Still from A Novela das 8 (2011) Odilon Rocha

PAL Screen – For over 20 years PAL has continued to identify and nurture writing talent in film. Films developed at PAL Labs can become world-wide hits.

What is the foundation of such success stories? An industry adage suggests it is ‘script, script, script’. Without support for talented screenwriters there can be no film industry.

To transform the so-called ‘cottage industry’ that is independent filmmaking into something more cohesive, a range of film productions, varying in scale, including new forms of low budget and cross-platform film projects as well as possibilities for larger scale productions, all need to be fed by a pool of exciting new and proven writing talent.

PAL has been identified in the UK as one of the leading organisations for in-depth professional training and development of screenwriters. Writers who often work alone appreciate the open, democratic, safe, rigorous,professional environment created by PAL in which they develop their craft and ideas. Projects can be accepted at an early fragile stage or in final draft form. In 2012-15 PAL will be working on its PAL Screen programme in India and Brazil. Acceptance on a PAL Screen Lab is hugely competitive. The process takes younger and already accomplished talented writers, enabling them to find and develop their individual voice and to experiment with writing for film, in some cases, for the first time.

In an intensive residential and non-residential process over 6-9 months writers, actors and mentors throw themselves into developing original screenplays, opening up their work-in-progress to others which can be a potentially painful procedure. The pain is minimized because everyone is in the same boat, exploring eachother’s work-in-progress. The results are always unexpected, positive and long lasting.

There can never be any doubt that the script is the absolute bedrock of any movie and rarely indeed does the ultimate film surpass it in quality. Writing for the screen with skill, with understanding and with visionary inspiration is an art in itself and one which should be cherished and nurtured by all who love the cinema. Sir Richard Attenborough CBE