Outfest Screenwriting Lab Grows Partnership with Netflix to Support LGBTQIA+ Voices

Wednesday May 11, 2022

Outfest Screenwriting Lab Grows Partnership with Netflix to Support LGBTQIA+ Voices
  (Source:Getty Images)

The following is a press release from Outfest:

Outfest, the premiere arts, media and entertainment organization, now in its 40th anniversary year, 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.

"Everyone knows that a great film, a great series, a great story begins with the screenplay. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Screenwriting Lab was Outfest's first foray outside of our namesake festival. The expanded partnership with Netflix allows us to further expand the reach and impact of this heralded program," stated Outfest Executive Director, Damien S. Navarro.

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 virtually in October, making it an accessible opportunity for storytellers across the globe, and opened for applications on May 9th. With support from Netflix, Outfest is further 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).

For more information on how to submit, visit https://www.outfest.org/submissions/.

To discover more about Outfest membership, the Empathy Fund, the alumni network, or a calendar of events, go to www.outfest.org or connect to our social channels at @outfest.