New York Women in Film & Television and The Writers Lab co-founders Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon are proud to reveal the 12 screenwriters to participate in The Writers Lab, which celebrates its fifth year. The program has also unveiled their roster of mentors.
The Writers Lab launched in 2015 and is the only lab in the world devoted exclusively to script development for women writers over the age of 40. It creates a springboard to the next stage of production and expands the boundaries of today’s commercial narrative film. Many past participants have seen their scripts optioned and/or are actively working in writers’ rooms.
“I am so proud The Writers Lab has thrived and grown in these five years, and has functioned as a springboard for so much promising talent. As the supply catches up with the demand from an audience previously ignored in film history, the prospects grow ever brighter – Brava Divas!”
~ Meryl Streep
“Congratulations to this incredible group of emerging talent and to The Writers Lab for continuing to build a space for women to work with one another and develop the stories they want to tell. As more stories by and about women ripple outward, more opportunities are created for women on both sides of the camera.”
~ Nicole Kidman
“You might have noticed that the industry is in a rut. Our mission is to put women in the driver’s seat to haul this rig out. The stories we’re seeing this year are topical and boundary-pushing – immigration, sex, female-driven thrillers, fantasy and magical realism, and out-of-the-box indies – these topics are on the minds of women over 40.”
~ Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon, The Writers Lab co-founders
“The Writers Lab is an example of our long-standing commitment to intersectional inclusion. We are so proud of the community of The Writers Lab participants – past and present – that has been created and continues to thrive.”
~ Cynthia Lopez, NYWIFT Executive Director
The Writers Lab is supported by Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, and is produced by New York Women in Film & Television with co-founders Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon. It is presented in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East, with in-kind support from The Black List, Falco Ink, Film Fatales, Relativity Ventures, Roadmap Writers, Stony Brook Manhattan Center for Creative Writing & Film, and Tribeca Film Institute. A special thank you to Final Draft for their product contribution.
This year’s mentors include
Susan Cartsonis: A top grossing producer (What Women Want, Where the Heart Is, The Duff, Carrie Pilby)
Shruti Ganguly: Award-winning producer, writer and director (The Color of Time, Initials S.G.)
Lisa Jones: Author and Screenwriter (Disappearing Acts, The Wedding)
Theresa Rebeck: Playwright, Screenwriter (Jessica Chastain’s upcoming 355, Trouble, Catwoman), Television Writer, Novelist
Mary Jane Skalski: Producer (Hello I Must Be Going, The Visitor, The Station Agent)
Robin Swicord: Academy Award nominated screenwriter (The Curious Case of
Benjamin Button) whose work includes Memoirs of a Geisha, Little Women and others
Pat Verducci: Writer / Director (True Crime), Professor, Script Editor, Story Consultant
The Lab is an intensive four-day script development retreat for women screenwriters over 40. Meeting one on one and in panels with outstanding female film professionals, as well as in peer groups and directed discussion sessions focused on craft and the industry, talented writers examine and refine their work while building a unique and powerful community.