7 items from 2015
The first ever Writers Lab, a program targeting female screenwriters over 40, took place at Wiawaka on Lake George, New York from September 18-20, 2015.
The group of mentors included Caroline Kaplan ("Boyhood," "Time Out of Mind," "Personal Velocity"), Kirsten Smith ("Legally Blonde," "Ten Things I Hate About You"), Jessica Bendinger ("Bring It On," "Aquamarine"), Mary Jane Skalski ("Win Win," "The Station Agent"),Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Secret Life of Bees," "Beyond the Lights"),Lydia Dean-Pilcher ("The Lunchbox," The Reluctant Fundamentalist"), Meg LeFauve ("Inside Out," "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys"), and Darnell Martin (“Cadillac Records” and “I Like It Like That”).
Launched by New York Women in Film and Television (Nywift) and Iris, a collective of women filmmakers dedicated to championing the female voice in narrative film, was funded in part by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep, and with the collaboration of the Writers Guild of America East.
Motivated by its screenwriting members who were frustrated with the paucity of development opportunities, Iris founders Elizabeth Kaiden, Kyle Ann Stoke, and Nitza Wilson approached Nywift to support a screenwriting Lab exclusively for this demographic and The Writers Lab came into being.
I spoke with Iris cofounder Elizabeth Kaiden to follow up about the first Writers Lab.
Kouguell: How many screenplays were submitted for consideration?
Kaiden: There were approximately 3,500 screenplays submitted. The selected participants were Sarah Bird ("Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen), Vanessa Carmichael ("The American"). Tracy Charlton ("Raised Up"), Kellen Hertz ("Ashburn"), Anna Hozian ("Anchor Baby"), Lyralen Kaye ("St John the Divine in Iowa"), Jan Kimbrough ("The Glastonbury Cow Party"), Billie Jo Mason ("The Cargo"), Peres Owino ("Basketweaver"), Gretchen Somerfeld ("Face Value"), Janet Stilson ("Jaguar Trail"), and Kim Turner ("It Goes Like This").
Kouguell: What were some highlights from the three-day Lab?
Kaiden: Highlights included the chemistry, warmth and enthusiasm of the group, the bucolic setting in which serious and thoughtful individual meetings between writers and mentors took place, the outstanding, locally sourced, group meals presented by Wiawaka chef Meg, and evening conversations around a bonfire. Oh, and the weather was fabulous.
Kouguell: What is the next step for these writers selected for the Lab?
Kaiden: Writers are all revising their work and communicating with each other. They will use the feedback, resources, references, and friendships they took away from the Lab to further develop their scripts and their opportunities.
Kouguell: In addition to the one-on-one meetings, what other events took place?
Kaiden: There were three panel discussions in which the mentors addressed specific craft issues and general industry insight, informal conversations, group meals, as well as small, directed group conversations led by Nywift Board President Alexis Alexanian to address the challenges writers face in navigating the film world.
Kouguell: What do you feel were some of the most positive outcomes from the weekend in Lake George?
Kaiden: The most exciting outcome of this venture, for me, is uncovering and bringing to public attention the field of women screenwriters, particularly its enormous breadth and depth. The most positive outcomes of the weekend Lab, for me, include the sense of empowerment I believe the Lab gave the writers to continue their work and develop their projects, and the supportive community of writers we all discovered, which can only further our goals of ensuring that more of their stories will reach audiences.
Kouguell: Will the Writers Lab take place again next year?
Kouguell: Anything else you’d like to add?
Kaiden: We were excited and delighted by the energy and enthusiasm at the Lab. It felt like an important event. It Was an important event. We discussed and debated issues of theme, tone, craft, structure, character, as well as production, representation, and target markets. The mentors were unbelievably focused, supportive and encouraging. Serious work was done. The writers left feeling, I think, that their voices had been heard, and that they should all continue to tell their stories. I think you will be hearing more from these writers and about these projects. And, although that would have been enough, everyone had a blast.
Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, Susan Kouguell teaches screenwriting at Purchase College Suny, and presents international seminars on screenwriting and film. Author of Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays! and The Savvy Screenwriter, she is chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a consulting company founded in 1990 where she works with writers, filmmakers, and executives worldwide. www.su-city-pictures.com, http://su-city-pictures.com/wpblog »
- Susan Kouguell
Back in April, I interviewed the directors of Nywift and Iris about their noted launch of The Writers Lab, a retreat for women screenwriters over 40, that received a substantial amount of funding from Meryl Streep. The 12 inaugural participants, listed below, were selected from a pool of over 3,500 applicants. The eight mentors for the weekend long September lab are Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On, Aquamarine), Caroline Kaplan (Time Out of Mind, Me and You and Everyone We Know), Meg LeFauve (Inside Out), Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records), Lydia Dean Pilcher (Darjeeling Limited, The Talented Mr. Ripley), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights, Mary Jane Skalski (Win Win, The Station Agent) and […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
New York Women in Film & Television and the Iris film collective have selected 12 screenwriters for the inaugural year of Meryl Streep’s Writers Lab.
The program, which is fully funded by Streep, provides script development for female writers over the age of 40. The Writers Lab, presented in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America East, received over 3,500 submissions.
Here are the participants and their scripts: Sarah Bird, “Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen”; Vanessa Carmichael, “The American”; Tracy Charlton, “Raised Up”; Kellen Hertz, “Ashburn”; Anna Hozian, “Anchor Baby”; Lyralen Kaye, “St. John the Divine in Iowa”; Jan Kimbrough, “The Glastonbury Cow Party”; Billie Mason, “The Cargo”; Peres Owino, “Basketweaver”; Gretchen Somerfeld, “Face Value”; Janet Stilson, “Jaguar Trail”; and Kim Turner, “It Goes Like This.”
- Dave McNary
The filmmakers of the upcoming new short film “B Love,” make it clear that they wanted to make the film because “there are so many confident, beautiful, unapologetically voluptuous women [who] are a reality in our world, yet we do not see them reflected on film as central characters who are sought after. 'B Love' changes that…” Starring Eamonn Walker ("Chicago Fire," "Cadillac Records," HBO's "Oz"), Brely Evans ("Being Mary Jane," "Sparkle," "Just Wright") and Corey Hendrix ("Empire," "Chicago Pd" and "Sirens"), the film deals with a most unusual love triangle which goes counter to this »
Jeffrey Wright (born December 17, 1965) is an American actor and producer. He is known for his roles in movies, television shows, and plays such as Shaft, Boycott, Angels in America (both on television and on stage), Cadillac Records and Boardwalk Empire. He’s also well known for his roles as Felix Leiter in the James Bond films […]
The post Jeffrey Wright Bio: In His Own Words appeared first on uInterview. »
- Ryan McDonnell
Could the Queen B be teaming up with the current king of the box office? Deadline reported Tuesday that Bradley Cooper is in talks to make his directorial debut with a remake of the classic showbiz drama and romance A Star is Born, and that Beyonce will be approached to star alongside Cooper in the film.
Nothing is confirmed yet, but Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. hopes he can jump into the project, along with producing and taking a stab at the script by Will Fetters (The Lucky One, Remember Me) once he is finished starring in the Broadway production of The Elephant Man.
The bigger complication however may not be securing Cooper, but Beyonce. Clint Eastwood has long been attached to this project, but he recently revealed in an interview with THR’s Stephen Galloway that Beyonce is obviously very busy being a super-megastar, and that Warner Bros. »
- Brian Welk
Cinema Retro has received the following press release:
On The Eve Of This Year’S Sundance Film Festival, Past Grand Jury Prize Nominee, Holy Rollers, Starring Nominee Jesse Eisenberg, Makes Its Free VOD Debut Exclusively On Snagfilms Available Beginning January 20th, this Ripped-from-the-Headlines Crime Drama, Directed by Award-Winning Filmmaker Kevin Asch (Affluenza), Co-Stars Justin Bartha (The Hangover), Ari Graynor (TV’s “Bad Teacher”), Danny A. Abeckaser (The Wolf of Wall Street), Q-Tip and Hallie Kate Eisenberg (Paulie); it Will Be Available to View Online at SnagFilms.com, and All Supported Devices, Including Their Multi-Platform App
New York, NY (January Xx, 2015) – Inspired by actual events in the late ‘90s in which Hasidic Jews were recruited as drug mules, Holy Rollers was a Gotham Award winner and Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize nominee in 2010. On the eve of Sundance 2015, the crime drama, starring Oscar® nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Now You See Me »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
7 items from 2015
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