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HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Capped; Do You Know About WIFV’s Spotlight on Screenwriters?

Groundbreaking New Screenwriters Initiative Presents the Work of Talented DC Screenwriters to Industry
December 11, 2014 at 10:49am

MPTD Partners with Women in Film & Video on Groundbreaking Screenwriters Program

Spotlight on Screenwriters initiative touts talented screenwriters in the D.C. metropolitan area

For the first time, talented screenwriters in the D.C. metropolitan region have an opportunity to present their scripts to Academy Award-winning producers, accomplished filmmakers, and financiers of major studios and independent films thanks to the new Spotlight on Screenwriters initiative from Women in Film & Video (WIFV). The pilot program for the initiative, which compiles the work of the region’s most talented screenwriters into a professionally produced Spec-catalog to be presented to major producers, launched this fall at WIFV’s annual ScriptDC Conference. The catalog features production-ready screenplays written by WIFV members.

Since the launch of the pilot program, accomplished filmmakers and award-winning producers have expressed interest and requested the full screenplays from featured writers in the catalogue. Another one of the featured writers’ screenplays was selected as a Sundance finalist.

Monica Lee Bellais, WIFV Board Member and creator of Spotlight on Screenwriters, recently was featured on MPTD’s Reel Talk with Film DC podcast to talk about why this initiative is so important and the impact it’s making on the D.C. film community already.

“I learned the craft of storytelling from Jeffrey Katzenberg, James Cameron and Jon Landau,” stated Monica Lee Bellais. “For over a decade I’ve bridged the worlds of filmmaking and policymaking by consulting with production companies and connecting them to subject matter experts to develop richer texture and credibility for TV and film projects. It’s been a pleasure to mentor a growing community of screenwriters in D.C. over the years. Stories about D.C. are gaining momentum and it is an opportune time to introduce these incredibly talented screenwriters to producers, financiers and studios!”

After serving as a sponsor of the pilot program, MPTD has decided to enter into a formal partnership with the WIFV Spotlight on Screenwriters program in the form of a more robust financial contribution and assistance with networking opportunities as well as providing access to industry resources for participants.

“This unprecedented partnership is in alignment with my vision to reimagine the District as one of the most sought after destinations for multimedia production in the world,” stated MPTD Director Pierre Bagley. “The Spotlight on Screenwriters initiative will assist in putting our screenwriters on the map and allow them to tell the stories they want to tell, right here from the nation’s capital.”

The call for the 2015 Spotlight on Screenwriters catalogue will be announced by WIFV and MPTD in the first quarter of 2015. MPTD will offer periodic updates on the progress of the partnership as they become available.

Here’s what award-winning professionals in the industry are already saying about the initiative:

“The Spotlight on Screenwriters catalog is a major step in illuminating the wonderful creative talent base here in the DMV. The hope is that the major agencies will utilize this valuable resource of fresh cutting-edge writers who have unique stories to tell.”

-Russell Williams, two time Academy Award-winning and two time Emmy Award-winning Sound Engineer and Producer (Glory, Dances with Wolves, Training Day)

“The Women in Film & Video ScriptDC weekend is an amazing accomplishment. The level of classes and the creativity of the students is a delight. In our newly global world, it is absolutely wonderful to see WIFV creating and furthering the idea that there are many places besides New York and Los Angeles, where major talent is flourishing.”

-Joan Darling, Emmy Award-winning Director (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, M*A*S*H)

“Spotlight on Screenwriters finally puts a long overdue spotlight on the creative energy and talent that’s been brewing in the D.C. region for decades.”

-Lane Shefter Bishop, Emmy Award-winning producer and director, VAST Entertainment

“I look forward to ScriptDC and Spotlight on Screenwriters all year. It’s a great opportunity to truly discover new writers and I leave D.C. feeling inspired.”

-Mary Jane Skalski, Award-winning producer (Win, Win; The Station Agent; Against the Current; Mysterious Skin) and Variety magazine’s “Top 10 Producers to Watch” of 2003

“It was a real pleasure being part of ScriptDC. The talent and enthusiasm of the writers I met with was terrific. This conference is a major creative force in D.C.!”

-April Eberhardt, Literary Change Agent

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