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Nicole Kidman is lending her support to The Writers Lab, which supports women screenwriters over 40 by providing mentoring from leading filmmakers.
The Writers Lab was launched in 2015, with funding from Meryl Streep, who has continued to provide support every year since its inception. Kidman follows the example of past supporters, such as Oprah Winfrey, who have matched Streep’s donation.
The writing program was established by New York Women in Film and Television and IRIS, which champions female voices in fictional narrative film, in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America East.
The Writers Lab 2018, to be held Sept. 25-29, will see a group of female screenwriters take part in a four-day script-development retreat with mentors Pamela Gray, Mary Jane Skalski and Pat Verducci scheduled to participate.
At the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards, where she picked up a trophy for her performance in Big Little Lies, Kidman hailed opportunities for actresses over 40 and urged the industry to welcome more of them. In deciding to support The Writers Lab, she said, “What a wonderful idea — a space for women to work with one another to develop the stories they want to tell. I’m a fan already.”
“We are beyond thrilled to have Nicole Kidman join Meryl Streep in supporting The Writers Lab,” Terry Lawler, executive director of New York Women in Film and Television, said in a statement. “She is truly a champion of women storytellers and has particularly been an outspoken advocate for women over 40. At this critical moment for women in the industry, it is heartening to see powerhouses like Meryl and Nicole take decisive action to combat both ageism and sexism by helping to provide a platform for these voices to be heard. It is an honor to have her support.”
“This is how change happens,” IRIS’ Nitza Wilon commented. “When extraordinary women — and Nicole Kidman is clearly an exceptional activist as well as an exceptional actor — use their power, they can shift the entire culture. We are euphoric that such superlative women support our work.”
Applications for the 2018 Lab are available now through Feb. 28 and can be found at www.thewriterslab.nyc. Submissions must be feature-length, fictional narrative scripts of any genre written in English by women over the age of 40. The Lab announced earlier this year that it has expanded its scope to include international submissions. The selected screenwriters will be announced on Aug. 1.