July 12th-17th, 2024
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 14th century Marouatte Castle, in the heart of the Dordogne, France, owned by music industry legend Miles Copeland, former manager of Sting and The Police, 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!
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.
Connor Pritchard is a TV writer, showrunner and copywriter in Los Angeles, California. He is the co-creator and executive producer of WORKAHOLICS (Comedy Central) and LET'S GET PHYSICAL(Pop TV). In his ten plus years of experience working in the entertainment industry, he has maintained a disciplined work ethic and a dark sense of humor about the capricious beast otherwise known as Hollywood. For creative inspiration, Connor travels often. He has visited over thirty countries and also works as an Airbnb Experience host, doing bibliotherapy tours at Book Soup in Los Angeles. He recently founded a new company, OnlyWriters (OnlyWriters.co), a private social media site and creative community with over 300 screenwriters and storytellers. His freelance work includes writing ad campaigns for Apple and launching the Los Angeles location for the shared workspace, Second Home. When Connor isn’t writing or traveling, he’s at home with his wife and daughter, imbibing unfathomable amounts of black coffee and reading a good fantasy novel.
Judi Levine has had an extensive producing career in feature films and documentaries, and has been associated with award-winning film projects since her first short feature PLEAD GUILTY, GET A BOND won an AFI award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film.
Her work has led her to projects around the globe, including features in Australia, England, Scotland, the Czech Republic and the USA. Levine produced the feature film THE SESSIONS starring Oscar-winner Helen Hunt, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the film and Oscar-nominees John Hawkes and William H. Macy.
THE SESSIONS won numerous international awards including Audience Awards at the Sundance, San Sebastian and Mill Valley Film Festivals, a Sundance Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Cast, and acting nominations and awards at the 2012 Independent Spirit, Golden Globe and Academy Awards.
In 2017, Levine co-produced the WWII drama THE CATCHER WAS A SPY starring Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti and Guy Pearce, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and opened internationally that same year.
In 2020, Levine completed the romantic comedy FALLING FOR FIGARO starring Joanna Lumley and Danielle Macdonald, which was released globally in 2021, followed by the feature film HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN starring British comedienne Sally Phillips, due for release in 2022.
Most recently, she has partnered with Keshet International to produce the feature film SYLVIA AND THE PRESIDENT, about a young woman in the 1930s who led the first movement for the rights of people with disabilities at a time when President Roosevelt was concealing his own disability.
Levine’s documentary experience includes work on the six-hour television series THE MIGRANT EXPERIENCE and as producer on the feature documentaries HOLLYWOOD GOLD for the Discovery Channel, and two documentary projects currently in development including OUTSPOKEN! IDA LUPINO – HER LIFE IN PICTURES and an ABORIGINAL TEEN DOCUMENTARY about a group of teens who, over 20 years ago, saved up to go to Hollywood, and now talk about that experience and how it changed not only their lives but those of their whole community.
In addition to producing, Levine tours with the seminars JUMPSTART HOLLYWOOD, aimed at helping aspiring artists find an easier path to establishing themselves in the toughest filmmaking town in the world.
Martin Olson is an author, comedy writer and songwriter who plays Hunson Abadeer, Lord of Evil, on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time.
He is best known as a head writer for Disney’s Phineas and Ferb, for his New York Times best-selling humor book The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia (Abrams, 2013), and his notorious satire Encyclopaedia of Hell (Feral House, 2011).
Specializing in writing comedy specials and directing one-man shows, Martin became producer-writer for Penn and Teller on their FX variety series Penn Teller’s Sin City Spectacular.
Martin has just published his third book for Adventure Time, The Enchiridion & Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook (Abrams, 2015), with his daughter, singer/songwriter Olivia Olson (Joanna in Love Actually). He is currently staff writer for the Disney series Milo Murphy’s Law.
Martin has received four Emmy nominations, two for television writing and two for songwriting. He also received an Ace Award for comedy writing and has sold comedy screenplays to Dreamworks, UA, Touchstone and Warner Bros.
