Sundance Institute and Laugh Out Loud, Kevin Hart’s production company and digital network, are teaming up to launch Women Write Now, a screenwriting fellowship dedicated to championing the next generation of Black women in comedy. “Through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition, this immersive program will offer a selection of talented writers the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentorship and professional guidance from leading Black women in comedy and to see their original comedic screenplay produced by LOL Studios,” a press release details.
The program, led by “Black-ish” scribe Yamara Taylor, will offer a selection of writers “the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentorship and professional guidance from leading Black women in comedy to write and develop their short comedic script into screenplay produced by LOL Studios!”
The fellowship includes a two-week screenwriting lab designed to help the writers develop their short scripts and work in the business beyond the fellowship. Taylor will serve as Lead Screenwriting Mentor for the lab.
Meagan Good (“Think Like a Man”), Bresha Webb (“Run the World”), and Gabrielle Dennis (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”) have signed on to each direct a selected project. The completed projects, which will feature above- and below-the-line crew primarily staffed by underrepresented talent, will premiere at a private screening during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and be distributed across LOL Network platforms including Peacock, YouTube, Facebook, and more.
“Black women have contributed to some of the industry’s most successful and innovative film and television content. Yet, opportunities for this group are still few and far between, especially in comedy. With Women Write Now, we’re not just shining a light on a problem, but also illuminating a path to long-term solutions,” said Laugh Out Loud President and COO Thai Randolph. “This project is another in our mission to cultivate, empower, and amplify diverse talent both in front of and behind the camera. We’re honored to partner with Sundance Institute to elevate the voices of talented Black women because we know that when you invest in women of color, it pays off in dividends.”
Michelle Satter, the Founding Senior Director of the Institute’s Artist Programs, added, “Our collaboration with LOL speaks to the core values of the Sundance Institute mission. Seeking the boldest and most promising independent voices and inviting them to hone their skills with established writers and industry figures, ensures a rich and thriving group of rising creatives. We are especially excited to support and amplify Black female comedy writers through this partnership.”
Applicants must identify as Black or African American; identify as female; be 18 years or older at the time of application; be an emerging non-union writer; and be based in the United States and legally authorized to work in the U.S.
The fellowship is now accepting submissions. The deadline to apply is August 5. You can find more information about the fellowship and apply here.