EXCLUSIVE: As the Asian and Asian American community in Hollywood continues to bask in the awards season victories of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell and Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) looks to add to Asian representation with the eighth annual CAPE New Writers Fellowship. Partnering with major industry partners, CAPE will launch the professional development program which trains emerging writers to succeed in Hollywood.
“As reflected by the Asian and Pacific Islander sweep of the Oscars screenwriting awards last night (original and adapted), it is clear stories written by our community have mainstream appeal,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, CAPE Executive Director. “Pipeline programs like the CAPE New Writers Fellowship are critical to provide a springboard into the industry and to elevate authentic storytelling.”
Led by top industry writers, producers, agents and executives, the Fellowship was co-founded and is co-chaired by Steve Tao (VP, Current Programming, CWTV) and Leo Chu (Creator/Showrunner of Supah Ninjas and Afro Samurai; Batman Ninja screenwriter).
Fellows will participate in masterclasses and writing labs where they will receive one-on-one mentorship with industry professional including Walter Hamada (President, DC-Based Film Production, Warner Bros. Pictures), Adele Lim (Screenwriter of Crazy Rich Asians, Raya and the Last Dragon), Amy Rardin (Co-Creator/EP of Charmed), Alex Tse (Co-Creator/EP of Wu-Tang: An American Saga), Monica Macer (Showrunner/EP of Gente-fied), Melinda Hsu Taylor (Showrunner/EP of Nancy Drew), Laverne McKinnon (Producer/Partner, K&L Productions), Jonathan King (Executive Producer, When They See Us, Spotlight, Green Book), and Lana Cho (Co-EP Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Below you can read the bios of the 2020 CAPE New Writers Fellowship participants:
- Chrissie De Guzman received her MFA in Film and Television production at USC. She is a storyteller defined by curiosity of the Filipina & Queer experience, pushing mainstream boundaries in hopes to create a platform of non-traditional content. Her work has been exhibited at Outfest and other festivals, and she is the 2019-2020 Viacom ViewFinder: Emerging Director’s Program Fellow for the MTV network.
- Daniel J. Park is a Korean-American writer originally from Queens, NY. He studied screenwriting at Emerson College and currently works as the assistant to The Walking Deadcreator Robert Kirkman at his multiplatform entertainment company, Skybound. When he’s not writing, Daniel trains rigorously in multiple martial arts disciplines. He is repped by Eric Borja at Alldayeveryday.
- Dona Le grew up in the Bay Area, where she was an award-winning pianist who performed internationally. After graduating from Harvard, Dona earned an M.Phil in Literature at Trinity College Dublin. Dona currently serves as the Executive Director of Harvardwood, an arts, media, and entertainment nonprofit.
- Peter H. Lee is a Los Angeles native and the son of a poet. He attended the University of California, Irvine and has been featured on This American Life. He has survived limb loss, cancer, and evangelical Christian high school and currently works at a video game company where he helps produce a multiplayer online game.
- Nic Chatree Sridej is a second-generation Thai American genre writer from Dacula, Georgia. After studying journalism and theater at Piedmont College, he earned an MFA in screenwriting from Florida State University. A semi-professional magician since middle school, Nic is currently the Showrunner’s assistant on American Gods and is managed by First Friday Entertainment.
- Nina Mohan is a Sri Lankan-American writer and producer, born and raised in the west suburbs of Chicago. After earning a BA in Creative Writing and a BFA in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University, Nina moved to Los Angeles. While pursuing writing, Nina makes viral videos and articles working as a producer and writer for BuzzFeed.
- Niki Ang is a queer, Singaporean-Chinese American writer and director. She has spent the past several years as a full-stack producer/director at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Her short Were You Gay In High School?, will be on the festival circuit in 2020. A quintessential middle child, she currently lives in Los Angeles with her wife and the best cat in the world.
- Sam Boyer is a writer from Rockville, MD and holds degrees from the USC in film and business. He recently earned an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at UT-Austin and was a finalist for the Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship and TFI Sloan Student Discovery Award.
Alumni of the Fellowship include Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt (Co-Showrunners, Star Trek: Section 31), Julie Wong (Grey’s Anatomy), Brian Shin (The Good Doctor), Helen Shang ( The Lord of the Rings, 13 Reasons Why), Lisa Bao (Nancy Drew), Aaron Ho (Fresh Off The Boat), April Shih (Mrs. America, Undone), Tania Lotia (Carnival Row), Teresa Huang (Seal Team), Thomas Wong (Good Trouble), Lauren Moon (Atypical), Chris Wu (Man in High Castle), Nathan Ramos Park (Club Mickey Mouse), Leonard Chang (Snowfall); Ken Cheng (House of Chow) among others.
This year’s fellowship partners include NBCUniversal, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television, Amazon Studios, Pearl Studio, Warner Bros., Los Angeles County Arts and Culture, as well as in-kind partners Final Draft, The Black List, Film Independent, and Boo’s. Venue sponsors include NBCUniversal, The Writers Guild of America Foundation, The Gotham Group, Skybound Entertainment, Emerson College Los Angeles, IW Group, and The CW.
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