Universal Launches Animation Writers Program To Elevate Diverse Voices – Deadline

On Tuesday, Universal Filmed Leisure Group introduced that it’s launching a brand new Animation Writers Program, aimed toward uplifting underrepresented voices in movie and tv.

The writers chosen for this system’s inaugural cohort are Shari Coleman, Kiana Johnson, Senibo Myers, David Ngo and Joe Winters. Every was chosen for one in all three writing tracks: a Movie Observe, or one in all two TV Tracks catered in direction of totally different demographics (Preschool ages 3-5 or Youngsters ages 6-11).

The Universal Animation Writers Program was conceived by NBCUniversal’s World Expertise Improvement & Inclusion workforce, the aim being to establish and develop an inclusive group of expertise who can construct upon the Studio’s dedication to telling tales with distinctive narratives that enchantment to and mirror the huge variety of its audiences.

The primary 5 writers within the one-year paid program will profit from skilled improvement, in addition to an immersive expertise of the Studio’s manufacturing course of, by way of workshops, seminars, sponsorship, and government, filmmaker and showrunner- led roundtable discussions. They will even have the chance to collaborate intently with inventive execs at DreamWorks Animation and Illumination, as they develop their materials, in addition to enterprise items and manufacturing entities affiliated with UFEG and NBCUniversal together with Common 1440 Leisure, Common Studio Group and the Leisure Group.

“DreamWorks has all the time been a spot to construct the desires of unconventional heroes. This endeavor requires numerous voices from distinctive backgrounds. Thanks to the World Expertise Improvement & Inclusion workforce for constructing the Animation Writers Program and shining a lightweight on underrepresented expertise,” stated Margie Cohn, President of DreamWorks Animation. “We’re excited to dig in and start working with this promising group of writers.”

“Figuring out and nurturing first time filmmakers and expertise has all the time been a central pillar of Illumination’s course of,” added Chris Meledandri, Founder and CEO of Illumination. “We stay up for collaborating with the extraordinary group of inaugural members within the Animation Writers program to develop new and revolutionary animated tasks.”

The Common Animation Writers Program is the second of its variety from UFEG, which additionally boats a long-running writers program for live-action. Notable alumni of the Common Writers Program embrace Juel Taylor (Creed II), who’s presently creating a venture with Common and Lebron James’ The SpringHill Firm; Sarah Cho, a workers author on the upcoming Hulu and Common Content material Productions collection The Lady from Plainville; and Leon Hendrix, co-writer and exec producer of Cointelpro, a drama collection in improvement at Peacock.

Further info on members within the 2021 Common Animation Writers Program might be discovered under:

Shari Coleman (TV, Youngsters 6-11)

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, although a self-proclaimed “youngster of the world”, Shari Coleman is definitely a baby at coronary heart. Rising up having been impacted by quite a few animated exhibits and flicks, Coleman goals to create tales that’ll give a voice to the unseen and the unheard. Being lucky sufficient to do a little bit of worldwide volunteering in her highschool years opened her eyes to new cultures, experiences and the wonders of the world we dwell in. Her profession started when she out of the blue realized on the peak of school app season that she in truth didn’t wish to pursue medication and would pursue movie as a substitute. A choice, to notice, that made her father lower than thrilled. But, rising up biracial gave her sufficient expertise in persistently redefining folks’s expectations and perceptions of her to show him incorrect. Attending CSU Northridge, Coleman did simply that. Inside the distinction of receiving her B.A. in Movie Manufacturing, she was awarded with the titles of Hollywood International Press Affiliation Scholar and Fellow in addition to the chance to direct her first brief movie, Residence, which can run the competition circuit this summer time. She was additionally lucky sufficient to work the Cannes Movie Competition and be personally beneficial to the Academy Gold program (now Gold Rising). Coleman presently has TV credit for Disney Channel’s Bunk’d and an editorial credit score for AMC’s Creepshow Animated Particular.

