The Major Project Programme

The Major Project Programme: Development, Completion and Sales to Industry.

This Programme covers the span of a calendar year, in 3 Stages (requiring one morning a week attendance for February to April, and one full day for September to December. The summer is self-directed with considerable mentor and peer support.)

This programme is generally reserved for participants who have already completed a calendar-year programme with the SAI but wish to continue the mentoring process with a new project or further develop an existing one.

The Programme is aimed at screenwriters, writer-directors and creative producers who have a feature film or TV drama/comedy project.

The participants will leave the Programme with:

  • a completed script to high second draft standard
  • a production business folder (including BFI qualifying materials for EIS and Tax 
 Relief Schemes)
  • a network of established industry connections

This is a streamlined programme designed to develop, write and sell a feature project (or TV drama/comedy) as efficiently and pragmatically as possible. Our aim, as always, is not just to get scripts developed to a high professional standard, but to get projects sold and made.

Participants are mentored throughout the programme by leading writers and producers and projects are aggressively promoted to established producers and distributors. Our partners include Working Title Films, Ealing Studios, Artificial Eye, Film Four and (in the US) Plan B, Participant Media, HBO etc.

This programme has industry networking integrated within the formal structure – so that, by the end of the programme, participants need never worry about being “connected”.

Programme Outline

There are 3 Stages to the Programme.

Stage 1: Project Development (Jan to April; or Sept – April on Sept start programmes)
Stage 2: Project Drafting (May to September; or on Sept start, from Jan – Aug)
Stage 3: Project Completion and
Project Packaging and Sales to Industry (September to mid-December)

If you are interested in this Programme you should write to the Director of the Institute at:

To Apply:


(IF YOU HAVE ONLINE PROBLEMS, then you can contact: )

You will need to upload:
1.   An example of your screenwriting (any length but it must be a piece of fiction).And, If you are a director/producer – an example of a completed film/TV project.

2.   Please write a 4-6 page scene (standard screenplay format) where the context is: a man/woman has 5 minutes to catch a train to meet a dying relative, but they have lost their wallet.  We want you to hit a strong genre/emotion element; comedy, suspense, action, weepie etc.

3.   An analysis of a scene from a film that you have found particularly powerful, with an emphasis on analysing how the film-makers have achieved this power.  At the same time, we would like you to offer suggestions on how, perhaps, the scene could be improved. (400 words max.)

4.   Most importantly: please email us a logline and one-page pitch of the major project that you think you’d like to develop while on our programme. (600 words max.  Use Courier 12pt)

5.   A CV of all relevant professional and educational experience.

6.   Two references from work colleagues.

Programme Fees

The Programme costs £7,000. The Institute has a very limited number of Bursaries and these are generally ring-fenced for the full “Storytelling for the Screen” programme. But UK applicants may find support from local Screen Agencies and Skillset.


The Screen Arts Institute is keen to encourage partnerships between individual writers and production companies as a way of offsetting the costs of development – with producers subsidizing the cost of the programme in lieu of higher writing fees.


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