The Audience Design Lab

28 - 30 June and 19 September (online) 2022

What is it about?

This 4-day Audience Design Lab workshop's aim is to introduce the methodology of Audience Design to the next generation of talented filmmakers by giving them an overview of the independent film landscape during Day One and a custom-tailored, creative workshop led by highly skilled Audience Designers during Days Two and Three. Day Four in September will bring all five teams and Audience Designers back to review the progress and plan for their project.

For a film to exist in the world, it needs an audience. It needs to know where it sits both within the market, and with its audiences. Not positioning a film early on means taking a huge risk as success rarely just happens. Knowing who your potential audiences are before you embark on the long, challenging journey of independent filmmaking will give you better chances of finding and engaging in a meaningful way.

For more information check our brochure.

Who’s it for?

The workshop is for fiction and documentary feature teams who are either in late development through to completion on their debut, 2nd or 3rd feature.

It will be most beneficial to teams that have developed their projects far enough that they can be clearly defined in terms of genre and thus audiences. We will be selecting 5 teams of 2-3 people max for a total of 15 participants.

  • Feature-length Fiction or documentary films who have not yet secured Sales or Distribution.
  • Debut or early career films (1st / 2nd / 3rd feature).
  • Either in late development or completed (we will accept picture-lock).
  • Teams applying in Development: Producer, Director, Writer.
  • Team applying as Completed: Producer, Director (Optional: additional Producer).

ISI is aiming for gender parity, so strongly encourages female teams. ISI is keen to promote equality across all its training programmes with a focus on inclusivity across gender, abilities, ethnicity and socio-economic status.

Course outline

Module 1: 28 – 30 June 2022 (Vienna, Austria)

Day 1: Industry Summit Day

  • Panel discussing the landscape of independent film today including a sales agent, distributor, exhibitor/streamer.
  • Audience Design Masterclass, case studies and introduction to main techniques and toolkits.

Day 2 & 3: Five Audience Designers work individually with their designated project team on an audience design and engagement plan.

Module 2: 19 September 2022 – 1 day (online)

  • Keynote speech by industry speaker on a current distribution topic.
  • Update from all 5 project teams on the progress and plan for their film.

The working language of the Lab, its meetings and events will be in English and therefore a good understanding of English is essential.

Selection of Speakers:

Industry Summit

Charlene Lydon | Head of Programming, Element Cinemas (Ireland)

Fredrik Nilsen Scholze | Digital Media and Acquisitions, Arthaus (Norway)

Ewa Bojanowska | Marketing & Festivals, New Europe Film Sales (Poland)

Natalie Ralph | Director of Distribution, MUBI (Europe)

Audience Designers

Benjamin Cölle (Germany)

Clara Miranda Scherffig (Germany)

Petar Mitric (Denmark)

Greta Nordio (Italy)

The Testing Room

Shauna Farrell | Head of Client Success (usheru)

Course Leaders


Síle is a freelance Audience Designer and Development consultant based in Dublin.

After almost a decade in London working in Sales & Distribution, including at award-winning independent Altitude Films, Síle now facilitates and runs workshops for film teams to help them identify potential audiences for their films and the positioning of their projects in the marketplace. She's also a guest programmer for the Dublin Feminist Film Festival. Síle is an alumni of the National Film and Television School, Berlinale Talents, Torino Film Lab and LIM Less Is More. She is a member of the European Film Academy.

Venue / Location

This course will run as a 2-module workshop.

Module 1: 28 – 30 June, 3-days in person in Vienna.

Module 2: 19 September (online).

Covid Protocol

All ISI Courses that will take place on-site will follow an adequate hygiene protocol. The safety and health of everyone involved in our training is our top priority. A more detailed protocol briefing will be provided closer to the training.

Course Fee

€3.750 per team of 3 persons
€2.500 per team of 2 persons
including tax.

This fee covers the two modules, daily lunch and coffee breaks during Module 1, and two Lab networking dinners.

Fees do not cover travel or accommodation; these would be additional and at the expense of the participants. A list of recommended hotels and guesthouses will be shared with successful participants within walking distance of our venue.

We actively encourage participants to apply for financial support with your national/regional funding bodies who have bursaries and grants to cover training and professional development.

If you have any questions about this course, content or fees, please email office@screeninstitute.eu


Thanks to Creative Europe Funding, ISI has partial scholarship support available for participants who wish to attend this course from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

If you are not from a LCC country and can give us good reason that you are in need of financial assistance and your national screen agency does not fund training in principle, please contact us before submitting your application to discuss whether you can apply for financial support. We have a very limited fund available for a limited number of participants in genuine need.

For working parents who have childcare responsibilities we have a childcare bursary available and a bursary for participants who need extra assistance due to disability or impairment available.

Applications are now closed.