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What if, like me, you not only don't live in L.A., you don't even live in the United States?
The film industry is becoming ever more global. Many countries have thriving movie cultures, such as France, India, and upstarts like New Zealand, where Peter Jackson's success (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong) has anchored a burgeoning industry. If you're broadminded and proactive, you may well find riches far from L.A.
I'm a member of a wonderful organization called DreamAgo. Run by screenwriter/consultant Pascale Rey, DreamAgo's mission is to help nurture screenwriters and develop their projects for the screen. Founded in France in 2005, DreamAgo is a nonprofit organization with branches in Paris, Los Angeles, Madrid, and Lausanne. "The cornerstone of each and every movie is the script," says Rey, DreamAgo's president. "Our goal is to help writers turn their scripts into strong, personal, emotional movies with wide and diverse audience appeal. Our mission is to bring screenwriters, directors, producers and distributors of all nationalities together."
DreamAgo offers an international forum for professional networking and exchange through monthly luncheons and other events such as screenings and meetings. In addition, DreamAgo organizes screenwriting master classes and workshops (including a one-week retreat in Switzerland), and offers a script translation service.
DreamAgo works at building contacts with respected artists from all over the world. To date, its patrons, who act as artistic references and advisors and provide moral support, include Stephen Frears (UK), Alain Corneau (France), Jose F. Lacaba (Philippines), Jorge Perugorria (Cuba), and Guillermo Arriaga (Mexico).
If you're interested in applying for membership, visit DreamAgo's Web site: http://www.dreamago.com.
Alternatively, check out film and screenwriting organizations in your country, as well as the home page of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (http://www.iawg.org), where you'll find links to guilds all over the world. Go to each site and explore its links in turn, and you'll begin to get a sense of what's happening globally.