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Unfinished Works

Unfinished Works (a program for writers, directors, actors)

The Film Lab’s longest running program, Unfinished Works (“UW”), has assisted screenwriters for nearly 20 years. Unfinished Works constitutes an avenue for filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors to share and workshop their work at any stage of development for honest feedback. The feedback process includes a reading of the piece by professional Film Lab actors and is carefully structured to provide assistance with drafting, editing, outlining, and more.

All writers selected for Unfinished Works cast from the Film Lab Actor Directory, a core group of talented and dedicated artists who have demonstrated commitment both to their craft and to diversity in film and television. To link to our ACTOR DIRECTORY, click here.

Some basic rules and guidelines all artists participating in the Unfinished Works program agree to adhere to are below. For complete program guidelines and requirements, please click here.

1.  Respect People.  The program is only as strong as the people who make it up, and every single person in the Film Lab is donating their time and their talent to help make great art and advance underrepresented artists. We expect everyone to treat one another with kindness, courtesy and compassion throughout the entire UW process.

2.  Respect the Film Lab Community.  The Film Lab’s Unfinished Works program aims to create and promote a supportive community for artists in which everyone from the artists to the members of the audience feel welcome and safe. During virtual event introductions and feedback, we ask you to turn on your camera so we can all be present for the work. During readings, we ask you to turn off your camera so the community can focus on the actors. We love debate and dialogue.  That’s why we’re here!  However, inappropriate or hostile verbiage will not be permitted and it goes without saying that racist or sexist comments have no place in our feedback sessions.

3.  Respect the Writers.  The writers selected for the UW program are allowing the actors and audience to view a work in progress, not a completed screenplay.  It is the actor and audience member’s job to help guide them to improve and complete their work.  Therefore, when giving feedback, remember that the goal is always to give the writer something that inspires them to keep writing. Whether your feedback is complimentary or critical, focus on what will help the writer rather than center yourself as the feedback giver. Be efficient, helpful and compassionate.

All readings are recorded and shared across public platforms to aid other writers in the development of their screenplays.

Film Lab’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Contact the Program Coordinators at