Young writers presented samples of their work in a live staged reading on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at the Television Academy's Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, California.
Writers Governors Regina Y. Hicks and Judalina Neira, along with their Peer Group Executive Committee, invite members of the Writers, Producers, and Professional Representatives Peer Groups to:
The showcase features eight up-and-coming television writers who, in consultation with established guest writers and executives, have developed an original pilot during a 10-week self-directed intensive program, sponsored by the Television Academy. Each writer will introduce their project, followed by a staged reading of a select scene from each pilot.
Refreshments and networking to follow the presentation.
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RSVP is required.
We look forward to seeing you!
Hosted by SUJATA DAY
Insecure, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Directed by DANIEL WILLIS
Daniel Willis is a director who draws on his experience growing up on Chicago's south side. He is a 2017 Sony Pictures Television Directing Fellow and 2018 Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow. His short films and television projects have screened at festivals around the world including The LA Film Festival, The Chicago International Television Festival, SeriesFest, The New York Television Festival, ITVFest and the Cannes Short Film Corner. Daniel most recently directed a season six episode of NBC's The Blacklist and season 15 episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy.
GURSHA, half-hour dramedy - A half-hour buddy dramedy about a bored and disillusioned former Eritrean revolutionary who helps his late blooming daughter survive middle school in return for helping him win over their xenophobic neighborhood.
Born to Eritrean revolutionaries in an Italian convent, Selam Andeberhan was witness to clashing ideals of order and disorder throughout her formative years in Edmonton, Alberta. As a voluntold teen waitress in her parents' cafe, Selam mingled with fringe activists that landed her a guest speaking spot at an underground reform school for Johns. Since relocating to Los Angeles she's graduated from USC's Peter Stark Producing Program, earned TV development stripes at The CW and FOX networks, and supported the writers' offices of Grey's Anatomy and black-ish. After serving as an assistant to Kenya Barris, she now serves as a creative executive at his production company, Khalabo Ink Society.
JADED, half-hour dramedy - When the mother and wife of a ten-going-on-thirty 4th grader and a militant immigrant passes away, her well-meaning but unnecessarily-pushy best friend sweeps in uninvited. Based on the writer's motherless childhood, JADED is a light-hearted exploration of grief through a colorful lens.
A first generation Caribbean-American, Alesia Etinoff is an LA-based content creator and comedian that recently wrote and starred in a short film that Liz Destro (The Butler, SMILF) produced and Zoe Saldana's Cinestar executive produced; Alesia stars opposite Sherri Shepherd, Lamorne Morris and Marque Richardson. Her 2017 web series Avant-Guardians won Best Short Form Dramedy at the prestigious NYTVF, was nominated for best web series at ABFF, and is an official selection for the LA Film Festival and Downtown LA Film Festival. It's received rave reviews from Essence, Bust Magazine, Decider and TubeFilter. The pilot she wrote, inspired by the series, made it to the second round of the Sundance Episodic Story Lab and is currently in the second round of the MACRO Episodic Story Lab. Alesia has showcased at the Hollywood Improv, Nerdmelt and Zanies Chicago and can be seen regularly around town. She is a UCB Diversity Scholar and a graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Alesia Etinoff partnered with the Television Academy to coordinate this Diversity Writing initiative.
BLACK & BLUE, half-hour dramedy - When the prince of a multigenerational police family has a panic attack during his police academy graduation, he has to wrestle with his obligations to his self, community, and family's legacy.
The only artist in his multigenerational cop-family, Troy Dangerfield is a writer, producer, and actor born and raised in San Francisco. By the age of 14, Troy had already traveled to 13 different countries, so as a global citizen, Troy's worldview greatly influences his art and the perspective of the characters he creates. After wearing many hats on ABC's Castle (Line Producers', Showrunner's, and Writers' Assistant), Troy went onto create Tokens, a web series which he wrote, produced, and self-funded. The series was acquired by Facebook Watch as one of the first scripted series to be streamed on their platform. He is a basketball enthusiast, a huge fan of anime and loves all things Japanese, especially ramen. As a classically trained Violist and ranked chess champion, he strives every day to bring sexy back for all the black nerds of the world. He is also a ride or die for his alma mater, Syracuse University, Go Orange!
TELL ME HOW TO STAY ALIVE, hour-long drama - On her one year anniversary, Manuela burns her sobriety to the ground. After a week-long bender, she is met with a life changing surprise at the Emergency Room. A story of addiction, personal history, and a legendary family curse that follows Manuela across continents, TELL ME HOW TO STAY ALIVE fuses the dark humor of Phoebe Waller-Bridge with the dramatic underpinnings of Junot Diaz.
