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An Iranian-American filmmaker from Los Angeles and a screenwriter from Oakland are the winners of the first grants from the Macro Episodic Lab Powered by the Black List designed to nurture the careers of storytellers of color.

Sahar Jahani and K.C. Scott will each receive development support and a budget of up to $30,000 for a pilot presentation or sizzle reel. The winners were unveiled Saturday morning at the Macro Lodge at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Jahani and Scott were selected from a pool of more than 3,000 applications that were narrowed to 500 scripts that made the semi-final round. Judges for the contest included Eva Longoria, Lena Waithe and executives from Macro, the production banner headed by Charles King, and Black List, the annual survey of the industry’s unproduced screenplays.

Jahani grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She worked as a development coordinator for YouTube originals before becoming a writers’ assistant on the upcoming Hulu series “Ramy,” for which she wrote her first episode of television.

Scott was raised in Chicago and now lives in Oakland. His short film script “Nevada Zoo” was a finalist for the 2018 Shore Scripts Short Film Fund. He’s participated in fiction workshops at Carleton College, Northwestern University and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. His feature screenplay “This is Working” was highlighted in 2015 on the screenwriting podcast “Scriptnotes.”

(Pictured Sahar Jahani, K.C. Scott)