The launch of Women Write Now, a screenwriting fellowship for the next generation of Black women in comedy, was announced on Thursday.
The fellowship — a collaboration between Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud entertainment company and Sundance Institute, the nonprofit film organization behind Sundance Film Festival and Labs — will immerse aspiring writers into the film creation process. It will also provide them with one-on-one mentorship and professional guidance by leading Black women in comedy to write and develop short comedy scripts that will then be produced as short films by LOL Studios.
“Black women have contributed to some of the industry’s most successful and innovative film and television content. Yet, opportunities for this group are still few and far between; especially in comedy. With Women Write Now, we’re not just shining a light on a problem, but also illuminating a path to long-term solutions,” Thai Randolph, president and COO of Laugh Out Loud, said in a statement. “This project is another in our mission to cultivate, empower, and amplify diverse talent both in front of and behind the camera. We’re honored to partner with Sundance Institute to elevate the voices of talented Black women because we know that when you invest in women of color, it pays off in dividends.”
“Black-ish” writer Yamara Taylor will serve as the lead screenwriting mentor for the Lab, supporting the fellows as they get their scripts ready for production, while Meaghan Good (“The Intruder,” “Think Like a Man”), Bresha Webb (“Run the World”) and Gabrielle Dennis (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”) will each direct a project.
Approximately 10 finalists will be invited to interview with a jury panel of longtime filmmakers, industry leaders and executives from Laugh Out Loud and Sundance Institute. Then, a maximum of six writers will be selected to take part in the fellowship.
The selected films will premiere during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival at a private screening, and will then be distributed for public viewing across LOL Network platforms.
The fellowship will accept applications from July 8 through Aug. 5. To apply or find out more information, visit www.womenwritenow.com.