Universal Pictures has named Chandus T. Jackson, Margaret Rose Lester, Steve Martinez, Ivy Pruss and Saila Reyes as the first class of writers in its inaugural Emerging Writer’s Fellowship. The quintet will join the studio in a year-long paid fellowship in which they’ll be involved in daily production as well as specific writing assignments, reporting to Uni Co-Presidents of Production Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum. The program originated from EVP of Production Scott Bernstein and the studio’s SVP/CFO of Film Production Arturo Barquet, with the support of Universal’s Diversity Council led by Donna Langley. Also aboard as mentors and guest speakers are producer Will Packer (Ride Along), writer-producer Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious franchise), writer-producer Jeremy Garelick (The Break-Up), writer-producer Cheo Hodari Coker (Notorious) and writer-producer Suzanne de Passe of de Passe Jones Entertainment. Universal’s Emerging Writer’s Fellowship is endorsed by the Writers Guild of America, West. “The Emerging Writers Fellowship is a testament to the commitment of the senior leadership at Universal Pictures to identify, develop and nurture new voices in film,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for NBCUniversal Craig Robinson. “We’re all very excited about this group of talented young people, and the new perspectives they’ll bring to the company.”
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