April 2024

Italian Castle

12 spots left

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April 2024

April 17th-24th, 2024
Aragonese Castle,
Ischia,
Italy

Joan Lane

Fully booked

Richard "RB" Botto

4 spots left

Diane Drake

4 spots left

Chris Deckard

4 spots left

Simon Egan

Roving Mentor

Have you dreamed of writing a screenplay and seeing it come to life on the silver screen?

Or written a TV show or play that you long to see produced?

Or maybe you’ve published a book and are wondering about how to turn it into a film script?

Seems impossible, right?


Well, the answer, is, NO! Nothing is impossible, and on this one-of-a-kind writers’ retreat, at the beautiful 16th century Aragonese Castle set on a rock off the coast of the island of Ischia (where The Talented Mr Ripley was shot), we’ll show you just how your words, your vision—let’s face it, your baby—can make it all the way to the big screen!

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Mentors

Joan Lane

Joan Lane is a British film and theatre producer, primarily known for having developed the Academy Award-winning THE KING’S SPEECH, directed by Tom Hooper, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter, and adapted from the stage play by its author David Seidler.

Her company, Wild Thyme Productions, has toured six innovative productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the UK and Germany (including the first all-female production of ‘Hamlet’) mounted world premiere showcase performances of new plays and musicals in London, and has a double bill in development for late 2023-2024. 

Primarily engaged as a Consultant by the BBC, Joan's skills were used for the recording, filming, and Royal Opera House performance of ‘The Little Prince’. She was a director for BBC Radio Two and BBC Television’s New Talent UK-wide search for the ‘Voice of Musical Theatre’, involved with background music for the film ‘The Actors’, coordinated the participation of singing Angels for Stephen Fry’s directorial film debut ‘Bright Young Things’ and casting director and coordinator on a BBC’s Promenade Concert/Opera ‘The Water Diviner’s Tale’. As well as touring with her own company, she has worked on plays at the Royal National Theatre and toured with ATG, PW Productions, and Pleasance Theatre. For the last few years, she has been the resident judge on the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing.

Joan recently edited two books, alongside which she and the writers developed TV series which are about to go to market. Brought in to edit the screenplay of ‘Gateway to the West’, she went on to completely rewrite it. The film is now in post-production and due out later this year (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13542474/). Her first fully original screenplay, completed in 2018 and based on a true story, is expected to go into production in early 2024.

Richard "RB" Botto

Richard “RB” Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32, the official film education & networking platform of AFM and the Marche du Film at Cannes Film Festival. Stage32.com is the world’s largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV & digital creatives and executives worldwide. Since 2011, Stage 32 has emerged as an online community of over 500,000 creatives with over 1,000 hours of online education taught by over 500 industry executives.

RB is also a working actor, producer and screenwriter. As a producer, his films have played at dozens of festivals including the Sundance award winning feature, Another Happy Day, written & directed by Sam Levinson (starring Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin), the documentary Crutch, the feature What Lies Ahead (starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumon) releasing in 2019 and the upcoming Rain- Beau’s End (starring Ed Asner, Sean Young and Kate Arrington). As a writer, his latest screenplay, The End Game, is currently set up at Covert Media. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire premiered at the 2018 Raindance Film Festvial.

Botto is a best-selling author with his book Crowdsourcing For Filmmakers, published by Routledge Press under the American Film Market Presents banner. The book can be found at the Routledge Press booth by AFM badge registration and on Amazon, where it has over 50 5-star reviews.

A sought-after speaker and mentor, RB has been a keynote speaker and panelist at such festivals and conferences as Cannes, AFM, Tribeca, Sundance, Raindance, SXSW, Portugal FEST and Winston Baker. He has also taught at institutions such as Harvard and Columbia University on the subjects of filmmaking, producing, film finance, screenwriting, social media, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurship and business.

