Charlie’s Talent Escalator Lab 2020 - Postponed, funding, images

Charlie’s Talent Escalator Lab 2020 - Postponed

COVID-19 update

Screen NSW is concerned that the health and safety of our community is prioritised in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, and is following the latest advice being provided by NSW Health, and the State and Federal Government. 

As a result, Charlie’s Talent Escalator Lab will be postponed until further notice.

Once new dates have been finalised, existing applications, both submitted and unsubmitted, will be able to be accessed through Smartygrants.

Please contact Amelia Carew-Reid if you have any queries.

We hope you remain safe and well during this time.


Welcome to Hollywood: Screen NSW and AiF open call for writers and directors to attend LA development lab

NSW-based mid-career and established screenwriters and directors have the chance to boost their careers thanks to the Charlie's Talent Escalator Lab, a new opportunity for professional development brokered by Screen NSW in association with Australians in Film (AiF).

Supported by Screen NSW and a grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), up to five mid-career to established practitioners including representation of Indigenous screen talent, will be supported to attend a customised five-day development lab in Los Angeles in May 2020, with funding covering international flights, accommodation, catering and networking events.

This intensive program will take place at Charlie’s, Raleigh Studios in Hollywood with the objective of supporting local screen talent to develop their career pathways and networks in the US screen industry. The five-day program will give NSW screen creatives unprecedented access to leading Hollywood experts, from management, agents, distributors, finance, development, co-production partners, streaming, cable and network platforms. The program will include field time, meetings, guest speakers and networking receptions. 

The lab will provide comprehensive and valuable information and practical assistance from those currently working in Hollywood. The outcomes for the participants are aimed at better informing them on the Hollywood system, fostering genuine industry contacts, and giving professional development opportunities towards getting their screen projects progressed and their stories told. 

Applications are open to NSW-based practtioners who can demonstrate a significant track record/production credits on projects that have commercial success and/or critical acclaim. 

Screen NSW are committed to representation from all parts of the community and encourage submissions from people who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, women, people with disability, LGBTIQ people and people from outside metropolitan areas.

Please subscribe to our  e-news or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates about our programs.

For more information call Amelia Carew-Reid on (02) 8289 6418 or by email to if you would like to discuss your application.

Image credit: Design shot of Charlie's space. Photo by Hayeth Tarem.

Who is eligible to apply?
  • Applicants must be a NSW resident; 
  • Applications are open to NSW-based writers who can demonstrate a significant track record/production credits on projects that have commercial success and/or critical acclaim. Preference will be given to practitioners who have credits in feature film or television series, or who can demonstrate industry accolades from respected festivals and competitions.
  • Have at least one scripted feature film or series project in development
  • Are available to travel to LA for the Charlie’s Talent Escalator Lab,May 2020
  • Meet the Screen NSW Terms of Trade 
  • Submit a completed application by the closing date. Applications can be submitted at:
  • Have a valid passport (minimum 6 months remaining on a valid passport for the dates of travel)
  • Are allowed entry to the United States

NSW resident refers to a person residing in NSW for at least six months prior to making an application.

How do I apply?

You can apply for Charlie’s Talent Escalator Lab using our online application form:

In the application form, you will be asked to provide contact information, and project details, including:

  • CV and Bio of person travelling 
  • Project information for scripted feature or television pilot in active development, including a log-line and synopsis, any core creative documents and other key creatives attached. 
  • Project - This should be either: 

1) Scripted Feature or,
2) Pilot script or,
3) Detailed Treatment & Bible based on an existing IP (for the treatment or bible, an example of IP could be a book you have the rights to / a produced short film / or a web series) 

  • A short statement outlining why you should attend the lab, your objectives for attending and what outcomes you expect (this could include listing other projects on your slate, your career plans, any future meetings & markets you will be attending or partnerships and collaborations you are involved with)
  • Development notes outlining your plans for the next stage of development work (this should include what development work you think the project needs in context with the intended audience & marketplace and the relevance / why your demographic will want to see this project) 
  • If there is any evidence of market support or commitment (this can include any Producer attachment, option agreement, shopping agreement, IP agreement or industry marketplace interest in the project). 
When will the program take place?

The Lab will commence Monday 25 May 2020  and run to Friday 29 May 2020.

Does the Lab cover the travel expenses and the flight cost?

Yes, AiF will arrange all travel and accommodation for the selected participants.

Each successful applicant will receive: 

  • International flights & accommodation; 
  • Breakfast, lunch, refreshments & snacks will be provided for the Participants on each day of the Lab; 
  • Attendance at an exclusive networking reception with invited US industry guests, to meet the successful applicants; 
  • 1 intimate VIP dinner with all applicants with a select group of invited US industry guests (approximately 12 guests); 
  • Access to selected mentors, daily workshop sessions and talks throughout the week-long lab 

*All other incidental expenses will be the responsibility of the applicant 


Do I need a visa?

Yes. It will be the responsibility of all successful applicants to ensure they have the correct visas for any activity they will be engaging in whilst in the USA.

What is Charlie’s?

Charlie’s is a multi-purpose communal hub for the Australian film-making community in LA, where they can conduct business, collaborate and network, located at the historic Raleigh Studios, in the heart of Hollywood. Screen NSW supports two hot-desks for use by NSW practitioners.

Who should I contact if I have any questions?

Please contact Amelia Carew-Reid, Manager Screen Industry Development

Phone: 02 8289 6417