‘Jessica Jones,’ ‘Walking Dead’ Scribes to Mentor Women in Film-Black List Female Writers Lab

The eight finalists will have their final pilots read by a select group of agencies and networks

Last Updated: July 20, 2016 @ 5:45 PM

A workshop for female writers led by Women in Film and Hollywood script ranker The Black List has unveiled an A-list group of mentors participating in the program — and the writers and projects involved in the inaugural run.

The Women In Film/The Black List Episodic Lab is gets underway this month, with showrunners and writers from projects like “Jessica Jones,” “The Walking Dead” and “Unread” on board.

The instructors include Cindy Chupack (“Sex and the City,” “Modern Family”), Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane”), Melissa Rosenberg (“Jessica Jones”), Glen Mazzara (“Damien”), Stacy Rukeyser (“Unreal” ), Monica Beletsky (“Fargo,” “Friday Night Lights”), Lauren LeFranc (“Agents of SHIELD”), and Jenn Kaytin Robinson (“Sweet/Vicious”).

The HBO-sponsored program takes place over eight weeks beginning in August, and includes several masterclasses and workshops. Participants will have their final pilots read by a number of agencies and networks.

“The participants and instructors for this inaugural WIF/Black List Episodic Lab exemplify an incredible wealth and range of talent,” said WIF Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer. “This group [is] passionately dedicated to helping women writers succeed in television and to raising the number of women working in writers rooms and running shows.”

WIF is a non-profit organization focused on supporting and expanding opportunities for women working in media through scholarships, grants, film finishing funds, and educational programs.

The Black List is a network and database where screenwriters can submit their work for evaluation. Annually it produces a list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, voted on by the industry itself. Past Black List screenplays include “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The King’s Speech,” and “Argo.”

The lucky participants include:

Erica Bardin & Susan Graham

Series Title: “Shepherds”

Logline: When dedicated pharmaceutical researcher Madison Shepherds gets fired for questionable reasons, she decides to start an underground psychedelic therapy clinic with her terminally ill father and hippie best friend. They run the Shepherds Clinic from the attached garage in her parents’ Tucson home, unbeknownst to her mother, a Republican senator in the middle of a reelection campaign largely financed by big pharma.

Gesha-Marie Bland

Series Title: “Legend of A Queen”

Logline: After the ultimate betrayal by her husband, an ambitious Queen challenges her misogynist peers and the Roman Empire to gain political power and avenge the rape of her daughters, until a final battle forces a choice between life, family and legacy.

Denise Jaxon

Series Title: “Ten Miles To Sunset”

Logline:  During 1960’s Los Angeles, in the twilight of the Black Panther party and the dawn of the CRIPS, three LAPD officers with troubled lives and conflicting backgrounds battle to patrol the streets of South Central LA from their own self-righteous viewpoint while fueling the historically divisive precinct and compromising their safety on the streets.

Jean Lee

Series Title: “Stranger Pilgrim” Season 1 Title: “Robot Courtesan”

Logline: A sci fi anthology series about unlikely heroes who encounter the horrors and delights of both humanity and technology as they deal with innovations that blur the line between man and machine. Season 1 follows a subversive Pinocchio story about a man who creates the world’s most human-like robot for prostitution; only, the more he succeeds in making her human, the less control he has over her, until eventually she begins to wonder if she is capable of more…

Jamie Mayer

Series Title: “Tomorrowland”

Logline:  The staff of a high-end Malibu rehab center try to keep their own lives together while dealing with the needs of their wealthy, often celebrity, clients.

Colleen McAllister

Series Title: “Pussies”

Logline: An animated comedy about a bunch of cats living in a cul-de- sac, confirming what we all know to be true, cats are assholes.

Erin Weller & Kate Heckman

Series Title: “False Flag”

Logline: When a plane full of passengers disappears, Hester Scott, CIA, tracks down her former partner to help stop the terrorists responsible. The trouble is, her partner now works for them.

Jeane Wong

Series Title: “The Thin Line”

Logline: A revisionist history series set in present-day America where segregation still exists.

The Semi-Finalists for the lab included:

Sarah Beckett

Series Title: “Playing Dead” 

Déjà Bernhardt-Leazer

Series Title: “The Hyline” 

Bronwen Clark

Series Title: “Nosh” 

Liz Cotone

Series Title:”Serf” 

Meagan Daine

Series title: “Gone Town” 

Jenny Deiker

Series Title: “Baptistte”

Nancy Duff

Series Title: “Dead Drop”

Melanie Holmes

Series Title: “Hopewell”

Jillian Lauren

Series Title: “Harem”

Lindsay McRae

Series Title: “Unity”

Kate Murdoch

Series Title: “Our Kingdom Primed”

Erin Rodman

Series Title: “Superior”

Paula Sabbaga

Series Title: “Pros and Cons”

Dawn Spinella

Series Title:  “G.I. Jane”

Nadria Tucker

Series Title: “The Reporter”

Kay Tuxford & E.S. Dahl

Series Title: “40 Elephants”

Ursula Wendel

Series Title: “Hemisphere”

April Wright

Series Title: “Soul City”

Sarah Zucker

Series Title: “The Sun Set”