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Fox Writers Intensive Unveils 2016 Finalists

Fox Writers Intensive Unveils 2016 Finalists

Fox Audience Strategy today announced the finalists for its fifth annual Fox Writers Intensive (FWI), the company’s advanced writers’ platform designed to nurture experienced writers who have diverse voices, backgrounds and life experiences for potential staffing on Fox television, feature film and digital entertainment productions.

This year’s 10 FWI finalists and two alternates were selected from more than 500 nominations and submissions – the most ever in the history of FWI – by talent representation, Fox executives and showrunners, and arts organizations across the country, including National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Sundance Institute, Outfest, Film Independent, Women and Hollywood, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and the Fox HBCU Media Alliance. 

The finalists will spend 14 weeks honing their craft and establishing deeper connections with a wide range of Fox staff writers, showrunners, screenwriters, directors and creative executives.

The 2016 FWI writers/teams and their respective representatives are:

· Ahmadu Garba (Epicenter)

· Peter Chen (Independent)

· Jamila Daniel (Circle of Confusion and Don Buchwald & Associates)

· Julia Fontana (Circle of Confusion)

· Leon Hendrix (Independent)

· Ann Kim (Independent)

· Jasmine Elist & Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez (Independent)

· Jamie Rosengard (CAA & Management 360)

· Ester Lou Weithers (Independent)

· Jake Zebede (Independent)

· Tricia Johnson (Kaplan-Stahler Agency)

· Jorge Rivera (Independent)

This year, FWI has also partnered with the Young Storytellers, which is dedicated to inspiring young people to discover the power of their own voices. As part of their FWI experience, the 2016 finalists will mentor elementary school students who are participating in the Young Storytellers “Script to Stage” program, a semester-long program in which students write their own original short script, then see it performed live by professional actors.

“The growth of the Fox Writers Intensive over the past four years was a distinct goal, but even more gratifying is how the Fox businesses and shows have recognized and engaged in FWI as the creative resource it was designed to be. Our commitment to authentically engaging broader and diverse talent is stronger than ever,” said Nicole Bernard, Executive Vice President, Audience Strategy for 21st Century Fox. “Partnering with such a respected organization as Young Storytellers not only gives our finalists a deeper connection with the community, but also helps Fox build a future pipeline of dynamic storytellers.”

“As a showrunner for a new FOX series, I was anxious to have any writing help I could get. So I was thrilled to hire Jared Romero from FWI, a writer whose skills and training bettered those of staffers I’ve met with years more experience,” said Donald Todd, executive producer and showrunner, FOX’s SECOND CHANCE. “Jared’s immediate contributions in the room, as well as his professionalism and attitude – his willingness to take in stride the shifts that a first-year show has to make daily – spoke extremely well for the standards of the FWI. I would not hesitate to bring on another writer from the program.”

“Thanks to the Fox Writers Intensive, I was able to find a staff writer who came completely prepared on Day One to work in a writers’ room,” said Joe Henderson, executive producer and showrunner for FOX’s LUCIFER. “It’s a great program that I highly recommend writers apply for and showrunners draw talent from.”

Launched in 2011, the Fox Writers Intensive seeks both to elevate the craft of participating writers and further establish deeper connections with a wide range of Fox staff writers, showrunners, screenwriters, filmmakers and creative executives across television (both on-air and multi-platform), feature films and digital entertainment. Curated with Film Independent, a non-profit arts organization supporting artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision, the initiative offers trained writers a rigorous, four-month curriculum focused on 1) developing original material; 2) learning and honing writing skills for multiple mediums; and 3) exploring the business of media and entertainment.

Selected writers will have the opportunity to receive detailed feedback and guidance on their scripts through interactive “master classes” and will engage in intimate guest speaker sessions with experienced writers, showrunners, executives and directors to discuss case studies of their films and television shows, and learn about their writing processes. Upon successful completion of the program, finalists will receive priority staffing meetings for the established FWI Staff Writer position on Fox entertainment productions.

In addition, at the conclusion of the intensive:

· One (1) FWI finalist will be named the 2016 FWI Fellow. The FWI Fellow will be awarded the following: (i) either a purchase and development deal on his/her original script or a so-called “first-look” deal from Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) or any of its affiliated entities; (ii) an announcement across all Fox entertainment businesses and through entertainment trade publications; (iii) one-on-one creative meetings with network and other Fox entertainment business heads, as well as senior cross-divisional current and development executives; and (iv) priority staffing efforts across Fox entertainment properties.

· All FWI finalists will receive staffing meetings for current FOX entertainment series and a first-look agreement to option their original and new scripts.

Fox Audience Strategy is a department within 21st Century Fox designed to identify programming and operational opportunities that reflect diverse perspectives across all of its entertainment platforms.

For more information about the Fox Writers Intensive and a full list of referring organizations, please visit: http://www.foxaudiencestrategy.com/.

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