Film Independent has defined the participants and projects for its sixth annual Episodic Lab – an intensive program, designed to provide individualized story and career development for emerging television writers with original pilots. The list includes Christopher Au (Cape and data), Miguel Orozo & Boris Rodríguez (East of Los Aliens), Terry Dawson (Makeba)GG Hawkins (Murder Podcast), Sarah Mokh (Room 099), and the duo Ben Gonzales & Erica Bardin (The act).
This year’s Lab will be a two-week virtual program helping to advance the careers of its fellows by introducing them to industry veterans who can offer advice on both the craft and the business of the episodic content writing. With personalized feedback from experienced showrunners, creative producers, and executives, Fellows will gain the tools to revise and refine their pilots and navigate an evolving industry landscape. A final networking and pitching event will then offer attendees the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work to studio and network executives.
Creative Advisors and Guest Speakers for the 2022 Episodic Lab include Linda Yvette Chávez, Silka Luisa, Robbie Pickering, Rebecca Sonnenshine, Ligiah Villalobos, Patrick Magill, Stacy Rukeyser, Jessica Schulman, Marc Mounier, Eliza Wheeler, Elaine Chin, Sydney Lowe, Laura Garrison , Miura Kite, Ellen Shanman, Kelly Kulchak and Sheila Hanahan Taylor. The lab’s founding sponsor, Netflix, will pair each fellow with an industry advisor and provide them with opportunities to learn from the showrunners behind their series.
“We are extremely proud to partner with Film Independent on their signature program for emerging television writers,” said Peter Friedlander, who is Netflix’s Vice President of Scripted Series, US and Canada. “We look forward to supporting these eight talented writers over the coming weeks.”
Film Independent also announced that it will award this year’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to 2022 Lab Fellow Au, who will receive a $20,000 grant to support the development of its pilot, Cape and data. Awarded to outstanding writers whose screenplays integrate science or technology themes and characters into dramatic stories, the Sloan Episodic Lab Grant is part of the Foundation’s National Film Program aimed at advancing public understanding of science and technology. technology.
“I am honored to receive this year’s Alfred P. Sloan Development Grant,” said Au. “Cape and data is a tech spy thriller that explores behind the scenes of Silicon Valley during the mobile revolution of the late 2000s, when startups were moving fast and breaking things. I appreciate the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for this story, which seeks to highlight the importance of information security in our increasingly digital world.
Film Independent’s MPAC Hollywood Bureau Writing Fellowship will go to Mokh, who will receive $10,000 from the organization elevating stories by and about Muslims, in support of his pilot project, Room 099.
“We’re proud to support writers with such spirit, talent, and dedication to authentic storytelling in this year’s Episodic Lab,” Associate Director of Fiction Programs Dea Vazquez said in closing, “and to to be able to nurture their artistic voices and careers in the program.”
The non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Film Independent is also looking to support upcoming filmmakers through Project Involve, other Filmmaker Labs (directing, documentary, producing and screenwriting), its accelerated funding marketplace and its fiscal sponsorship, as well as through other grants and awards, which provide more than $1 million annually in cash and services to visual storytellers.
Former Episodic Lab Fellows include April Shih, who wrote on FX David, Mrs Americaand you are the worst and secured an overall deal at FX Productions; Kimi Lee, who sold her show $sugar in a four-way bidding war against Hulu; Henry “Hank” Jones, who wrote on Netflix Family meeting and peacock Bel-Air; KD Dávila, who wrote on CBS Hi and Freeform Homeland: Fort Salem; and Stephanie Adams-Santos, who wrote on The CW’s Horror stories in two sentences.
Below is more information about the drivers developed by participants in Episodic Lab 2022.
Title: Cape and data
Writer: Christopher Au
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow
Logline: A straight-arrow software engineer is unwittingly thrust into the lucrative underworld of tech espionage, putting her on a dangerous collision course with elite hackers, law enforcement, and the NSA.
Title: East of Los Aliens
Writer: Miguel Orozco, Boris Rodriguez
Logline: After a spaceship crashes in East Los Angeles, a mixed-status Latino family rescues an alien and must muster the courage to defy government officials and rescue the alien from a evil that could sound the death knell for humanity.
Writer: Terry Dawson
Logline: In 1959, Harry Belafonte discovered the South African singer Miriam Makeba in a London nightclub and invited her to America with the promise of making her a huge star. He delivers and she becomes extremely popular throughout the 60s. But when she falls in love with notorious political activist and Black Panther Stokely Carmichael, she finds herself blackballed from showbiz and exiled from her country.
Title: Murder Podcast
Writer: GG Hawkins
Logline: When a climate radio reporter is forced to investigate a homicide in a rural town, her aspirations for journalistic integrity are threatened by obsessive podcast listeners – true crime junkies with a thirst for revenge . Murder Podcast is a horror drama series about our cultural fixation with true crime.
Title: Room 099
Writer: Sarah Mokh
MPAC, recipient of the Hollywood Bureau scholarship
Logline: In a secret basement prayer room, hidden from their peers and the Ivy League administration, a group of Muslim students struggle to find their place on campus and in America.
Title: The act
Writer: Ben Gonzales, Erica Bardin
Logline: When a struggling entrepreneur receives an unexpected inheritance with ineligible terms, he must comply to protect his family from sinister forces.