INCUBATOR is a brand new development programme that aims to build on the success of X-Pollinator 2019 to encourage and support collaborations between teams of X-Pollinator participants to get together to create new feature film or TV drama pitches and treatments.


The programme will offer a paid and structured period of development for up to 6 projects and will provide support and mentorship to each team of collaborators. We invite teams of X-Pollinator participants to apply. Teams can be made up of 1) a writer and director, 2) writer/director and producer or 3) writer, director and producer applying with a pitch for a feature film or TV project in narrative fiction, creative documentary or animation.


The projects will then be assessed by a selection panel made up of the course directors and an external industry assessor, and we are delighted to announce that director Dearbhla Walsh will be taking part in INCUBATOR in this role. From this we will shortlist a group of up to 12 to interview on Tuesday 18 August, and then select 6 teams to move forward with early stage development of a treatment.


INCUBATOR is a paid development programme and modest fees will be provided to allow for a payment to the writers to work up the treatment as well as to the director and producer (if attached) for their own creative and practical input. The programme also provides each team with a script editor to work on the creative development, and the course directors will also read and creatively engage with the teams (taking three teams each) on the presentation of their treatments and on the creative and market potential of their project in general.


We will work with the teams to help them shape their ideas and applications over a 3 – 4 month period to bring them forward to seek funding opportunities or prepare to pitch/submit to production companies for further development once they have been through INCUBATOR.


We will also be hosting an online info clinic for all X-Pollinator 2019 participants on Friday 31 July, 11am where we will run through in detail how the INCUBATOR initiative will work and will be able to directly answer any questions you may have. Director Dearbhla Walsh will also be joining us for this online event for a keynote interview to help inspire your applications.





Who can apply?


Teams must be of two or more people and can be made up of – 1) writer(s) and director, 2) writer/director and producer or 3) writer(s), director and producer.


In the instance of a writer and director team (2 people) – at least one team member must be a X-Pollinator 2019 participant. Having a producer attached is not strictly required but encouraged.


In the instance of a writer/director and producer team (2 people) – at least one team member must be a X-Pollinator 2019 participant.


In the instance of a writer, director and producer team (3 people) – at least two team members must be X-Pollinator 2019 participants.


In the instance of either a writer/director and producer team or a writer, director and producer team – where the writer and director are X-Pollinator 2019 participants, please note that the producer who wasn’t an X-Pollinator 2019 participant can be of any gender identity.


Each applicant can be involved in up to two submissions maximum.


What kind of projects can I apply with?


Full length feature film or television: narrative fiction, creative documentary or animation


What do I need to submit?


1) One page outline on the story


2) Writer, director and producers notes (depending on your team structure) – half page each which should include why this story and why now


3) Short biographies of team members involved


Please submit your applications to info.xpollintor@gmail.com, with the subject noted as INCUBATOR APPLICATION





Applications open Friday 24 July, 10am


INCUBATOR info clinic & key note interview while applications are open Friday 31 July, 11am


Applications close Friday 7 August, 5pm


Interviews of shortlisted teams Tuesday 18 August


Development timeline: 3 – 4 months to include meetings with script editor & mentors


Delivery of final project December 2020


If you have any questions on the application process, criteria or requirements, please get in touch with us at info.xpollinator@gmail.com



INCUBATOR is supported by the Screen Skills Ireland, Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland and BAI




Dearbhla Walsh is from Tubbercurry Co. Sligo. She is an award-winning director who has most recently worked on drama series including TALES FROM THE LOOP, THE HANDMAID’S TALE AND FARGO, as well as SHAMELESS, PENNY DREADFUL, THE TUDORS and the Netflix Marvel series THE PUNISHER. She won the 2009 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for Charles Dickens LITTLE DORRIT. She directed the TV film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s ESIO TROT, starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench. She has also directed several art / dance films, funded by the Arts Council, in collaboration with Fearghus Ó Conchúir including MATCH and I’M ROGER CASEMENT. She also directed Hozier’s video for CHERRY WINE featuring Saoirse Ronan and Moe Dunford. Walsh has been nominated for the Irish Film and Television Awards nine times, has won twice for directing in 2011 and 2018 respectively, and is nominated in 2020 for her work on THE HANDMAID’S TALE.




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For further queries on the initiative, please contact us at info.xpollinator@gmail.com