Lagos Film Lab Promo Image

The 2019 call for application for the LAGOS filmLAB opens on Thursday, 22 August 2019 and the submission process will close on Wednesday18 September 2019 9:00GMT+1.

Adapted from iFeatures, a premier UK filmmaking programme driving the development of low-budget high-quality debut features and realising the talent of the next generation of filmmakers. Our aim is to produce the most outstanding, daring and distinctive storytellers in Lagos, by giving them the tools and the support to experiment, develop their voice, and create contemporary films that speak to a world audience.  Lagos filmLAB is a partnership between the British Council, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and delivered by Creative England and Biola Alabi Media

Lagos filmLAB offers a unique opportunity to explore and realise your vision. Selected teams will take part in an intensive, exploratory Lab programme, which will include dedicated support, access to industry and networks, as well as mentoring and high-level training with established industry professionals. The programme will focus on a dedicated period of development for 12 projects and teams, with each receiving bespoke support as they work towards market engagement.#

Following the programme, the British Council and BAM (Biola Alabi Media Ltd.) have committed to ensuring that at least three of the projects progress to production.

‘It is advisable to have your answers ready using the offline form’


Lagos filmLAB is driven by the principle that low-budget, ambitious, well-told stories can break out to achieve critical, audience and even commercial success. Filmmakers, emerging and established, find expression through low-budget filmmaking as much as an end, and not just as a stepping stone to bigger things. Lagos filmLAB intends to play a key part in supporting the development of new and exciting voices in Lagos State. We also believe there is an achievable sweet-spot for high-quality films and are, therefore, looking for projects which at the point of application, we expressly intend to finance, and will develop these films with a view to what we believe the project needs and what can be reasonably financed in the current landscape.

We are looking for distinctive creative voices and bold visions, regardless of genre. We believe that ‘meaningful’ and ‘entertaining’ are not mutually exclusive ideas in the audience’s mind, and we want to see original genre films just as much as dramas. We want stories that express a powerful sense of place and time, and with distinctive, unique takes on every corner of Lagos. Stories that transcend low production budgets, and engage audiences at home and worldwide, regardless of the type of camera they might be shot with or platform they are being experienced on. Stories that move, entertain, surprise, challenge and resonate - and voices that need to be heard.


The programme is designed for talents with projects, which are primed and ready for an intensive personal and project development experience that provides focus to a momentum that already exists. 

Writers, directors and producers should each be able to demonstrate one of the following as evidence of industry and/or public recognition:

- Acceptance at a minimum of two short film festivals listed in the British Council festival directory: 

Selection for online platforms like Vimeo Staff Picks, Short of the Week, Pick of the Month

-  A minimum of one completed professional theatre production of their work 

- A minimum of two completed professional advertising campaigns

- A minimum of one completed television production of their work 

- A minimum of one professional gallery or other public exhibition of their work

- A minimum of two released music videos 

Writers should submit a full-length writing sample as part of the application, being a full-length screenplay, TV script, novel, play or equivalent.  In the case of a short film script or short story of fewer than twenty pages, two such samples should be provided.

We are preferably looking for teams consisting of a writer and director (or a writer-director) to apply. We will consider applications from teams of a writer and a director (or a writer-director on their own) with no producer attached; if selected for the programme, the Lagos filmLAB team will facilitate attaching a producer to the project as soon as possible, in order for the project to benefit fully from the support available. We cannot accept submissions from writers or directors by themselves – a writer and a director or a writer-director must be attached to each project. 

Lagos filmLAB is designed for emerging talent, however, if writers and directors intending to apply and have considerably more experience than one full feature as lead writer or director, then please contact us before applying. 

Applications from more experienced directors – for example, documentary directors or directors with some TV experience who are looking to make a low-budget fiction debut feature may also be considered at our discretion. 

Each team should have no more than four people attached to the project at the time of submission. Any individual can be attached to a maximum of only one submission, and we ask lead applicants to make sure before applying that their team members are not attached to other projects. 

