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development lab

Bukhara, Almaty and online, June–November 2024

The Development Lab is designed for filmmakers from Central Asian countries who want to enhance their skills in scriptwriting or film producing, establish new professional connections, and, under the guidance of international experts, write a full-length feature film screenplay and/or create a producing strategy for a project with international potential. The lab comprises two educational programs: the producers section and the screenwriting section. The goal of the lab is to develop a project for its further presentation to potential partners and international film institutions, as well as clients and producers in the region.

Filmmakers with full-length feature film projects in the early stages of development. Authors without projects but with experience in the film industry or creating audiovisual content in literature, journalism, playwriting, video blogging, or art may also participate in the program. Such participants will work on colleagues' projects.

Full information on the requirements for participants' professional experience and their projects is provided in the Rules & Regulations.
Participants must be over 18 years old and come from one of the Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. A good command of Russian and/or English is obligatory.

The maximum number of places in each section is 10, of which at most 3 are reserved for participants without projects.
Both sections will run simultaneously and consist of three modules, with the first module scheduled in 1-7 June in Bukhara (Uzbekistan), followed by an online module in 1-7 September and a final module in 1-7 November in Almaty (Kazakhstan). In the offline modules participants will work for 5 days from 9:00 to 22:00. The online module will last up to 10 days. Exact dates of the modules will be announced by May 1st. The program covers travel expenses and accommodation.
Modules will be conducted in English with synchronous or consecutive translation into Russian.
Participants in the producers section will develop a complete set of documents for seeking international and regional financing.
Participants in the scriptwriting section will develop a final text of the screenplay.
The open call for the Development Lab is held from March 6th to April 28th. Applications will be reviewed by the Alternativa Film Project team. Results will be announced on May 16th.
Biography and filmography
Motivational letter
Links to previous works
Brief synopsis and treatment of the project (for applications with a project in the scriptwriting section)
Brief synopsis, presentation, treatment, and preliminary budget of the project (for applications with a project in the producers section)


Laura Sabanbayeva

Broken Mirror

Aiman Toktassynova

The Mayor's Daughter

Aigerim Satybaldy

Birds Fly South

Assel Yerzhanova

Pay the Bill

Nazgul Dolotkeldieva


Mady Baljan


Odina Mahmad

The Fire of Inheritance

Ayana Mukhitova

Guardians of Zharokov

Aibek Daiyrbekov

Anatomy of Violence

Batyr Berdiev

PARTICIPANTS. Scriptwriters

Sezim Adyranova


Toktobek Usonov

Aizhan, Nurai and Sabira

Sarytoka Amantay

From the Rocket to the Sea

Tolomush Zhanybekov


Farhad Ghaffarpour


Inkar Yesmagambetova

What's Best for the Child

Aizhan Kassymbekova

Fourteen and a half

Raushan Sadyrbaeva

In the Woods

Mirzoulugbek Begibaev




Petri Kemppinen

Producers section
Expert at training programs EAVE, Medici and European Genre Forum, ex-CEO of the Nordisk Film & TV Fond

Myriam Sassine

Producers section
Producer, Festival Director, Mentor

Signe Zeilich-Jensen

Scriptwriting section
Script consultant, festival programmer. Currently works as a tutor in script development workshops and as an independent story editor

Saar Yogev

Scriptwriting section
Producer, co-founder of Black Sheep Film Productions and Electric Sheep GmbH, writer, script editor, guest consultant, jury member for film festivals

FAQ: Development Lab

We answer your questions about applying to the film lab

This year at the Development Lab, we will only be working with full-length feature film projects
Submission and participation are free of charge. Alternativa covers transportation to the venue and accommodation
English with translation to Russian
In English, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Uzbek, and Turkmen languages in any combination. If you have documents in multiple languages, please submit all of them
Yes, but each project needs to be submitted separately
April 28th at 23:59 GMT+3
In a free-form style
This year, we are only accepting participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan for the Development La
One representative of the project can participate in the Development Lab
Open links to audiovisual projects in which you have participated
Tell us why you need this lab, what professional skills you currently lack, and what development you want to give to your project
Describe yourself, your education, and your professional and creative experience
A list of audiovisual works in any format you have participated in, such as music videos, short films, series, etc.
A brief summary of the screenplay on one page
A detailed summary of the screenplay (5–15 pages). It may also include the project's concept, plotlines, and dialogue excerpts
No, we expect a complete package of documents. There is still time before the deadline to write a treatment and prepare an estimated budget for the project
We guarantee that any materials provided are reviewed by our team and lab tutors only. All rights to them remain with the authors