Responsive image

APRIL 13 TO MAY 24, 2020

The Université Côte d'Azur (UCA) and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT) announce the third year of their unique program, the UCLA TFT/UCA Storytelling Institute in Cannes (STI). In the interdisciplinary and creative environment of the Cannes Campus-UCA Creativity Hub, this intensive educational program involves total immersion in feature film screenwriting, based on the model developed by UCLA TFT, and is designed to nurture and discover a new generation of feature film screenwriters.

Each selected student (“fellow”) will have six weeks to complete a fully realized first draft of a feature-length narrative screenplay developed from an original idea. STI fellows will reside in Cannes for the duration of the program, and for the first four weeks will take part in daily classes and seminars given by faculty from UCLA TFT and UCA. They will receive personalized supervision and mentorship in the writing of their script, and benefit from writing time in a creative environment. The Institute culminates in a unique two-week experience at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. There, fellows will attend master classes with artists present at the Festival — screenwriters, directors, producers, actors — as well as professional meetings (panels), screenings and press conferences, and will also have an opportunity to walk the red carpet at the festival.

The 2020 program is accessible to students in France who are citizens or permanent residents of France and either currently enrolled in a graduate program or who have obtained an undergraduate degree within the past academic year, and to full-time UCLA TFT students who are registered as second-year graduates in the screenwriting program for Fall 2019. As the courses will take place in English, a high level of English is required. The screenplays can be written in either English or in French.

Applications to the Storytelling Institute open on September 13, 2019 and close on November 8, 2019. The announcement of successful candidates will be made in early January 2020. The Institute will start four weeks before the start of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. The selection for this program is highly competitive, but we encourage all prospective candidates to apply. 

For more information about the program, please email us at:

For French

For UCLA TFT screenwriting

The Brief

Name of the brief: Write a high concept European romantic movie!

Name of the brief: Write a high concept European horror movie!

Course Credit/Certificate

UCLA TFT will provide program certificates to all STI fellows in France and course credit to graduate students from UCLA TFT who successfully complete the Institute, in accordance with its own Institutional and academic policies. UCA will provide UCA university diplomas to students in France, and UCA program certificates to UCLA TFT students, upon their successful completion of the Institute, in accordance with its own Institutional and academic policies.

The Parties

Sponsored by the Vivendi/Canal+ International Storytelling Chaire, the initiative is a collaboration between UCA, UCLA TFT, the city of Cannes, the Cannes Film Festival, Vivendi, and Canal+. The program will offer participating students a "right of first look" (“first look deal”) from Vivendi and its affiliate Canal+ for the scripts produced in the program.

Statement of Diversity

UCLA and UCA are committed to increasing diversity in graduate education. We embrace the principles of diversity and inclusion to understand, appreciate, and respect differences in cultures and customs, religious beliefs, gender identity, sexual preferences, and political points of view.

Preparation for the Program

STI fellows will be given preparatory assignments four weeks prior to their arrival in Cannes, including the submission of a story idea (in the form of a short synopsis) intended to be developed into a feature film screenplay at the Institute, assigned reading of books on the art and craft of screenwriting, and a list of films to watch.

Curriculum and Organization

The rigorous program is designed to inspire and challenge participants to take risks on the page, write personally meaningful, socially impactful screenplays with passion and verve, and to grow into better writers. To accomplish these goals, the program will include multiple educational activities:

  1. Intimate three-hour writing workshops, held triweekly. These workshops will encourage constructive group feedback, refinement of premise, development of characters and themes, and brainstorming sessions. The format of these advanced workshops will encompass the writing of synopses and treatments, as well as weekly writing assignments of scenes for “table reads” when scenes are read aloud (with each student playing a role) toward further analysis and feedback. Each phase of the writing process will require revision and refinement, and students are required to adhere to prescribed weekly deadlines.
  2. Classes and seminars on different aspects of screenwriting (plot, pitches, characters, etc.)
  3. Individual writing time to work on their scripts
  4. Meeting in small “pod” groups to be determined during the residency
  5. One-on-one mentorship sessions
  6. Participation in the Cannes Film Festival: master classes with artists present at the Festival, screenings, panels, and other film festival events to enhance their creative work
  7. STI fellows are expected to devote a minimum of 40 hours per week to the program, Monday through Friday, for an average of eight hours per day. Weekends will be reserved for private writing time. They will also be required to read each other’s work and to provide written feedback to their peers and to the faculty via email both before and during the Institute. Fellows also must attend the screenings, panels, and other festival activities at the Cannes Film Festival as determined by the faculty and must stay with the Institute group during the festival.



Costs covered by the program include:

  1. All tuition fees and other educational costs of the program (e.g., printing costs)
  2. Air or train fare to the Institute
  3. Living accommodations for six weeks in Cannes
  4. Breakfast/lunch Monday-Friday
  5. Cannes Film Festival credentials

Participants will be responsible for:

  1. Travel documents (visas, passports and other travel-related documents)
  2. Health insurance
  3. Enrollment fees, such as tuition and registration, at the participant’s home institution
  4. Meals not covered by the program; participants should plan for 100-200 euros weekly for meals, keeping in mind that the provided housing will include kitchen facilities to allow participants to prepare their own meals
  5. Formal attire for festival galas
  6. A laptop for use during the Institute, with installed Final Draft screenwriting software
  7. A cell phone with an international data plan (to be partially reimbursed up to $100)
  8. All other fees and daily expenses not covered by the program



Before you send your application, please make sure that you have enclosed all required elements:

I - Applicant Information (form fill)

II - Signed Confirmation that samples provided is your own work, and other information provided is true (form fill)

III - Signed information of understanding the costs and schedule (form fill)

IV - Questionnaire (form fill)

V - Resume/Short CV (PDF upload)

VI - Two Confidential Academic or Professional Letters of Reference

These letters should be sent confidentially by the recommender to the email address given above, with the subject line: “Recommendation: [Applicant Name]”.

VII - Your Personal Statement (PDF upload)

Please include your PERSONAL STATEMENT (length: no more than one page; format: letter or A4 size) addressing why you believe you are an ideal candidate for the UCLA TFT/UCA Storytelling Institute in Cannes. Please tell us about your personal passions, unique local and/or global perspectives, why you would be a good fit for this program, and how your authentic voice will complement UCLA TFT and UCA’s shared values of diversity, inclusion, and humanistic storytelling that not only can delight and entertain, but enlighten, engage and make a difference in the world.

VIII - Your Writing Sample (PDF Upload)

Please include a CREATIVE WRITING SAMPLE: 5-10 pages. Your sample can be in either English or French (carefully proof-read). This can be either the first 5-10 pages of an original screenplay, or an original short story, essay, or stage play — please clearly specify the type of material on your title page.

IX - Your Transcript (PDF Upload)

Copy of undergraduate bachelor’s degree transcript non-official copy OR, copy of undergraduate bachelor’s degree certificate.

Proof of current graduate enrollment.


Note: With this application, you do not need to submit a pitch/story idea that you will work on in the Institute. However, finalists in the selection process may be requested to submit a sample pitch/story idea in Fall 2019, which may be different from the one they pursue in the Institute if admitted.


Responsive image