Year 3 of Universal Pictures’ Emerging Writers Fellowship has its winners. The 2016-17 fellows are Brian Buccellato, Josephine Green, Leon Hendrix, Rose McAleese and Juel Taylor.
The homegrown program looks to identify and cultivate new and unique voices with a passion for storytelling. It’s designed to bolster the diverse talent within the studio’s workforce, both in front of and behind the camera.
“We continue to be thrilled with the extraordinary talent and commitment of these writers, and we are proud that the program continues to serve as a vital launching pad for new voices,” said Universal Pictures President of Production Peter Cramer, who made the announcement. “We are excited for the 2016-2017 class of fellows to make their mark as contributors here at Universal, and we know the larger creative community will be as impressed with them as we are.”
The 2016-17 fellows began their paid fellowship at the studio this month, and the program will run throughout the course of a year. In addition to ensuring the fellows are part of the daily production engine and work on specific writing assignments and Universal development projects, Program Manager Heather Washington and VP Production Development Sara Scott have organized a series of filmmaking workshops and studio seminars. They also are conducting activities designed to immerse the fellows in the film business, including filmmaker panels, studio seminars, development meetings and networking events.
Among the producers who have signed on as mentors or guest speakers for the fellows are Brownstone Productions’ Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman and Alison Small; Skybound Entertainment’s Robert Kirkman and David Alpert; Secret Hideout’s Alex Kurtzman, Jeb Brody and Sarah Schweitzman; UnbeliEVAble Entertainment’s Eva Longoria; Will Packer Productions’ Will Packer and James Lopez.