New York Stage & Film Announces Filmmakers' Workshop Participants & Mentors

By: Jul. 13, 2020
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New York Stage & Film Announces Filmmakers' Workshop Participants & Mentors

New York Stage and Film has announced the 15 early-career film and TV writers who have been selected to participate in the 2020/2021 Filmmakers' Workshop. The writers will be paired with professional mentors for a year-long program of intensive creative discussions, peer feedback, developmental readings, classes on pitching, TV staffing, editing, navigating the notes process and career strategies as well as industry networking.

This year's participants are Nancy Bannon (Willow); David Baugnon (Trip); Rob Bellon (Pariah); Anika Benkov (The Bitter Pill); Yakira Chambers (Myseducation); Kim Dempster (The Watchers); Jenny Halper (Ways to Hide in Winter;); Alessandro King (King of Swing); Savanah Leaf (Earth Mother); Guru Ramanathan (Londoni); Traven Rice (Red Rock Falls); Charia Rose (True Story); Minnie Schedeen (The Ark); and Shawn Snyder & Jason Begue (SANNYASA).

The Filmmakers' Workshop professional mentors feature Zakiyyah Alexander (Hunters); Elsie Choi (Rideback); Rebecca Choi (Archer Gray); Laura Eason (Loudest Voice in the Room); Jessica Goldberg (Away, The Path); William Goldberg (Infinitely Polar Bear); Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction); Michael Hoffman (The Last Station); Soo Hugh (Pachinko); Toni Kalem (A Slipping Down Life); Aditi Brennan Kapil (American Gods); Max Mayer (Adam); Michael London (Sideways); Janine Nabers (Atlanta, Watchmen); Jacquelyn Reingold (The Good Fight); Anslem Richardson (The Boys); Amy Robinson (Julie & Julia); Shelby Stone (The Chi, Bessie); Ben Watkins (Hand of God); and Diana Williams (Madison Wells Media). Additional mentors to be announced at a later date.

"New York Stage and Film is dedicated to storytellers working on both stage and screen through flexible, responsive and adaptive processes," said Artistic Director Chris Burney. "During this time of unprecedented challenges, we know it is important to tailor support for an even larger group of earlycareer screenwriters."

"It feels crucial to be able to create community and support the work of writers right now," said Director of the Filmmakers' Workshop Marin Gazzaniga. "I've been so inspired by the industry mentors who are coming on board to provide one-on-one feedback on the work. It's a challenging time for creative work and this group is coming together to dig into stories and help each other fulfill their visions."

New York Stage and Film Filmmakers' Workshop usually begins with a weeklong residency at Vassar as part of the Powerhouse season. This year, the program has been redesigned as a virtual workshop to provide even deeper engagement, creative solutions, and tailored support to writers during a time of uncertainty. It will run through 2020-21, with weekly virtual engagement through the fall, culminating in a summer residency during the 2021 Powerhouse Season. Participants will receive oneon-one mentorship, participate in round table discussions with industry leaders, and in-depth group discussions of their work. The virtual portion of the Workshop will be co-facilitated by the program's director Marin Gazzaniga, who is being joined by Luis Castro, a previous mentor and independent producer and strategist whose mission is to fuse storytelling and social impact.

Alumna Azia Squire, whose current credits include Amari and the Night Brothers (Universal) and "First Ladies" (Showtime), attended the 2017 Filmmakers' Workshop. She said, "The NYSAF Workshop was a huge turning point for me as a writer because it was the first time I was immersed in such a diverse and supportive group of fellow writers! What the Workshop provides is an opportunity to build a dayone writer's family. That is rare and invaluable, especially so early in your career."


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