Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG)’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) department is opening submissions to the 2020 Universal Writers Program. The application period opened today and will remain open until October 1.
The Universal Writers Program identifies experienced and up-and-coming screenwriters with unique points of view that build upon the Studio’s commitment to telling stories and creating films that reflect the vast diversity of its audiences. It is the only feature film program sanctioned by the Writers Guild of America West and puts the spotlight on storytellers to develop their talent with the intent to incorporate multicultural and global perspectives in screenwriting.
“Each year when we open submissions, we notice an enthusiastic rise in awareness surrounding our program, which solidifies the importance of a platform like this for so many talented voices looking to tell their stories,” said Janine Jones-Clark, SVP, Global Talent Development & Inclusion, UFEG. “We have been seeing tremendous success with our ever-growing pool of program alumni, and we could not be more excited to identify a new class of writers to collaborate with next year.”
The one-year paid program gives writers the opportunity to develop two feature scripts under the guidance of Universal Pictures, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation production executives, as well as the studio’s first-look producers.
Producer advisors for the current 2019 class of writers include an impressive roster such as Seven Bucks Productions’ Hiram Garcia, Mandeville Films’ Todd Lieberman, UnbeliEVAble’s Eva Longoria, Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea, Pascal Pictures’ Amy Pascal and Simpson Street’s Kerry Washington.
Recent alumni include Omid Ghaffarian from the 2018 Writers Program, who is currently developing an untitled project with Universal Pictures. Ghaffarian is the first person in the history of the program to be extended by the studio to continue to develop a script. 2017 alumni Juel Taylor currently has a project in development with Universal and Lebron James’ production company, Springhill Entertainment.
Additional info can be found at www.UniversalTalentDevelopment.com. The program will kick off May 2020.