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Lee Daniels and Julie Klausner to Mentor Diverse NYC TV Writers, and More Filmmaker Opportunities

Also: Film Independent announces Screenwriting Lab participants.

Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels

Joseph Viles/FOX

With scripted television production at record highs (52 shows during the 2015-16 season) in New York City, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) today launched a new initiative geared toward bringing diversity to New York City’s writing staffs.

In conjunction with the the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), MOME Commissioner Julie Menin announced this morning the creation of the Made in NY Writers Room. A six month fellowship in which 12 participants will get a top showrunner to help them with their works in progress.

READ MORE: Directors Share The Best Piece of Advice They Received at The Sundance Labs

Each participant in the program is assigned to a dedicated mentor from a roster that includes Sarah Treem (“The Affair”), Lee Daniels (“Empire”), Beau Willimon (“House of Cards”), Julie Klausner (“Difficult People”), Julie Martin (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), Brian Koppelman (“Billions”), David Levien (“Billions”) and Richard LaGravenese (“The Divide”).

The submission period for applications to the Made in NY Writers Room program will open on September 15, 2016 and close at 11:59 p.m. ET on October 20, 2016.  No more than 500 applications will be reviewed for the fellowship, and the submission period will close at either the 500-application capacity or at the submission deadline, whichever occurs first.

The 6-month fellowship is expected to begin in June 2017 and continue through December 2017. Final dates will be dependent on various factors including mentor schedules.

For more information visit the Made in NY Writers Room website.

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Ignite

Short filmmakers between the ages of 18-24: Sundance is hosting an online film competition which could win you an opportunity to go the Sundance Film Festival.  To be one of the 15 winners, submit a 1-to-8 minute short film that explores the theme of “What’s Next?” by September 26th.  You can see what last year’s winners submitted here.

READ MORE: How ‘White Girl’ Filmmaker Elizabeth Wood Turned Her Own Life Into Summer’s Wildest Movie — Girl Talk

The Ignite Fellows Program, which is a product of Sundance’s partnership with Adobe’s Project 1324, is a competitive and intensive yearlong Sundance Institute experience designed to provide artistic and professional development, mentorship, and industry exposure for emerging filmmakers ages 18 to 24, commencing during the Sundance Film Festival. The Festival program includes mentorship meetings, intimate panel discussions with filmmakers and industry executives, exclusive Film Talks with Festival filmmakers, and access to special events, as well as full participation in all Ignite Ticket Package events and benefits.

To apply and learn more check out the Ignite website.

$20,000 Grant To Shoot in Florida

The online platform Stage 32 has announced a partnership with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission to provide a filmmaking contest where one writer and director will be flown to Florida and given a $20,000 production grant to film a short film in St. Petersburg/Clearwater. The Stage 32 Short Film Script Contest is accepting submissions now through November 15, 2016.

Filmmakers are to submit a 7-10 page short screenplay that is specifically written to be shot in St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida. The script can include a variety of locations including beaches, downtown urban, and the other various possibilities in the area.

READ MORE: Inside The Sundance Directors Lab: Why It’s So Valuable To Workshop Scenes

Winners will be also mentored by director/writer JT Mollner (“Outlaws and Angels,” Sundance 2016) and Tampa based production company Digital Caviar will oversee production. The film will be entirely casted and crewed using Stage 32. Submission fee is $30.

"Spa Night" came out of the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab

“Spa Night” came out of the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab

Film Independent Screenwriting Fellows

Film Independent this week announced the writers selected for their 18th annual screenwriting lab, which is a five week intensive program designed to help screenwriters bring their scripts to the next level.

This years projects are:

Writer/Director: Hikari
Logline: Yuma is a paraplegic comic book artist hidden away from society under her mother’s smothering care. When she chooses animating in the adult comic book world, Yuma is forced to discover a new identity, a purpose in life and embarks on a romance with a mysterious wheelchair taxi driver.

“College Girl”
Writer, Director, Producer: Joshua Tate
Logline: While attending a postsecondary program for adults with intellectual disabilities, a young woman with Down syndrome questions her place in the world in the face of impending motherhood.

“Dark Web”
Writer: Mark Eaton
Writer, Producer: Ron Najor
Logline: An I.T. specialist is forced to go off the grid to save her own life after she is manipulated into hacking and exploiting a large software company.

Writer: Evan Romansky
Logline: After tricked into contributing to the death of his best friend’s wife, a petty criminal must find the men who set him up before the former, a Detroit internal affairs investigator, uncovers the secret.

“Girl With Child”
Writer, Director: Maria Abraham
Logline: A lonely teenage girl in Ecuador travels with her toddler to visit her ill, troubled mother and searches for a new home and family to belong to along the way.

Writer, Producer: Felicia Pride
Logline: Set in a gentrifying Washington D.C., an emerging Black painter is forced to reexamine life when his best friend dies and the woman he’s lost returns for the funeral.

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