Barcid Foundation Unveils Inaugural Native American Showrunner Program

Anthony Florez: Tony Contini; John Timothy: Arin Sang-Urai; Shelley Dennis: Josh Fingerhut ; Siena East: Lizzy Land
Clockwise from top left: Anthony Florez, John Timothy, Siena East, Shelley Dennis

"We are excited to launch a new and robust program that offers genuine opportunities for experienced Native American writers," said programs director Patricia Gomes.

The Barcid Foundation, a Native American arts organization, on Tuesday revealed its selections for the inaugural Native American Showrunner Program, a nine-month intensive for Native American writers that offers mentorship from television showrunners and series creators.

The program's sponsors include Bad Robot, Comcast NBCUniversal and Walt Disney Television, in partnership with Kung Fu Monkey Productions, Sugarshack Animation, Crunchyroll and Owen Dennis.

"We are excited to launch a new and robust program that offers genuine opportunities for experienced Native American writers," programs director Patricia Gomes said in a statement. "The goal is to provide fellows, who have been through our programs and have grown their careers, a new level of support from the entertainment industry."

This year's inaugural fellows include Shelley Dennis (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Siena East (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Anthony Florez (Paiute) and John Timothy (Muscogee/Creek). 

The program consists of weekly one-on-one mentoring for fellows, as well as meetings with assigned showrunners for fellows to get creative feedback on current projects in addition to advice as it pertains to producing for television and overall insight into running a TV series.