“We are elated to partner with Franklin Leonard of The Black List, Lena and Eva to further our mission of bolstering fresh voices of color,” King and MACRO Digital Studio chief content officer Aaliyah Williams said in a joint statement. “They are all leaders of the current shift towards equitable representation, and we are thrilled to join forces as MACRO continues to produce and champion work that is rooted in authenticity, creativity and excellence.”
The MACRO Episodic Lab Powered by The Black List will help emerging scribes develop and produce an original pilot, providing them with creative support as well as industry resources that writers from underrepresented backgrounds have traditionally not had as much access to. The end result will be a pilot presentation or sizzle reels produced for up to $30,000.
“I’m super excited to find some fresh new voices,” Waithe said in a statement. “By working with MACRO and The Black List, it’s a great way for me to find scripts that otherwise wouldn’t reach my desk.”
Applications, particularly for “fresh and culturally relevant concepts that push boundaries and challenge ideas,” are being accepted at http://episodiclab.staymacro.com from now through Aug. 6 and will be reviewed by a team at MACRO and The Black List. Semifinalists will pitch to a group that includes Waithe, Longoria and MACRO and Black List staff, who will narrow the pool to up to three winners. Those honorees will be announced in December.
“UnbeliEVAble’s mandate and mission has always been to nurture and foster diverse voices, so when MACRO and The Black List presented us with the opportunity to participate in the episodic lab, we knew this was the perfect partnership,” Longoria said in a statement. “Discovering emerging voices is one of the most thrilling parts of producing, and we can’t wait to bring these stories to screen alongside Lena and the team.”
“I am a longtime fan of everyone involved in this process, from Charles D. King and Aaliyah Williams at MACRO to Lena Waithe and Eva Longoria, whose commitment to replicating their successes for others speaks for itself at this point,” Leonard said in a statement. “It is a true joy to partner with them in a process that will identify the next generation of Lenas, Evas, Charleses and Aaliyahs. I look forward to sitting back on my couch in the not-too-distant future and enjoying the episodic fruits of their labor.”