The 2023 Film Lab

Story is at the core of who we are and how we understand ourselves. The people who raised us, the places we’ve been, our suffering, our success, our chosen communities—those people and experiences exist in an unfolding narrative for each of us.

Since 2012, Justice Film Festival has been dedicated to creating a platform for redemptive stories of marginalized people and ecosystems bravely overcoming challenges and bringing hope, compassion, and light to a world in need of inspiration.

In early 2023, unRival Network partnered with Justice Film Festival to host the first-ever JustPeace FilmLab in New York City, a nonrivalrous learning space to bring together storytellers who long to create a better world for all people. 

The Film Lab, facilitated by unRival’s Creative Director, Billy Price, was attended by Justice Film Festival filmmakers and film students attending the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and Baylor University.

The experience was comprised of two sessions throughout the course of the festival:
  • A panel discussion featuring industry professionals

  • A creative writing workshop

The Film Lab Session 1

Panel Discussion featuring Suzanne Hillinger, Matt Waldeck, & Monique Taylor, hosted by Billy Price

Compassionately and honestly telling stories about peace and justice through film brings as many challenges as it does opportunities, and the JustPeace Film Lab offered a unique space to explore how to navigate both. 

The panelists had a variety of professional backgrounds which allowed for rich discussions about their experience producing films, finding distribution, and finding an audience, as well as modeling to the audience of filmmakers and students multiple creative paths to success as professional storytellers. The panelists showed up with a nonrivalrous approach that was evident in their willingness to share insights that aren’t often publicly discussed and in the way they asked questions of and learned from one another—modeling a sort of curiosity and humility that one may not expect from “industry insiders.”

The Film Lab Session 2

Creative Writing Workshop hosted by Billy Price and Tyler Huckabee

The second session of the Film Lab provided a hands-on creative experience where filmmakers and students collaborated on a prompt then created and shared original writing. 

Led by Billy Price and Tyler Huckabee, the project was facilitated through an exercise that explored complexity and contradiction in a safe space while collaborating (and improvising) to create pieces of writing that represented the stories, values, and hopes of the participants.

Gathering is a core part of the unRival Network mission: as we accompany one another through shared experiences, we renew hope, inspire collaboration, and overcome destructive rivalry.

Partnering with the Justice Film Festival to host the JustPeace Film Lab was an incredible opportunity to enrich and empower creatives as they strive to amplify marginalized voices, spotlight important stories, and inspire hope in a better world. Join us at the next Justice Film Festival in New York City, February 21-24, 2024.

Want to learn more about how unRival Network is disrupting rivalry and advancing the cause of justice and peace? Click here to access our free resource, Peace is Possible.

Hold onto hope with us.


When we resist rivalry together, there is hope for peace.

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