The film rights to Encyclopedia of Hell were bought by Warner Bros, through producer Andrew Lazar for Mad Chance Productions.
Richard C. Morais
Richard C. Morais is an award-winning financial journalist and novelist. He is best known as the author of the New York Times and international bestseller The Hundred-Foot Journey, a culinary novel that follows the life of an Indian chef as he conquers the rarified world of French haute cuisine. In 2014, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey released The Hundred-Foot Journey as a film starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri.
His novel The Man with No Borders is the story of an aristocratic Spanish private banker living in Switzerland and coming to terms with his life. It is published globally by Amazon’s literary imprint, Little A, and is being developed as a feature film. His sophomore novel Buddhaland Brooklyn, about a Japanese Buddhist priest building a temple in Brooklyn, is in development as a premium TV series. Mr. Morais is also the author of the critically acclaimed biography Pierre Cardin: The Man Who Became a Label, and he serves as an Executive Producer on all the film and television projects of his works in development.
Mr. Morais has also had a distinguished journalism career. He was the editor who built Barron’s Penta, an acclaimed glossy magazine for wealthy families, and before that he was Forbes’s European Bureau Chief, the business magazine’s longest-serving foreign correspondent. His brief at Forbes allowed him to travel anywhere in the world and to write on any subject that interested him. His unusual business stories – from a controversial interview with Prime Minister Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street to his profile of the low-key Indian billionaire Adi Godrej – led to multiple journalism awards. His firm RCM Media has since developed a unique private-equity approach to literary partnerships with the business community, and he currently has two nonfiction books in development that he is co-authoring with prominent Wall Street figures.
Mr. Morais has uniquely won three awards and six nominations at the Business Journalist of the Year Awards, the only competition in the world where the best U.S. and British business journalists competed directly in a single event. His fictional works, meanwhile, were semifinalists or shortlisted for multiple literary awards both in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Morais was also the founder and host of the 2023 Rainbow Railroad “Road to Freedom” Literary Festival in New York City, and in 2015 he was named Citizen Diplomat of the Year – the highest honor granted by Global Ties U.S., a private-public partnership sponsored by the U.S. State Department – “for promoting cross-cultural understanding in all of his literary work.”
Academy Award-Nominated Producer Andrew Lazar formed Mad Chance Productions in 1995 with a mandate to focus on smart, intriguing material in every genre and budget range. His debut was the Shakespeare-influenced teen comedy 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU starring Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Julia Stiles. His highly-acclaimed film AMERICAN SNIPER (directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper) went on to become the highest grossing domestic release of 2014, and received 6 Academy Award nominations.
Notable among his more recent titles are CLOUDS directed by Justin Baldoni, for Disney+ as well as an adaptation of Jane Austen's PERSUASION for Netflix starring Dakota Johnson. He is currently in post on NYAD also for Netflix starring Annette Bening and Jodie Foster and directed by Academy Award winning directors Jimmy Chin & Chai Vasarhelyi.
With a first-look deal at Warner Bros., Lazar is currently engaged with the studio on a number of projects. Lazar is working alongside Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way to adapt the cult classic Japanese manga "Akira" by Katsuhiro Otomo with Taika Waititi attached to write and direct. He is also in development on a Marvin Gaye biopic for Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine, written by Marcus Gardley and to be directed by Allen Hughes.
On the TV side he was most recently executive producer on the Showtime mini series GEORGE & TAMMY starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon.
Some of his other feature credits include the critically acclaimed CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND which marked George Clooney’s directorial debut, starring Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts and Clooney; Peter Segal’s GET SMART starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson and Alan Arkin; CATCH THAT KID starring Kristen Stewart, Corbin Bleu and Max Thieriot; I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS written and directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra and starring Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, and Leslie Mann; Danny DeVito’s DEATH TO SMOOCHY starring Edward Norton, Robin Williams and Catherine Keener, and Clint Eastwood’s SPACE COWBOYS starring Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones.
Andrew Lazar is attending this retreat as a Roving Mentor.
The Retreat includes...