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This week the Black List and Women in Film’s third annual Episodic Lab for female writers kicked off at the Red Bull Consulate creative space in Venice.
The four-week program includes script development, workshop sessions and master classes mentored by established scribes including Cindy Chupack (Sex and the City, Modern Family), Sono Patel (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Monica Beletsky (Fargo, Friday Night Lights), Carly Wray (Mad Men, The Leftovers), Lauren LeFranc (Impulse, Agents of SHIELD) and Gloria Calderon Kellett (One Day at a Time). In addition, the six women named to this year’s Lab will have their work hosted for free on the Black List’s website and have their final pilots read by agencies and networks. Additional support for the Lab is provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
“In 2018, we’re still hearing the call for experienced staff writers who are not white men,” Women in Film director of programs Maikiko James said in a statement. “Our aim in this Lab, and the collective movement, is to end the disparity. Women can’t get experience if they don’t get hired initially. These six talented writers should be hired today, or at least by the end of the Lab.”
“Going into our third year of this Lab, we’re beginning to see the impact that this opportunity has on the participants, and their effect on the industry,” the Black List’s Megan Halpern said in a statement. “It’s critical that we champion not only the writers but the involvement of our mentors and executives who give their time, because progress has to come from all sides.”
The 3rd annual Episodic Lab participants are:
Double Time Dames by Davia Carter
Logline: At the height of the Jazz Age, an all-female big band battles through the corruption and machismo of 1920s Chicago, in an effort to make a name for themselves.
Bio: Molded by her small, Missouri hometown and all the excitement that it offered — none — Davia’s passion for writing spawned from a desire to entertain — herself, first and foremost. This led her to the entertainment capital of the central southwest: Austin, Texas. While attending the University of Texas, Davia experimented with genres, writing everything from an ultra-action feature script to a female-driven period piece pilot, highlighting her versatility. Davia’s writing has garnered praise from organizations like Humanitas, Austin Film Festival, and ScreenCraft, motivating her continued expansion of an already diverse and extensive body of work.
You Bet by Paula Sorge Moynihan
Logline: Ex-con and hustler extraordinaire Kitty Lucey is released from prison and, together with her down-on-his-luck brother Bat, decides to resume the very activity that got her put away: running an illegal casino out of the family club.
Bio: Paula first started writing weird little short stories when she was a small girl. Her mother, being kind and supportive, bound them together in a book Paula chose to call Mouse Tracks. From there her passion grew. At age nine, after reading her sister’s (astoundingly dull) diary, Paula decided to spice it up a bit. It was then she realized she had found her calling. Paula is lucky to have the support of The Black List who has submitted her work for staffing consideration and brought her to Austin’s ATX Festival for a live read of her script You Bet.
The (Strange, Prophetic and Super-Fucking Timely) Revelation of Jennifer Kim by Jamie Park
Logline: Single, 30 and unemployed, oh my! A surreal look at the tragicomedy of being a Korean-American female failure.
Bio: Winner of The Breakk’s 2018 screenplay contest and currently a semifinalist in the Comedy Teleplay Pilot category at this year’s Austin Film Festival, The (Strange, Prophetic and Super Fucking Timely) Revelation of Jennifer Kim is ad-woman-turned-screenwriter Jamie Park’s first pilot. An absurdist take on what it’s like to be a Korean-American female failure, the story also placed as a semifinalist both for the Fox Writers Lab and the Sundance You Tube New Voices Episodic Lab. Jamie has studied comedy, sketch and screenwriting at the Magnet Theatre in New York City, Second City in Hollywood and UCLA.
Tink by Sasha Perl-Raver
Logline: Finally fed up with Peter Pan’s immature ways, Tinkerbell trades her fairy wings for human form in order to start a new life in Los Angeles… only to discover there is no magic for happiness.
Bio: Sasha Perl-Raver has written for, produced, and appeared on television and digital platforms including FX, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, LOGO, Style Network, TV Guide Channel, Facebook, and many others. She is a USC grad, a former Food Network chef, and was once proclaimed “Funniest in LA” by the New York Daily News.
Above the Fold by Naja Rayne
Logline: Inspired by true events, “Above the Fold” follows a young journalist as she takes on a story which threatens the status quo of a growing town dominated by a university and its beloved football team by boldly confronting the deeply-entrenched rape culture at play.
Bio: Naja Rayne is a journalist turned screenwriter and an alumna of UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting. Naja’s last feature script has placed within the top 20 percent of entries in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship competition two years in a row, and was named a semi-finalist in CineStory’s Feature Fellowship competition. Her entry for the Women In Film Black List Episodic Lab is her first foray into television, and was also named a second-rounder in the Austin Film Festival Teleplay Competition. Describing writing as her form of activism, Naja hopes to spark meaningful conversation and change through her craft.
The Quickening by Brittany Worthington
Logline: A 19th century housewife struggles to maintain her reputation, relationships, and true identity when she assumes the role of Chicago’s most notorious abortionist.
Bio: Brittany Worthington hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She earned her BA from Kalamazoo College before attending the University of Texas at Austin’s MFA screenwriting program. Brittany’s work gained recognition from the Austin Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, and the LAUNCH Million Dollar Screenplay Competition as the second-place finalist. At age eleven, Brittany wrote that she wanted to be a screenwriter when she grew up and stuck that note into a time capsule. She found it two decades later in her grandparents’ coat closet and is still working towards making that dream come true.
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