professionals, as well as networking events that connect screenwriters from all walks of life and experience levels.

Seriencamp Conference – Located in Cologne, Germany, this is an industry event for producers, creatives, broadcasters and distributors to network and discuss latest trends and future developments in serial storytelling.

Story Expo – New York, USA. Two days of advanced story theory and practical, professional techniques, featuring "The World's Best-Known Lecturer of Storytelling Arts," the legendary Robert McKee, "The Best Script Doctor In The Industry" John Truby, and the massively influential author of "The Writer's Journey" Christopher Vogler.

The Los Angeles Post Production Group (LAPPG) – This filmmaking organization host regular meetups, Happy our events, talks, and more.

The Writer’s Guild (UK) – Members can access free online events, talks, industry news, and funding opportunities here.

Women in Film (WIF) – Members can access screenings, Q&A sessions, panel discussions, annual galas, and more.

Writer’s Digest Annual Conference – Located in New York, USA, while it’s not solely focused on screenwriting, there’s still plenty of worthwhile talks, panel discussions, and pitch sessions all on the craft of writing.

Whether you're an introvert who prefers online discussions or someone who thrives in face-to-face interactions, there's a networking method out there that suits you. The key is to stay active, remain open to learning, and remember that every connection made could be the one that launches your screenwriting career.

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