Out of a record 1,200 applicants, six pilots from eight writers have been chosen to participate in the professional development-focused lab which includes master classes, pitch coaching, mentoring, and introductions to television industry representatives to help build writing careers. Over the past six years, previous mentors and instructors for the lab have included Monica Beletsky (Parenthood), Carly Wray (Watchmen), Sono Patel (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Glen Mazzara (The Dark Tower), Kira Snyder (The Handmaid’s Tale), Erika L. Johnson (The Good Lord Bird), and Lauren LeFranc (Impulse).
Lab alumni have worked successfully in television with 80% having representation in the industry, with over 80% having representation during or following the Lab, 44% staffed on television shows, and the majority continuing to work in entertainment.
“We’re so proud of our participants, past and present, who continue to persevere in an incredibly competitive landscape. And we’re privileged to have supported them, not only during their time in the Lab, but throughout the years, as the one predictable component to success in this industry is sticking with it,” says Maikiko James, Women In Film Director and Episodic Lab co-manager.
Added Megan Halpern, who runs the lab along with James, “We’re thrilled to have built a community, not just of writers, but of mentors and advisors that return year after year to support these up-and-coming writers, and cannot thank them enough for making the Lab what it is, particularly during the past year as the program morphed due to the pandemic. We could not have done it without them.”
The lab begins this week, and will run a hybrid model of in-person and virtual sessions through November 2021.
Here is information about the participants and their projects.
Polite Society by Lydia Caradine
An ambitious, wealthy young woman balances being young, gifted, and Black at the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance with the unfortunate realities of racism, colorism, and gender inequality in the early twentieth century. Collette is going to roar, ‘20s or no ‘20s.
That Woman by Christan Leonard and Mads Gauger
Ten years after an affair with a married congressman ruined her life, Zoe Bauer decides to get back at him the only way she knows how, by running against him for office.
Founders by Marisa Hardwicke
After a top VC firm announces they’ve set aside money to fully fund one lucky female-founded tech venture, two ex-Stanford roommates and former business partners find themselves once again at odds as they compete to get their products fully funded.
Lost Hope Hotel by Alex Rubin
The most haunted hotel in the world is in Lost Hope, Pennsylvania, plagued with spirits since Crazy Lainey died there ten years ago. But the secret Katie, manager of the hotel and daughter of the legendary Lainey, has kept for a decade is… it’s all fake.
Rowdy by Nalini Sharma
A successful Indian American diplomat returns home to Atlanta only to discover her uber-dysfunctional family in ruins, forcing her to stay and fix their lives while possibly getting a life of her own…all before she has to freeze her eggs and shit.
Dark Horse by Hannah Stoddard & Jenny Ulmer
Life in the ‘80s goes from glam to gore when a washed-up circus star accidentally kills the ringmaster. Packing up her family—and the corpse—she flees to her estranged mother’s lavish estate, only to discover that when it comes to disposing of bodies, mother knows best.
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