Digital Think Tank | Create stories for new digital formats

Call for creators (writers & directors)

In this new section, we give up to 7 screenwriters and writers/directors the opportunity to develop their own original ideas for a digital series. We encourage all open-minded creators who want to enter the digital arena and create stories that are not limited to their domestic TV slots to apply. Guided by an international team of 3 mentors – one writer/producer and two producers – the participants will develop their ideas into marketable concepts that can attract the interest of various outlets: from VOD or social media platforms to web series for broadcasters.

There is no restriction to the genre, location or setting of the digital series to be developed. However, the focus is on fictional projects.

Our 3 mentors are pioneers in the digital arena who come from different countries and backgrounds and thus widen the scope of the projects they will be mentoring: French producer Mathieu van de Velde/Black Sheep Films was among the first to produce a series for Black Pills (“Patricia Moore”). Polish writer/producer Wiktor Piatkowski/Bahama Films created a TV series for HBO Europe (“Wataha”) before he crossed over to digital as co-creator of the new web series “Just Push Abuba” for ZDF. International Digital Emmy winner Kristian Costa-Zahn shaped innovative digital formats (“Dina Foxx”) at the UFA LAB for 11 years, since 2018 he is Director Creation & Innovation at Endemol Shine Beyond.

In the course of the two workshops, participants will develop their ideas for digital series from scratch, mentored by the experts who will consult them creatively and strategically. Through the process, participants will learn to master the grammar and grasp the creative potential of storytelling in digital formats. Thanks to the creative input of the participating directors, they will also meet the challenge of writing efficiently and visually for smaller screens and shorter formats. At the end of the workshops, all participants will have developed marketable concepts for their own digital series of which they remain the right holders. In addition, we also encourage participants to collaborate on projects in teams, as to heighten their chances to create a concept that is going to be picked up.

After the workshops, the partnering production companies Bahama Films, Black Sheep Film and Endemol Shine Beyond get a time-limited first look right on all projects. In addition, all writers get the opportunity to present their projects to the industry at the RACCONTI closing event at a major festival 2019. The goal is to attract producers, VOD platforms or broadcasters to these projects and pave the way for our writers to get their projects optioned and produced.

Projects that can be shot in the region of South Tyrol/Alto Adige also technically qualify for funding through IDM, for which only producers can apply.


We are looking for writers & directors who are digital natives and eager to cross borders not only in the virtual and fictional world, but also in the way they work: through collaboration at eye level with creatives from different cultural and professional backgrounds. Emerging writers/directors with a convincing application are just as welcome as mid-career and experienced writers/directors who want to explore a new field. Our goal is to set up a think tank that comprises different voices and perspectives to generate concepts for digital series that can compete in an international market: originality and a variety of genres is a plus for our think tank.

Your application

Your application must include:

– CV & filmography: 2 pages max.

– Letter of motivation: 1 page max.

– For writers: Work sample (written): 10 pages max. – can be an excerpt from a screenplay for a TV series or a feature film or a short film (only one written work sample admitted).

– For writer/directors: In addition to the written work sample please also submit a visual one of a: Digital series, feature or short film, TV movie or an episode (only one visual work sample admitted)

– Creative Challenge: 1 page max. Please tell us:

Which film or book would you like to adapt into a digital series? Why do you feel this story would better be told in a digital format and how would you do it? Who would be your target group?

All material must be submitted in English.

Please click on the following links to view the application guidelines and the general terms and requirements.

The deadline for all applications is July 29, 2018.

Click here for the application form.

Development process & team of experts

The development work in the Digital Think Tank will take place over the course of two sessions in South Tyrol, each lasting for one week, as well as an individual writing phase in-between and after. Session 1 takes place from October 1-6, session 2 from November 19-24, 2018.

Our goal is that every participant delivers a brief concept of the digital series and a treatment/or screenplay of the pilot after the end of the 2nd workshop week.

The development process will be guided by Wiktor Piatkowski and Mathieu Van de Velde. Kristian Costa-Zahn will attend both workshops to give individual feedback on each project and to share his experiences in producing digital stories in various genres and formats in a masterclass. In addition, renowned story consultant John Yorke (“Into the Woods”) will give feedback on the core and structure of each story. Last, but not least a guest lecture on Audience Development by Nicolo Gallio will shed a light on the most important critics of these series: the viewers.

In addition, all writers will have the opportunity to participate in the masterclasses with experts who are engaged in the other section, of the RACCONTI Script Lab #7 such as Nicola Lusuardi.

In these masterclasses, as well as during other activities, the participants will meet and mingle with the writers, producers and experts of the other section as well as local Italian producers thus enjoying the excellent networking opportunities that RACCONTI offers.