The Filmmakers' Workshop serves a specially curated group of film and TV writers each year. We focus on fresh, ambitious work and prepare writers for success in a competitive industry. 


Our tailored, process-oriented approach mirrors our celebrated development of new plays and musicals. This year, the program has been redesigned as a virtual workshop to provide even deeper engagement and creative solutions, and for early-career screenwriters and TV writers during a time of uncertainty. It will run through 2020-21, with weekly virtual engagement through the fall, culminating in a summer residency during the 2021 Powerhouse Season. Participants will receive one-on-one mentorship, participate in round table discussions with industry leaders, and in-depth group discussions of their work. 

Marin Gazzaniga (Filmmakers' Workshop Director & Co-Facilitator)  is a writer and producer who works in TV, film and theater. She has written pilots for Hulu and Freeform (The Line co-created with Serena da Conceicao and executive produced by Ilana Glazer). Other TV and film credits include co-head writer of the final Emmy-nominated season of One Life to Live (Hulu) the original web series Like So Many Things... (co-created, written, produced with Anslem Richardson for IFC), and the film version of her play So Close (co-produced and co-starring with John Ellison Conlee). She produces digital content for top entertainment brands including HBO (where she was Senior Digital Features Editor in the marketing department for seven years), AMC, Lionsgate, and Turner Networks. Her plays have been developed or produced by The Civilians, LAByrinth Theater Co., Rising Phoenix Rep, and Primary Stages ESPA in NY, Echo Theater Company in Dallas and Santa Fe Theatre, among others. Marin began her career in journalism and communications, working at Vogue, NBC NewsFortune, and Safe Horizons. She received her BA from Columbia College and M.A. from City College and is a member of the Writers Guild of America, Authors Guild, and Dramatists Guild.  

Luis Castro (Co-Facilitator) is an independent producer and strategist whose mission is to fuse storytelling and social impact. He brings authentic stories by women and diverse creators to multiple platforms and advises entertainment companies, nonprofits and funders on creative talent development, equity, and social impact strategy.


Luis’s unique background in entertainment, philanthropy, and government gives him a fresh perspective on finding and cultivating original voices whose powerful stories illuminate the kaleidoscope of human experience. Luis was an executive in programming at HBO in Los Angeles, where he worked across HBO Series, Films and Cinemax to expand the network’s relationships with diverse creators, find new scripted projects, and identify writers for existing shows. Before joining HBO, Luis led corporate grant making as Executive Director of Philanthropic Initiatives at Time Warner, where he created a multi million-dollar fund to support diverse writers across theater, film and television. As Acting Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Luis oversaw the City agency charged with supporting and promoting New York’s multibillion-dollar film, television and theater industries.


Luis is a Senior Advisor to The League, a social impact collective. There, he helps design initiatives that partner creators with organizations to inspire civic involvement through storytelling. He is also a Senior Fellow of TV Storytelling and Culture Change at The Pop Culture Collaborative. Luis serves on the Board of Directors of New Dramatists, the country’s top playwright development organization, and the Sundance Institute Theater Program Advisory Board. He recently completed a three-year term on the TONY Awards Nominating Committee.


top industry participants serve as mentors, lead master classes, and host panel discussions.

Marilyn Agrelo

Zakiyyah Alexander*

Joshua Astrachan

Kevin Bacon

Stephen Belber

Kyle Bradstreet

Anthony Bregman

Keith Bunin

Anne Carey

Thomas Carter

Luis Castro

Elsie Choi*

Rebecca Choi*

Miranda de Pencier

Bash Doran

Griffin Dunne

Laura Eason*

Grace Edwards

Shani Geva

Melissa Gibson

Geoffrey Gilmore

Jessica Goldberg*

William Goldberg*

Tony Goldwyn

Bingo Gubelmann

Jenny Halper

Zach Helm*

Michael Hoffman*

Soo Hugh*

Tom Hulce

Kim Jose

Rajiv Joseph

Toni Kalem*

Aditi Brennan Kapil*

Jason Katims

Richard LaGravenese

Michael London*

Andrew Marcus

Riva Marker

Mia Mask

Mary Stuart Masterson

Max Mayer*

Paula Mazur

Lillah McCarthy

Scott McGehee

Bill Migliore

Rebecca Miller

Rob Morrow

Ekwa Msangi

Janine Nabers*

Geoffrey Nauffts

Michael Nozik

Ken Olin

Frank Pugliese

Josh Radnor

Jacquelyn Reingold

Anslem Richardson*

Amy Robinson*

Julie Rottenberg

Kent Sanderson

Peter Saraf

Kyra Sedgwick

John Patrick Shanley

David Siegel

Diana Son

Tim Squyres

Shelby Stone*

Charlie Stratton*

Jon Tenney

Bryan Unkeless

Leslie Urdang

Ben Watkins*

Suzanne Weinert

Jennifer Westfeldt

Diana Williams*

Matt Williams

Stu Zicherman

Maria Zuckerman

Elisa Zuritsky

*2020 Mentors


Nichole Abshire

Kevin Armento

Brooke Berman

Jonathan Bird

Jaki Bradley

Maria Agui Carter

Damon Colquhoun

Michael Cooke

Melody Cooper

Jed Cowley

Adam Curley

Danielle Davenport

Sachin Dharwadker

Daracy Fowler

Avra Fox-Lerner

Kyle Fried

Jonterri Gadson

James Gallagher

Bat-Sheva Guez

Lukas Hassel

Olga Humphrey

Tori Larsen

Ana Lazarevic

Josh Liveright

Nolan Lynch

Abigail Mangin

Mozhan Marnó

Jabari McDonald

Charlie McNamara

Denise Meyers

B. Monet

Caitlan Moore

Heidi Neurauter

Tyler Nilson

Samuel Nozik

Maya Perez

Ashley Pishock

Jay Riedl

April Rouveyrol

Robin Rose Singer

Azia Squire

Syd Stewart

Shawn Wines

"As a Black woman who came to Hollywood with no family connections to the business, I have great respect for what New York Stage & Film offers. 

Imagine a workshop that offers a unique opportunity for diverse filmmakers to spend with directors, writers, and producers  who’ve succeeded in the business.  Not a single meeting, but multiple meetings, in-depth notes on their material, talented New York theater actors to perform their scripts at a table read, and almost more importantly, the chance to make a real connection with someone who can help them in their career." 


Shelby Stone, 2019 Mentor, President of Production, Freedom Road Productions

"NYSAF's Filmmmakers' Workshop is one of the best opportunities available to developing writers. A truly supportive and creative environment for writers to find their voice."


Richard LaGravenese, 2018 Mentor, Writer/Director,

The Last Five Years, Behind the Candelabra 

"The NYSAF Workshop was a huge turning point for me because it was the first time I was immersed in such a diverse and supportive group of fellow writers! ... What the Workshop provides is an opportunity to build a day-one writer's family. That is rare and invaluable, especially so early in your career."


Azia Squire, 2017 Filmmakers' Workshop, Writer,

Rocketeer (Disney), First Ladies (Showtime/Lionsgate)

Photo Credit: Buck Lewis

214 West 29th Street

Suite 1001

New York, NY 10001

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