Kiana Johnson (TV, Youngsters 6-11)

A local Texan, Kiana Johnson has spent a majority of her life touring up and down I-35. Born and raised in San Antonio, she graduated in 2018 from the College of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Radio-TV-Movie with a spotlight in Screenwriting. Throughout her time at UT, Johnson co-founded the Black Movie Scholar Affiliation with two associates to supply a safe-space and studying group for folks of coloration. Her awards embrace advancing to the second spherical in AFF’s 2019 Comedy Spec Class, and profitable ‘Class Clown’ on 5 separate events from unaffiliated organizations. After commencement, Johnson bagged groceries to fund her life in LA, writing and studying in her spare time. A queer, Black girl, Johnson loves to write down characters that mirror the magic and variety of the folks she’s met. She adores fantasy, sci-fi, and Whataburger, and maintains that it’s higher than In-N-Out.

Senibo Myers (TV, Preschool)

Senibo Myers is a author who likes to discover distinctive friendships between characters of various backgrounds, experiences, and identities, together with folks, animals, and even inanimate objects. He holds a B.A. in Digital Cinema/Screenwriting from DePaul College, an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York College’s Tisch Faculty of the Arts, and is a proud #GirlDad. His writing was offered within the Tisch Dramatic Writing Fellowship of New Works and the Black is the New Black Play Competition, which he co-produced. Myers was a Finalist for J.J. Abrams’s Dangerous Robotic Mentorship Program and a Semifinalist within the PlayStation Rising Filmmakers Program. He’s labored at Nickelodeon, MTV, Spike TV, DreamWorks, and ABC. He has written for the MTV Film Awards, Individuals’s Selection Awards, and America’s Greatest Dance Crew. For Myers, storytelling is an all-you-can-eat buffet, and he’s obtained his sweatpants on.

David Ngo (Movie)

David Ngo is a present screenwriter, former tv government, occasional school lecturer, typically filmmaker, all the time a mother or father, frequent script guide, without end Vietnamese American, infinite popular culture fanatic, and constant podcaster filling out his bingo card of an leisure profession. Ngo’s work has taken him to fellowship within the NBC “Writers on the Verge” program, dishing superstar information at E! Leisure, instructing keen minds within the Asian American Research division at Cal State Fullerton, directing a documentary a couple of magnificence pageant for seniors, photographing motels, writing copy with out spoilers for streamers, pondering in the event that they’ll make Saved by the Bell: Retirement Residence sooner or later, and searching for the very best untold tales he can uncover on his podcast, The Greatest Story I By no means Advised.

Joe Winters (TV, Youngsters 6-11)

Rising up in Northern Virginia, Joe Winters all the time had an inkling they have been slightly totally different from the opposite children at their Catholic college. It wasn’t till they have been known as “homosexual” (and subsequently Googled what “homosexual” was) that they started to grasp that distinction. As soon as they got here to phrases with and began to discover their sexuality, life felt an entire lot extra difficult, particularly once they have been put into remedy due to it. It was throughout this time of uncertainty that they clung onto animated fantasy exhibits to assist transport them away to far off lands the place it was okay to be totally different. Once they couldn’t be in these fantastical worlds, they discovered solace in theatre. This finally led them to Virginia Commonwealth College, the place they obtained their B.F.A. in Theatre Efficiency. After graduating school, a collection of unlucky occasions landed Winters in a deep despair. Fortunately their time in theatre led them to find the world of Drag, and “Zelda Peaches” was born. Drag not solely helped to avoid wasting their life, but in addition to simply accept their non-binary identification. Lastly comfy with who they have been, they got here to the conclusion that as a substitute of being in different folks’s tales they’d slightly create their very own. They needed to write down the sort of exhibits they wanted as a child – edgy, animated fantasy-comedies highlighting queer identities and psychological well being struggles. With that information, they flitted away to Los Angeles the place they studied TV Writing at UCLA. Since then, they’ve worn many alternative hats on varied productions, together with the chance to intern at Hey Qween!, a revered queer discuss present. Their writing has additionally been acknowledged by The Script Lab, ScreenCraft, Launch Pad, and Ultimate Draft’s Massive Break.

Universal Launches Animation Writers Program To Amplify Diverse Voices; Execs From DreamWorks & Illumination To Mentor Inaugural Cohort Of 5


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