The Black List and Cassian Elwes have chosen Kristina Zacharias and Terrell Garrett as 2016 Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellows. This is the first time since the screenwriting fellowships were established in 2014 that more than one writer has been selected for the honor of an all-expenses-paid trip to the Sundance Film Festival and mentorship from Elwes.
To be eligible, writers must not have exceeded lifetime earnings of $5,000 from their film or TV writing careers and not be under professional representation. Details on Zacharias and Garrett from the release are below.
Kristina Zacharias is an American writer who spent her early childhood in Tunisia, Bangladesh and Egypt before settling in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. After graduating with a Film and Media Theory degree from Virginia Tech, Kristina moved to New York City where she discovered a passion for Screenwriting. While working full-time at NYU and writing, Kristina created and produced a monthly performance series for local writers, musicians and comedians in Brooklyn. Kristina’s screenplay, Restavek, about a child slave in Haiti, made the Nicholl Fellowship’s “Next 100” list and was a Second Rounder in the Austin Film Festival’s screenwriting competition in 2015.
After studying English Literature and Psychology at Asbury University and Georgia State University, Terrell Garrett settled in Tyrone, Georgia and focused on writing stories. For the past ten years, while working as a barista at Starbucks, Garrett wrote screenplays. During this time, he was mentored by a retired screenwriter and now used bookseller who learned the craft from his own mentors, Waldo Salt, Ring Lardner Jr. and Ian McLellan Hunter. “Call me a romantic, but I like to think that they are also my mentors by proxy.” Before Starbucks, Garrett waited tables, worked in a print shop, and had a short stint as a videogame designer.