2017 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Semi-Finalists Selected

HBO announced the 30 writers selected to advance to the semi-final round of the 2017 HBOAccess Writing Fellowship. The fellowship pairs diverse, emerging storytellers with HBO and CineMax creative executives who shepherd them through the pilot development and production process over a 10-month period.

To date, the HBOAccess program has successfully supported its writers' and directors' careers. The fellows have gone on to staff on series, including Alan Ball's new upcoming family drama for HBO, "Timeless" (NBC), and booked directing jobs on the HBO series INSECURE and CRASHING.

"This program confirms that new and diverse talent is definitely out there," said Casey Bloys, President, HBO Programming. "With well over 3,600 applicants, we had some incredibly tough choices to make but we are excited about getting to know these new voices."

The 2017 HBOAccess Semi-Finalists are:

Taj Bates
Ritza Bloom
Nadine Cheung
Katherine Craft
Elena Crevello
Sara Alize Cross
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
Dana Donnelly and Audrey Kaufman
Claudia Forestieri
Zen Freese and Benjamin Ross Lyerly
Michael Fry
Michele Giannusa
Krystal Harris
Bryce Holcomb and Stephanie McFarlane
Sarah Hopkins
Sandra Kobrin
Wei Liu
Lauren Minnerath and Erin Sanger
Rehana Lew Mirza
Brandi Payne
Lia Romeo
Ziyad Saadi
Yohannes Skoda
Alyssa Weinberger
Myung Joh Wesner
A. Zell Williams

Ultimately 8 writing entities will participate in the fellowship which kicks off in July with a series of intensive master classes at the HBO offices in Santa Monica, California. Directors selected for the 2017 HBOAccess Directing fellowship program are assigned material developed by creators in the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship, effectively marrying the two programs.

In February, the 2018 Directing Fellowship will open for applications. The projects developed through the writing fellowship will then be considered for production. The 2016 and 2014 pilots can all be viewed on HBO NOW®, HBO GO®, HBO On Demand® and affiliate portals.

About HBOACCESS DIRECTING FELLOWSHIP The HBOAccess Directing Fellowship selects 3-4 fellows to participate in a biennial program designed to foster diverse directing talent. The program includes a series of master classes which lead into the production of a short film. Delivered by industry professionals both internal and external to HBO, the classes cover a variety of subjects including creative topics such as story and character, as well as the technical aspects of production and post. Upon completion of the course, the fellows are then given a budget and crew to direct a short presentation allowing them full immersion in a true industry production. HBO will continue to support the directors by screening the films for the entertainment community and offering shadowing opportunities on HBO series.

About HBOACCESS WRITING FELLOWSHIP In March 2015, HBO selected 9 writers to participate in the first HBOAccess Writing fellowship. In conjunction with the WGA, the bi-annual program began with a week-long intensive workshop covering story structure, character development, genre writing, getting an agent as well as other topics to help the fellows succeed in the industry. For 10 months following the workshop, participants were mentored by HBO creative executives as they developed a full-length pilot script. Like the directing fellowship, this program will be held every other year.

About Home Box Office, Inc. Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world's most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services - HBO® and Cinemax® - to approximately 131 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on demand products HBO On Demand® and CineMax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network's internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO's acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and CineMax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

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