EXCLUSIVE: As people of color and marginalized continue to work to move the needle when it comes to equity and inclusion in Hollywood, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) is doing its part for the culture with the eighth annual CAPE New Writers Fellowship. Today CAPE announced the emerging writers for the professional development program and unveiled some of the top industry players who will serve as mentors and speakers for the fellowship co-founded and co-chaired by Steve Tao (VP, Current Programming, CWTV) and Leo Chu (Creator/Showrunner, Supah Ninjas, Afro Samurai).
As the landscape of authentic representation in film and TV continues to move forward, the industry is realizing that audiences crave diversity and inclusion — and it starts on the page. Graduates of the Fellowship have been staffed on every major broadcast network, premium cable channel, and streaming platform. This year, CAPE plans to continue to diversify writers rooms with the fellowship that includes mentors and speakers including Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians screenwriter), Daniel Chun (Grandfathered showunner), Yahlin Chang (Co-Executive Producer of The Handmaid’s Tale), Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow showrunner), Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (Co-Executive Producer of The Orville), Dave Kalstein (Co-Executive Producer of Quantico), Eric Kim (SVP, Current, CBS), Naia Cucukov (SVP, Production, Walden Media), Bernie Su (Emmy-Winning creator/writer/executive producer of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved), Kevin Iwashina (Senior Associate, Endeavor), Peter McHugh (Manager, The Gotham Group), and others.
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“Pipeline programs like this are critical, particularly in light of last year’s highly-successful #AsianAugust, which has galvanized the industry to elevate authentic diverse stories,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, CAPE Executive Director. “We could not run this Fellowship without the support of our tremendous partners and collaborators who support our vision of integrated diversity.”
After graduating from the fellowship, they will join CAPE’s alumni including Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt (Upcoming Star Trek Project), Julie Wong (Grey’s Anatomy), Brian Shin (The Good Doctor), Helen Shang (13 Reasons Why), Marisa Tam (The Blacklist), Tania Lotia & Franklin jin Rho (DC’s upcoming Swamp Thing), Aaron Ho (Trolls), Leonard Chang (Snowfall); Ken Cheng (Betas) and others.
Read this year’s roster of CAPE’s New Writers Fellowship below:
- Andrew N. Wong hails from a small, river town just outside of St. Louis, Missouri and studied screenwriting and photography at Webster University. His writing has placed Top 10 in the Page International Screenwriting Competition as well as top 20% in the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship. He has most recently served as the writer’s PA for American Gods and the upcoming FX show Y.
- Faith Liu was born and raised in New Jersey. After graduating from Hillsdale College, she pursued her graduate degree in screenwriting at USC, where she was named the inaugural T.C. Wang Scholar and an Annenberg Graduate Fellow. She has recently worked as the Writers’ Assistant on Cinemax’s Warrior and as the Writers’ PA on AMC’s Better Call Saul. Faith is repped by Gotham Group.
- Kimberly-Rose Ka’iulani Wolter is a screenwriter, producer and actor. Kim, who is repped by Gersh, spent two decades producing and performing on stage before transitioning to writing and earning her MFA from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. Born and raised in Hawai’i, she is a proud Hapa.
- Min-Woo Park grew up in the South Bay of LA. After graduating from Harvard University, he moved to NY to work as a copywriter at BBDO, a top advertising agency. After creating award-winning campaigns for Foot Locker, AT&T, and Snickers, Min-Woo returned to LA to pursue a career in TV comedy.
- Mitali Jahagirdar is a second-generation Indian-American born and raised in Orlando, Florida. After graduating from NYU, Mitali worked for several years as a litigation paralegal while simultaneously studying and performing improv and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Mitali received her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA and is currently a Writers’ PA on the upcoming Amazon drama The Expatriates.
- Paul Chang was born in Australia and grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong before moving to the U.S. He attended the University of Chicago where he spent most of his time doing improv and sketch comedy. Paul has an MBA with a focus on entertainment from UCLA and worked in content acquisition at Disney-ABC’s Freeform.
- Peter Limm was born and raised in New Jersey, the son of first-generation Korean immigrants. He eventually graduated from Harvard University with a degree in English literature. At Harvard, Peter served as a writer and editor for The Harvard Lampoon, the famous campus humor magazine. He now lives in Los Angeles pursuing screenwriting full-time and is repped by Lee Stobby Entertainment.
- Surj Das is a second-generation Indian immigrant born and raised in The Bronx. He earned his BFA from The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and his MFA from The School of Cinematic Arts at USC. While pursuing writing, Surj worked as an assistant editor at PBS, an editor at MTV, an after-school teacher for inner-city middle school students, and a computer-literacy instructor for senior citizens. He is repped by UTA and Romark Entertainment.
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