All projects must be in the English Language.  Please note that all project development and Lab sessions will be conducted in English and all projects must be able to engage fully with the programme as such, as well as the advertised timeline.

We do not accept applications from:

-  anyone currently studying in Further or Higher Education at any level

-  teams with stories which are not primarily/substantively set in Nigeria 



You can make your project submission anytime from Thursday, 22 August 2019 to Wednesday 18 September 2019. via @LagosfilLABapplication

Your application will need to include:

- A 25 words or less logline 

- A synopsis of no more than 500 words

- A story treatment of no more than 3000 words (or five A4 pages)  

- A writing sample from the writer – if a script for the project already exists, you should include this as the (or an additional) writing sample

- Relevant links to examples of work by the director

The application form includes further instructions on what each of the above elements should cover. 




Each submission will be assessed based on:

- ability and potential of the filmmaking team 

- quality of the project 

- audience and market potential of the project

- residency in Lagos State

As part of the application, we will require all team members to confirm their current region of primary residence is in Lagos State.

Up to 24 projects will be shortlisted and teams will be invited to a selection panel. 

The selection panel will then invite up to 12 projects/filmmaking teams to participate in Lagos filmLAB. The selection panel will consist of representatives from Creative England and Biola Alabi Media.


Up to 12 selected teams will be invited to take part in the Lagos filmLAB programme.

The programme will consist of a series of intensive Labs:  

  • Two Development Labs:  filmmakers will explore their stories and advance their projects through dedicated development and experimentation. These labs will include a range of sessions and approaches from one-on-ones and group seminars, to writing and script workshops and inspirational masterclasses.
  • One Direction Lab: filmmakers will explore their craft through the prism of their project, and their project through the prism of their craft - including directorial vision, communication, style and approach, actors and performance, sound and production design, the edit and post-production.
  • One Production Lab: teams will be equipped and prepared for market and production, examining their project in the contexts of packaging and financing, contracts and financial management, budgeting and production management, festivals and distribution, etc.

Please note that Labs form a mandatory part of Lagos filmLAB and will take up approximately a week each. (See KEY DATES tab below)

Lagos filmLAB is a commitment. We want to work with passionate, ambitious and committed filmmakers who will seize the opportunity provided by the initiative, which has been designed to see engagement throughout from the filmmaking teams. We realise that people also have jobs and families, and will do our best to make it work for everyone, no matter their personal circumstances.


If your project is selected for Lagos filmLAB you will be required to:

-  Provide proof, if the project is based on any underlying work that you have obtained all necessary rights or prove that you can obtain rights in (or an option over) that underlying work sufficient to be able to make one feature film. 

-  Provide end credit: If your project subsequently goes into production (with or without support from above-listed stakeholders), we will require a development end credit as Executive Producers, to include a reference to our partners listed above.

-  Display partner logos: Lagos filmLAB is supported by well-meaning stakeholders highlighted above.  We ask that participants display their logos in the film’s credits, and if appropriate, on related marketing materials, press releases and digital communications, alongside insertion of ‘Notes from our Sponsors’.



  • 22 August 2019  - Open call launches
  • 29 August 2019 - Webinar (How to make your application stand out!)
  • 18 September 2019  - Open call closes 09:00 GMT+1
  • 29 September 2019 - Shortlisted teams will be notified
  •  07 October 2019 - Announcement of selected teams
  • 14-18 October 2019 - Development Lab 1
  • 25-29 November 2019 - Development Lab 2
  • 20-24 April 2020 - Direction Lab
  • 29 April - 01 May 2020 - Production Lab


Due to the high volume of submissions that we expect to receive, we regret that we are unable to give feedback to applicants who are not invited to the selection panel.


If you have questions then many of these should be answered by our FAQs, available for download here or in the downloads section below.

If you can’t find an answer to your question in these Guidelines, the FAQs or on our website, please email 

All dates referred to in these guidelines are subject to revision at Lagos filmLAB’s discretion. In the event that a date changes, we will endeavour to let participants know as soon as possible.