Information & Application Details

Applications for the Screenwriters program of the Oxbelly Retreat are now open.

The working language is English; thus, a good knowledge of English is essential in order to participate.

  • Location
    Costa Navarino, Messinia, Greece
  • Dates
    June 22-30, 2024
  • Duration
    8 days
  • Application Deadline
    January 19, 2024 at 11:59pm EET

The Screenwriters program of the Oxbelly Retreat supports eight screenwriters developing their second feature who are seeking to strengthen their craft and push the boundaries of their unique cinematic voice. The program primarily consists of one-on-one sessions with screenwriter advisors and craft sessions with their peers and experienced writer, director and producer advisors, equally dedicated to empowering risk-taking and bold storytelling. The Oxbelly Retreat is held at Costa Navarino in historic Messinia, Greece. There is no cost to apply and all expenses for fellows are covered.

Program Details

The core of the Screenwriters track consists of intensive one-on-one and workshops to delve into individual projects, accompanied by unstructured time to explore the discoveries about their scripts made during these sessions. Additional film industry special guests join the second half of the Retreat, holding sessions on approaches and tools to pursue a path to production.

Evenings consist of interdisciplinary programming – mostly a curated series of masterclasses exploring the craft of writing, screenings, readings, and panel discussions that cut across multiple mediums. They also have the space and opportunity to widen their interests through interactions with experts from other creative sectors and with fellows from the Episodic Writers and Fiction Writers programs, which run concurrently. The Screenwriters program is led by Program Director Nicole Perlman.

Open Call for Greek and international applicants, 18 years old and over.

Applications close January 19, 2024. Finalists will be interviewed in late spring 2024.

The Screenwriters program is open to writers applying with their second narrative feature film. The main criteria of selection are quality of writing and strength & originality of the idea.

The application materials consist of a project logline, synopsis, treatment, a writer’s statement, 10 consecutive pages of the script (can be any 10 pages). You may also submit a sample of previously produced work or a mood board (optional). Finalists will be asked to submit full scripts in late spring. Each applicant must be the author of the material they submit.

For any information, please email contact[at]


Am I eligible to apply?

The Screenwriters program is open to any promising writer who is in the process of writing their second narrative feature film, who has had one previous narrative feature already produced. This program is not open to students. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of the application.

Can l apply with multiple projects?

No, you can only apply with one project.

Do you accept writing teams or writing partnerships?

As well as individual writers, writing partnerships of two (maximum) may enter. Material submitted must be written by the partnership.

Do you accept adaptations?

Adaptations of third party material will not be accepted. Submissions must be the writer's original work, and may not be based wholly or in part, on the work of any other person, whether known, published, produced or not.

Can l apply to multiple programs within the Oxbelly Retreat?

You can apply to multiple programs, but in the event that you get accepted to more than one, you will have to choose one program to participate in.

Is there a fee participants need to pay in order to attend the program?

The program has no cost to apply and all expenses for fellows, including flights,  accommodation and meals, are covered by Oxbelly.

What is the visa process for international applicants, if accepted?

While we help provide the necessary documents, selected fellows must apply for visas at their respective Greek consulate/embassies. We will work closely with the officials to make the process smooth. Please note that consulates/embassies have regulations which vary by country. Please check with your consulate/embassy to confirm your eligibility to apply for a visa.

2024 Advisors

Nicole Perlman
Nicole Perlman
Program Director

Nicole Perlman is best known for her work on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, CAPTAIN MARVEL, and DETECTIVE PIKACHU. Her screenplays have won the Tribeca Film Festival's Sloan Foundation Grant for Science in Film, the Hugo Award, and the Ray Bradbury award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. Nicole is proud to be both a Cinereach Directing Fellow and a Film Independent Directing Labs Fellow. She has been a Creative Advisor at the Sundance Screenwriting Labs for the past eight years, in addition to mentoring for the Sloan Foundation, Global Media Makers, Women in Film, and the BlackList. Nicole also gives back to her community by serving on the steering committee of the National Academy of Science’s Science & Entertainment Exchange, a nonprofit organization that aims to bridge the gap between scientists and filmmakers. She is currently writing a feature for MGM/Amazon Studios and is developing television projects for Onyx, Fox Searchlight, Amazon Studios, and Universal TV.

Leah Giblin
Leah Giblin
Program Manager

Leah Giblin is a moving image lover, based between New York City and wanderlust. After over fifteen years working at the forefront of resources for filmmaker development and project progression- at places including Cinereach and the Tribeca Film Institute- she continues to consult on an individual basis. Over the last two years she has also returned to her festival roots- with contributions to IDFA, Hot Docs, Camden International Film Fest and the Rockaway Film Festival. Grateful to have been positioned in support of many filmmakers' creative intentions, she credits closeness to films like THE MOLE AGENT, SHIRKERS, THE ASSISTANT and Khalik Allah's BLACK MOTHER for deepening her appreciation of the generative processes and necessary perseverance that this form summons.

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