The National Association of Latino Independent Producers, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles and Starz have teamed up for a new initiative to support emerging writers from underrepresented communities.
Known as Take the Lead, the writer’s intensive is divided into two phases. The first will select 10 writers to receive mentorship by industry professionals, with the goal of helping them develop an episode treatment and pitch. Four writers will be selected by a jury to advance to the second stage, where they will write a full spec script with the support of executives and other industry professionals.
“Starz is thrilled to partner with NALIP and NFMLA, who proudly serve intersecting communities throughout all media,” said Kathryn Busby, Starz’s president of original programming. “It’s incredibly important to have underrepresented writers from all backgrounds tell their own stories and we are delighted to provide a great level of access through this new program.”
The first phase will take place from Aug. 22 to Sept. 16, while the second phase will take place from Oct. 3 to Nov. 4.
“Powered by the generosity and commitment of Starz, NALIP is thrilled to join forces with NewFilmmakers LA to launch the Starz Take the Lead Writers’ Intensive aimed at empowering and employing emerging writers from historically underrepresented communities,” Karla Pita Loor, chair of the NALIP, said in a statement. “Through programs and partnerships such as these, NALIP advances its commitment to correcting the systemic under-representation and chronic misrepresentation of Latine and all BIPOC communities on-screen and behind the scenes.”
“Providing opportunities like the Starz Take the Lead Writers’ Intensive are central to the missions of NFMLA and NALIP. Both of our organizations work throughout the year to cultivate opportunities for untapped talent and we couldn’t be more excited to launch this premium TV writers program in partnership with Starz,” Larry Laboe, NFMLA co-founder and executive director, said in a statement. “The program combines education, access and a real shot at a writers’ room and that is the kind of access that next-gen talent really needs.”
Submissions for the intensive can be submitted via the initiative’s Coverfly page. Applicants are required to be from a traditionally underrepresented background. Additionally, the program requires applicants to be the sole credited writer on a completed short or feature narrative film that has been accepted to a film festival, or to have a story department related credit — such as writer’s assistant, staff writer, show-runner’s assistant or script coordinator — on a TV show. The program will announce the 10 writers accepted to phase one on Aug. 8.