Cinema Studies

The Oberlin Screenwriters Intensive

January 19–21, 2023

The Oberlin Screenwriters Intensive, piloting January 2023, is a three-day immersive experience for aspiring screenwriters in film and television.

A professor speaks to a class while standing in front of a movie screen. An image is projected on his face and shirt.
Professor Joshua Sperling hosts a story workshop as part of Obiewood, an organization connecting Oberlin students with entertainment industry professionals.
Photo credit: John Seyfried

The Oberlin Screenwriters Intensive (OSI) invites highly motivated Obies to workshop a feature-length screenplay or episodic pilot script in one-on-one sessions with established writers and dedicated mentors. With the goal of cultivating industry-ready storytellers, OSI also includes group workshops, industry panels, and community events, as well as follow-up support after the intensive is completed.  

For the 2023 pilot, eight Obies will be selected to work with six mentors. The intensive will take place on campus over Winter Term in various locations including Peters Hall, Oberlin Center for Convergence (StudiOC), and the Apollo Studios.

Application Process

The Oberlin Screenwriters Intensive is open to current Oberlin students and alumni who graduated after 2011. Participants must have a feature-length narrative screenplay or an episodic pilot script (half-hour or hour-long) with a brief overview of the first season. The application is a two-part process. 

  1. Due October 15: the applicant’s bio, cover letter, logline, synopsis, and first five pages of their feature length narrative screenplay or episodic pilot script. More details are provided on the application.

  2. Due November 15: finalists will be asked to submit a full script.

Apply to OSI

OSI fellows will be responsible for their own travel and lodging. Breakfast, lunch, and the closing night dinner will be provided. There is no charge for the intensive. A limited number of travel and accommodation stipends will be available.

OSI and Obiewood

The architects of OSI are members of Obiewood: Oberlin Entertainment Network, an organization dedicated to helping Oberlin students succeed in the entertainment industry, working in conjunction with professors of cinema studies Geoff Pingree and Joshua Sperling, as well as Associate Dean Laura Baudot. With the only undergraduate free-standing creative writing program in the country and one of the few stand-alone cinema studies programs, Oberlin is a destination school for students dedicated to the art of storytelling through word and image. OSI enriches this tradition by cultivating the skills, camaraderie, and savvy that emerging artists need for their voices to be heard.

Mentor Bios

Michele and Kieran Mulroney are Los Angeles based writer/director/producers with over 20 years experience in the industry. They are alumni of the 2004 Sundance Writers and Directors Labs where they developed their debut feature Paper Man. Paper Man (starring Emma Stone, Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds, Kieran Culkin) was released in 2010 and was the opening night selection of the LA Film Festival.

Writing credits include Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, and Power Rangers. Current projects include Big Thunder Mountain for Disney, This One’s for You for Warner Bros. (writer/producer), and Second You for Amblin (writer/producer). They are developing a feminist vigilante feature with Kroll & Co. and casting their second feature directing project Fox Hills with Berlanti-Schechter. 

The Mulroneys have worked extensively as script doctors on over 30 films. They are currently developing multiple projects for television as writer/producers.

Michele is the Vice President of the WGA West.

Micah Schraft has written, produced, and directed several television shows including Mrs. America (FX, WGA Award, AFI Award, Emmy nom), The Morning Show (Apple), Jane the Virgin (CW), Jessica Jones (Netflix, Peabody Award), and Hung (HBO). He has co-written two television movies and two indie features, Sunny & Share Love You (Outfest Audience Award, Vanguard) and The Quiet (Sundance Lab, Toronto Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics). His play A Dog’s Housewas produced by IAMA theatre (L.A. Drama Critics Award nomination for Best New Play) and is published by Dramatists. He has developed screenplays and pilots at HBO, FX, Paramount, Sony, Fox Searchlight, Universal, Amazon, MGM, Summit, ABC, Warner Brothers and CBS. He has taught writing at UCLA, NYU, Columbia University, The Ghetto School, Young Storytellers Foundation, and the Outfest Screenwriting Lab.

Arash Amel is an acclaimed screenwriter and producer known for writing the critically lauded motion picture, A Private War (2018), directed by Matthew Heineman and starring Rosamund Pike as celebrated war correspondent, Marie Colvin. He served as Executive Producer on the recent Netflix sci-fi action movie, Outside the Wire (2021), starring Anthony Mackie, which was viewed by 66 million households in its first 28 days. Amel is also the screenwriter of the recently released critically-acclaimed family sports drama, Rise, an original Disney+ film which tells the inspiring coming-of-age story of NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Currently, Amel is in pre-production as producer on the Amazon Studios feature film, Fred & Ginger, based on his original screenplay. Directed by Jonathan Entwistle, the musical drama stars Jamie Bell and Margaret Qualley as the iconic silver screen pair, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Next is the theatrical release of Snafu (2022), an action comedy starring Jackie Chan and John Cena for which he wrote the screenplay. Amel is also the screenwriter for the Paramount Pictures feature film, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, a World War II action adventure directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer that is slated to start shooting later this year. Early in his career, Amel’s script, Grace of Monaco, made the 2011 Black List and garnered him his first Emmy nomination after Nicole Kidman starred in the 2014 film. His adaptation of the novel Seducing Ingrid Bergman was also honored by the Black List in 2014. Amel was born in Wales and spent his early childhood in Iran until the Iranian Revolution prompted his family’s return to the UK. He was raised in England and now resides with his wife and children in Los Angeles. 

Additional mentors will be announced in the weeks ahead.