Diane Drake

Diane Drake is a professional screenwriter, author, writing instructor, story consultant, and speaker. Prior to becoming a screenwriter, Diane served as Vice President of Creative Affairs for Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack. Her first produced original script, ONLY YOU, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei, sold for one million dollars, while her second produced script, WHAT WOMEN WANT, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, is the second highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. In addition, both films have been remade in China featuring major Chinese stars, and WWW was remade as WHAT MEN WANT, with Taraji P. Henson.

Diane is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, teaches screenwriting for UCLA Extension, and has served as a judge for the Humanitas Prize, Writers Guild Awards, and Austin Film festival, among others. Her debut book on screenwriting, Get Your Story Straight, is available on Amazon.

Chris Deckard

Prior to co-founding the management/production company Fictional Entity in January 2017, Chris Deckard spent over seven years working with and representing talent at major agencies such as ICM Partners and WME. He has worked closely with traditional and new media buyers to find and develop content for domestic and international audiences. In addition to helping cast and package numerous features and series, he has evaluated thousands of scripts for actors and directors. Chris graduated from Cornell University and earned his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School.

Fictional Entity’s clients have been named to The Black List, The Hit List, The Young & Hungry List, The Blood List and been lauded by the PAGE Awards, the International Emmys’ Peter Ustinov Award for exceptional international television writing and placed as finalists in The Heath Ledger Scholarship and the Academy Nicholl Fellowship The Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Awards, the AWG, ADG, SPA, and AACTA. Clients have written, directed, starred, and produced in numerous formats, including features, TV, virtual reality, and podcasts, independently and for companies like Netflix, NBCUniversal, Legendary, Marvel, Fremantle, SyFy, the CW, Warner Bros., Amazon, Blumhouse, Comedy Central, the ABC Australia, Foxtel, TruTV, Super Deluxe, Hallmark, CBS, Facebook, E!, and MSNBC.

Chris has advised clients through multiple successful series pilot and pitch sales. In 2019, Fictional Entity clients have: staffed on Netflix and Amazon series; directed features and high-budget shorts; entered option and shopping agreements with high-profile producers; and have premiered feature films and shorts at festivals around the world.

Simon Egan

Simon Egan has been producing and directing films for over 20 years. In 2002 he co-founded Bedlam, an award-winning production company responsible for producing internationally-renowned feature films and documentaries.

Their first feature film, EXAMwon Spirit and Dinard Awards and saw the film’s director, Stuart Hazeldine, BAFTA-nominated for Best Debut.

In 2006 Simon Egan developed an unmade play that he later co-produced and turned into the multi award-winning $15m feature, THE KING’S SPEECH. The film would go on to be nominated for 198 international film awards and collect over 106 prizes including 4 Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor & Best Original Screenplay) and 7 BAFTAs (Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Music & Best British Film).

THE KING’S SPEECH is still the most successful independent British film of all time, grossing $420m worldwide.

Bedlam’s other feature films include the critically acclaimed ZAYTOUN, the BAFTA -nominated KAJAKI and STEEL COUNTRY, starring BAFTA winner Andrew Scott. 

The team are currently producing FEARLESS, written by Oscar-nominated writers Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (THE FIGHTER) and TARSILA, helmed by the Palme D’Or nominated writer/director Daniela Thomas.

Alongside his feature film work, Simon is known in the industry as an Royal Television Society award-winning director and producer, responsible for a series of groundbreaking documentaries including Channel 4’s LOOKING FOR RICKY and THE REAL BLAIR WITCH; BBC’s THE PAEDOPHILE HUNTERS, JFK – THE SMOKING GUNand the Emmy-nominated TITANIC'S FINAL MYSTERY.

Producers' Guild of America Award: THE KING’S SPEECH

Honorary Fellow Award: Ravensbourne University

Royal Television Society Award Winner: Best Journalist: ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Emmy-Nominated: TITANIC'S FINAL MYSTERY

Royal Television Society Nominated: Best Documentary

Royal Television Society Nominated: Best Documentary Series

Simon Egan is attending this retreat as a Roving Mentor.

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The Retreat includes...

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