Netflix and Outfest Screenwriting Lab Expand Partnership to Support LGBTQIA+ Voices

Published on: 10 May 2022
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Top industry showrunners, executives, and writers will mentor ten LGBTQIA+ screenwriters. The intensive Lab will take place over Zoom in October. Outfest is one of the only global LGBTQIA+ arts, media, and entertainment organisations whose programmes empower artists, communities, and filmmakers to change the world through their stories while supporting them throughout their careers.

Outfest is announcing an expansion of their 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab in partnership with Netflix. Initially created in 1997 as a screenwriting contest, the Outfest Screenwriting Lab has become the cornerstone of Outfest’s education and creative development programming. 

Through this year’s program, 10 LGBTQIA+ screenwriters will have the opportunity to be mentored by top industry showrunners, executives, and writers who will offer professional development, scriptwriting support, and insight into the latest trends within the industry. The week-long intensive Lab will take place over Zoom in October, and applications are opening today. With support from Netflix, Outfest is expanding access to their program by waiving the submission fees for all applicants and providing grants for each of the selected screenwriters to help financially support them.

“Working with Netflix to provide further financial assistance for creators, whether it is removing the financial barrier to apply or by giving out grants to each of our screenwriting fellows, helps us further deliver on Outfest’s mission to empower LGBTQIA+ storytellers,” 

said Outfest Artistic Director Faridah Gbadamosi.

“We are excited to continue building up the next generation of Hollywood’s storytellers.”

This partnership between Outfest and Netflix is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, an effort to help create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented communities within the TV and film industries. 

Outfest taps some of their most accomplished alumnus and industry leaders as mentors, including showrunners Jaclyn Moore (Dear White People, Queer as Folk), Alvaro Rodriguez (Seis Manos, American Rust), Micah Schraft (Mrs. America), Mikko Alanne (The Long Road Home), alongside writers Eduardo Cisneros, Chuck Hayward, MW Wilson. Executives Manny Jaquez, Bianca Quesada, David Ruby, Andrew Wang, Julie Waters, and industry reps Biz Hurst, Clifford Murry, Cora Olson, and Martin To.

Fellows also receive one-on-one mentorship from LGBTQIA+ showrunners, writers/ producers, feature writers, and studio and network executives. Past mentors include: Daniel Barnz (Generation), Gabe Liedman (Pen15, Q-Force), Alvaro Rodriguez (Seis Manos, American Rust), Marja-Lewis Ryan (The L Word: Generation Q), Micah Schraft (Mrs. America), Halsted Sullivan (Central Park), Keisha Zollar (Astronomy Club, Iron Mike), Mike Armbruster (Feel the Beat), Imogen Binnie (Cruel Summer), Elegance Bratton (Pier Kids), Kelly Lynne D'Angelo (Miracle Workers), Fola Goke-Pariola (Paper Girls), Chuck Hayward (WandaVision, Ted Lasso), John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings), Neil Landau (Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead), Mike Mosallam (Breaking Fast), Christina Nieves (Generation), George Northy (G.B.F., Charmed), Marquita J. Robinson (Black-ish, GLOW), Michelle Sam (On the Spectrum), Zackery Alexzander Stephens (Q-Force, The Amber Ruffin Show), juliany taveras (With Love), Patrick Tobin (Cake), and executives Tim Honigman (Mainstay Entertainment), Samantha Housman (51 Entertainment), Mallory Schwartz (Mythical Entertainment), David Sigurani (Aftershock Media), Andrew Tolbert (Hello Sunshine).

OUTFEST® is one of the only global LGBTQIA+ arts, media, and entertainment organizations whose programs empower artists, communities, and filmmakers to transform the world through their stories while supporting the entire lifecycle of their careers. In its 40th year, Outfest continues to center its mission to create visibility for diverse LGBTQIA+ stories and empower storytellers, building empathy to drive meaningful social change. Outfest programs allow artists, filmmakers, and entertainment professionals to discover their voice, provide pathways to the visibility of their work by all members of the public, and assure that their legacy will live on for generations to come.

Outfest’s tentpole film festival programs and digital channels include the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival, and the OutMuseum. Its robust filmmaker and talent mentorship and education programs and courses include the Outfest Screenwriting Lab, Outfest InFusion studio days, Fusion Workshops, OutSet Young Filmmakers Project, and the Outfest Anthony Meindl Trans Acting Fellowship. In addition, the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, a partnership with UCLA Film & Television Archive, is the only archive in the world exclusively dedicated to preserving LGBTQ moving images.

Source: Netflix newsroom

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