Women’s Weekend Film Challenge (WWFC) is launching a pilot accelerator program for writers to pitch female-centric content.
The program, which will see emerging TV writers pitching beginning in October of this year, was designed to help such writers advance their careers, as well as to increase the representation of women non-binary people working in television.
“So many members of our community have pilot scripts ready to go but no one to pitch to,” WWFC co-founder Tracy Sayre said in a statement. “This gap became especially apparent over the last year as we’ve hosted weekly virtual workshops; far and away, the most popular events have centered around how to pitch and how to break into the writers room. This accelerator is a natural response to the career goals of our community.”
WWFC is accepting applications for the accelerator on FilmFreeway from June 17 to July 21, 2021. The program will take place virtually.
Expecting hundreds of applicants, they plan to select six to eight to go on to pitch companies including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Horizon Television, Jax Media, Berlanti Productions, Broadway Video, Element Pictures, Fabel Entertainment and Tornante this fall, the organization said.
The six to eight selected fellows will be vetted by a panel of judges including Nicole Mirante-Matthews, co-executive producer, “The Walking Dead”; Elle Johnson, executive producer, “Self-Made”; Charise Castro Smith, screenwriter, “Encanto”; Obehi Janice, staff writer, “Castle Rock”; and Kristina Thomas, staff writer, “Demimonde.”
The fellows will attend a three-week intensive training on pitching ahead of their meetings. During that intensive, they will hear from public speaking coach Samara Bay, Johnson and entertainment lawyer Anuj Gupta, among others. Then, the program will culminate in a week of pitching to studios, production companies and individual producers who are looking for new material and/or new writers to hire. (In addition to the aforementioned companies, individual producers who are on board to take pitches are Kevin Fox, co-executive producer, “Law & Order: SVU” and and Clifton Campbell, executive producer “Sleepy Hollow” and “The Glades.”
“We have seen firsthand how much talent is out there, but many underrepresented writers lack the opportunity to get their work in front of industry decision-makers. Without programs like our new pilot accelerator, audiences will continue to miss out on so many amazing stories and voices,” WWFC co-founder Katrina Medoff said. “That’s what WWFC is all about — breaking down the barriers to women and non-binary people progressing in the industry.”
WWFC was founded by Medoff and Sayre in 2017 in order to address the lack of representation for women both behind the camera and on screen in the industry.