WWFC Selects 8 Fellows in Inaugural Pilot Accelerator Program to Improve Diversity

(Image credit: WWFC)

NEW YORK—Women's Weekend Film Challenge (WWFC) has announced the eight fellows chosen for its inaugural pilot accelerator. These eight emerging writers were selected out of 723 applicants.

The accelerator program was announced earlier this year as part of an effort to help advance the careers of emerging female writers and increase the representation of women and non-binary people in television.

This October, the fellows will have the opportunity to pitch to studios, production companies and executive producers including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Horizon Television, Comedy Central, Jax Media, Berlanti Productions, Broadway Video, Blumhouse Television, Sid Gentle Films, Element Pictures, Fabel Entertainment, Tornante, Semi-Formal Productions, Good Fear Content, Clifton Campbell, Leonard Dick and Kevin Fox.

Before pitching, fellows will attend a three-week intensive training, where they’ll learn directly from industry insiders, including Elle Johnson, co-showrunner of “Self Made”; Matthew J. Lieberman, supervising producer of “Queen of the South”; Christine Walters, development executive, writer and producer, whose credits include “Tacoma FD” and “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”; public speaking coach Samara Bay, best known for dialect work with clients Gal Gadot and Rachel McAdams; and entertainment lawyer Anuj Gupta. The program will culminate with a week of pitching to studios, production companies and producers who are looking for new material and/or new writers.

The inaugural fellows and their pilots are Danielle Nicki (“Welcome to Nirvana”), Joanne Thomson (“Spinner & Marie”), Kate Torgovnick May (“Something Sweet”), Kenyetta Raelyn (“Tenth”), Ramou Sarr (“Killing It”), Samantha Wilson (“Foresight”), Spade Robinson (“Little Shop of Daughters”) and Vivian Kerr (“Five Points”).

The eight selected fellows were vetted by WWFC’s panel of prestigious judges including Nicole Mirante-Matthews (co-executive producer, “The Walking Dead”), Elle Johnson (co-showrunner of “Self-Made”), Leigh Davenport (creator, “Run the World”), Anita Kapila (co-executive producer, “Kim’s Convenience”), Jasmine Russ (director of development at Fabel Entertainment), Christine Walters (development executive, writer and producer), Obehi Janice (writer, Hulu’s “Castle Rock”), Shukri Abdi (writer, “Kevin Can F**k Himself”), Kristina Thomas (writer, upcoming Bad Robot/HBO “Demimonde”) and Dana Farley (literary department, Good Fear Content). 

“We enlisted the help of executive producers, development executives and TV writers to judge the 24 semifinalist pilot scripts. Already, some of those judges requested meetings with writers whose work they read and evaluated. This is so exciting because we’re not only helping to advance the careers of the writers who applied to our program; we’re also helping these producers find new talent,” WWFC co-founder Tracy Sayre said.

WWFC co-founder Katrina Medoff added that “the scripts chosen for this accelerator run the gamut from comedy to sci-fi to contemporary and period dramas. The one thing that unifies all of these scripts is the pure talent of these writers and their passion for telling women’s stories,” 

WWFC was founded by Medoff and Sayre in 2017 to promote gender equity behind the camera and on screen. 

This accelerator is sponsored in part by SanDisk Professional and Final Draft. For more information, visit womensweekendfilmchallenge.com/accelerator-program.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.