Outfest has named the 11 writers selected to participate in the 2021 Screenwriting Lab, which it has partnered on with Netflix via its Fund for Creative Equity, along with 11 Notable Writers it will set up with industry support.
Fellows selected for the week-long lab, which kicks off today, include Amanda Kohr (Texts from Your Ex, Episodic), Chris Renfro (One Big Hapa Family, Animated Episodic), Emma McIvor (I Love You Like a Brother, Episodic), Jabari McDonald (Black Mud, Episodic), Kristin Slaney (Agora Borealis, Feature), Lindsay Calleran (Caity, Feature), Natalie Jasmine Harris (Pure, Feature), Nova Cypress Black (The Other Side, Episodic), Oates Wu (Water Has Another Dream, Feature), and Sav Rodgers & Taylor Gates (I Love You, Felix McNeil, Feature).
This year’s Notable Writers are Jeff Austin, Elie El Choufany and Omar Al Dakheel, Nicole Feste, Matthew Hartman, Mark Moliterni and Vasilios Papapitsios, Shawn Parikh, Michael Rodriguez, Rolando Rodriguez and Noah Schamus.
During the 2021 Lab, Fellows will continue to develop projects (listed above) for film or TV. They will be mentored, throughout this process, by notable LGBTQ+ showrunners, including Jaclyn Moore (Dear White People), Alvaro Rodriguez (Seis Manos), Micah Schraft (Mrs. America), and Mikko Alanne (The Long Road Home), along with writers including Eduardo Cisneros, Chuck Hayward, and MW Wilson. Executives Manny Jaquez, Bianca Quesada, David Ruby, Andrew Wang, Julie Waters are also scheduled to participate, along with industry reps Biz Hurst, Clifford Murry, Cora Olson, and Martin To.
Outfest’s Lab announcement comes a little over a month after the closing night of its 39th annual film festival. “With Netflix on board as our partner this year, we received an unprecedented number of applications to the lab. Our roster of mentors and panelists is as good as it gets,” said Outfest Executive Director, Damien Navarro. “Outfest’s programs all aim to foster empathy for the global queer community, but it’s writers and artists who amplify and articulate empathy through story — and that makes a real impact in the world.”
The Outfest Screenwriting Lab was originally conceived in 1997 as a screenwriting contest, since becoming the cornerstone of the non-profit’s education and mentoring program, Outfest Forward. This year’s lab was developed by Outfest Board members Zackery Alexzander Stephens, Neil Landau, Cora Olson, David Sigurani and Valerie Stadler, along with Outfest Deputy Director Kerri Stoughton-Jackson, and Outfest Forward Coordinator Sari Navarro.
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