EXCLUSIVE: Talent management and production company Circle of Confusion has selected seven Writers Discovery Fellows for its inaugural program, an initiative to mentor aspiring TV and film writers.
Selected from more than 2,000 applicants, the seven fellows are Chanelle Wang, Elena Lockleis, Halo Rossetti, Larry Powell, Lynda Brendish, Michael Gutierrez and Shanice Williamson.
The initiative was created to further advance Circle of Confusion’s core mission to discover and represent a diverse roster of talented writers, directors, actors and creators.
Officially launching today, the Fellowship will be active for the next six months, during which time each Fellow will receive the latest Final Draft software. Each Fellow will also receive a $10,000 stipend by way of a first-look deal with Circle of Confusion Television Studios.
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Below are brief bios written by the Fellows about themselves:
Chanelle Wang (mentored by Katie Abbott)
Hometown: Monterey Park, CA
Chanelle Wang is a screenwriter and actress where her work has screened at film festivals such as the Seattle Asian Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, and Taiwanese American Film Festival. Her upbringing as a second generation Cantonese American along with her love for sitcoms such as I Love Lucy and Will and Grace bred an interest in telling stories of cultural duality through a comedic lens.
Elena Lockleis (mentored by Julian Rosenberg)
Hometown: Stanford, CA
Stories that deal with honest and raw human emotion are the stories Elena hopes to tell because those are the types of stories that have helped/continue to help her fight through thorns. Under that umbrella, she strives to bring more open conversations about mental health; specifically depression and anxiety; to the forefront.
Halo Rossetti (mentored by Lawrence Mattis)
Hometown: Perth, Australia
Halo Rossetti (they/them), an Australian-born, Philly-based abolitionist on the cusp of receiving their MFA in Film and Media Arts (Directing) at Temple University, is a queer and trans/nonbinary writer, director, performer, and artist, worldbuilding positive futures in the husk of the capitalist experiment. In their work, through the production of film, video, and performance, they practice worldbuilding as a means to convey their belief that decolonizing, queering, and regenerating are linked processes.
Larry Powell (mentored by Charles Mastropietro)
Hometown: South Central LA Baby!
Larry Powell is a 2021 Webby Award Honoree for the New Media Series he wrote, created and produced titled “The Gaze” adapted from his play by the same title which is a 2021 Eugene O’Neill National Play Conference Finalist. A modern auteur born and raised in South Central LA, Powell is dangerously and endlessly curious about why we as humans do the things we do to get the things we want and how the epic journeys we take bring us heart to heart with what we need on a deep, spiritual level. He is also obsessed with the miraculous, magical world of the Black mundane.
Lynda Brendish (mentored by Sam Starr)
Hometown: Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Lynda is a Kiwi freelance journalist turned one-hour drama writer, whose pandemic hobbies involved perfecting her Old Fashioned recipe and taking long walks around the block. Her world-building and complex family dynamics are informed by a fragmented family history inherited on her Iraqi father’s side and anchored by the kinds of brilliant and messy women who inspire her on her mother’s side.
Michael Gutierrez (mentored by Zach Cox)
Hometown: Lynwood, CA
Michael J. Gutierrez is an LA-based comedy writer and don’t let this two-sentence blurb about him tell you any different. Michael has studied at Script Anatomy, Second City Hollywood, and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (LA); he’s passionate about telling coming-of-age stories about people that strive to be the best versions of themselves while effecting positive change to those around them.
Shanice Williamson (mentored by Susan Solomon)
Hometown: Queens, NY / Irving, TX
Raised between Queens, NY and Dallas, Texas, Shanice considers herself a cultural shapeshifter type of writer, using her superpower of empathy to create stories within unique settings told through the lens of people of color. After more than 15 years working in the legal industry and after raising two sons, Shanice began her second act, working as a freelance film and TV crew member while pursuing her television writing dreams.
Further information on the program and applications for the July selection be found at http://www.circleofconfusion.com/fellowship/.
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