Lena Waithe and Eva Longoria, along with MACRO and The Black List announced the winners of the The MACRO Episodic Lab Powered by The Black List during the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.
Sahar Jahani and K.C. Scott were announced as the winners of the initiative started last summer as a way to help discover and advance the work of writers of color in TV.
The mission of the Episodic Lab is to find storytellers of color from a wide range of backgrounds, empower them with creative tools and resources to help launch their careers and provide industry support they wouldn’t typically have access to. More than 3,000 applicants submitted their ideas, which were then reviewed by MACRO and The Black List team. Then 500 scripts made the semi-finals, where the winners were selected by Waithe, Longoria and a group of representatives from MACRO and The Black List.
Jahani and Scott will both receive development support and a pilot presentation or sizzle at a budget of up to $30,000 each.
Jahani is a first generation Iranian-American screenwriter, director and producer, who was raised in the San Fernando Valley. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film & Media Studies and Literary Journalism from the University of California, Irvine and received a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Screenwriting at Stephens College.
She worked as a development coordinator for YouTube Originals before becoming a writer’s assistant on the upcoming Hulu/A24 series “Ramy,” where she wrote her first episode of television. Her first short film, “Grey Matter,” was awarded the 2017 Islamic Scholarship Fund Film Grant. She was also a 2018 Film Independent Project Involve Fellow, where she wrote and directed her short film, “Just One Night.” It premiered at the LA Film Festival this past fall.
Scott, the son of a Haitian public school teacher and a Jamaican engineer, was born and raised in Chicago. He is a former student of fiction workshops at Carleton College, Northwestern University and The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. He is a two-time finalist of The Loft Literary Center Mentor Series Award and a finalist of The Avery Anthology Small Spaces Fiction Prize, judged by Junot Diaz.
Scott’s most recent published fiction, “You Can Love a C Student,” appears in Avery Anthology’s seventh issue. His short film script, “Nevada Zoo,” was a finalist for the 2018 Shore Scripts Short Film Fund and his feature, “This Is Working,” was featured over a four-episode run of the popular screenwriting podcast “Scriptnotes.” Scott lives in Oakland with his wife and two sons.