Priscila Garcia-Jacquier was most recently part of Imagine Impact's inaugural class. She has served as the writer's assistant to Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman) and most recently, Graham Moore (The Imitation Game). She recently appeared in Forbes for her digital talk show Quiero. She assisted Kenny Leon on Broadway's Holler If Ya Hear Me, and Kamilah Forbes' on The Labyrinth Theater's Sunset Baby. Originally from Colombia, Priscila was the first Latina to graduate from Carnegie Mellon's undergrad directing program in 2014.
SINGLE-ARITY, half-hour sci-fi dark comedy - An unlucky-in-love entrepreneur falls for a tech genius, only to eventually consider that he might need to be killed in order to save humanity.
Jonathan Harris is your typical LA-based content creator, holding three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (don't worry, he's still flummoxed by Rubik's cubes). His pilot, How to Save the Hood, a family dramedy pilot loosely based on his upbringing in Chicago, is currently in the second round of the MACRO Episodic Lab. Jonathan most recently worked in development for Kenya Barris's burgeoning empire, contributing to almost every aspect of the development and production process. In particular, he played a pivotal role in staffing the black-ish spinoff, grown-ish starring Yara Shahidi, which went on to garner great critical and commercial acclaim. Before working for Kenya, Jonathan worked in indie film production, supported the TV department at CAA and perhaps, most notably, served as the heel at every house party in DC when they found out he worked at Fannie Mae before, during and after the housing crisis. The most important thing to know about Jonathan is that he hates avocados and plans to be among the first to go when the zombie apocalypse comes.
TASKER, half-hour comedy - After losing his mom and thusly acting out, the young CEO of a successful work-for-hire app gets fired from his own company for bad behavior. Determined to work his way back to the top, he joins his own app as a lowly employee.
Best known for playing one of the leads, Jermaine Le Forge, on The Mayor (ABC), Bernard Jones most recently booked a supporting role in Prentice Penny's Netflix film Uncorked! His dramedy pilot Giselle, about the rebuilding of a once thriving black-owned magazine, is currently in the second round of the MACRO Episodic Lab. Bernard received his B.A. in Theatre from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. While in college, Bernard was given the opportunity of a lifetime. He went out on an international tour, singing backgrounds for Grammy nominated singer Lyfe Jennings. Bernard's first professional show was at the Alliance Theatre. He played Lil D in Andre 3000's Class of 3000. Working with Andre 3000 was a dream realized. He's played Mushu in Disney's Mulan and originated the role of JB in The Real Tweenagers of Atlanta, to name a few. When Bernard is not on stage, you can find him on TV. He has appeared as Milo on Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (TBS) and House of Payne (TBS). He has also appeared on Single Ladies (VH1) opposite Isaiah Washington and Lisa Raye. Bernard is also an accomplished photographer.
SUNSHINE KINGDOM, half-hour drama - When a princess character at a beloved Florida theme park goes missing, her sister must delve into the park's sinister underbelly to save her.
Laura Snow is a writer living in Los Angeles. She began her career at Paradigm Talent Agency. From there she moved into production and development at Mandeville Films, where she provided support in developing and producing television ideas for network, streaming and cable outlets. She recently served as the Writers' Assistant on upcoming ABC drama, The Fix from Marcia Clark. Currently, Laura is the Writers' Assistant on an innovative two-series drama project based on two John Grisham novels, The Rainmaker and Rogue Lawyer, for Hulu, ABC Signature and Maniac Productions. Laura recently co-wrote and produced her first play, Frigid Bitches, which sold out its entire run prior to opening night. She is also a UCB-trained improviser, originally from Phoenix, Arizona.
JENNIE WOLFGRAM & SARAH-RAQUEL JIMENEZ (writing partners)
MODERN WOMEN, hour-long drama - Set in New York 1920's, working-class Maeve's world is turned upside down when she's given an opportunity to attend a prestigious finishing school. While there she'll meet her estranged prominent family where secrets are revealed, ideals are questioned and unlikely friendships are born.
Jennie Wolfgram is currently the Executive Assistant to Showrunner Michael Seitzman (Code Black, Quantico, The Grisham Universe). Originally from MN, Jennie's love for television brought her out to Los Angeles to work for Dr. Phil and The Doctors talk shows. Soon, she landed a spot at Imagine Entertainment where she met her now writing partner, Sarah-Raquel Jimenez. Their scripts have placed in the Quarter-Finals of ScreenCraft and Semi-Finals of the Austin Film Festival. Jennie's also the co-host of the podcast Rom-Com Actually, where they discuss modern romance in connection to the beloved romantic comedy genre.
Sarah-Raquel Jimenez grew up in a blended Mormon family in the quaint town of Las Vegas. She started her career path producing independent film. While working at WME, Principato Young management and Imagine Entertainment Sarah continued to pursue her dream of becoming a working writer. Inspired by her unique upbringing, she sold her first pilot, Vegas High and is currently developing it at TNT with Michael Showalter attached to produce and direct.
Writer photos by Bernard Jones
To request materials to read and/or coordinate a meeting, please contact WritersToWatch2018@gmail.com.