Founded in 2016, the Native American TV Writers Lab is an intensive TV scriptwriting workshop, which prepares Native Americans for careers as writers. Its mission is to broaden the quantity of Native Americans working behind the digital camera, thereby growing truthful and correct portrayals of Native Americans on TV. According to the WGA West’s 2020 Inclusion Report, the Native American and indigenous inhabitants at the moment represents simply 1.1% of working tv writers.
The Native American TV Writers Lab takes fellows by a five-week curriculum, curated by seasoned writing professionals, which consists of every day workshops, seminars and one-on-one mentoring. The purpose is to have every writing fellow develop and full a pilot script inside 5 weeks, whiling honing expertise that may allow them to maneuver into positions, as workers writers.
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The Native American Media Alliance’s companions in placing collectively the lab embody Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Cherokee Nation Film Office, Kung Fu Monkey Productions, Snowpants Productions and Decolonizing Wealth Project.
“We live in an incredibly exciting time – we are finally seeing television shows about Native American people, by Native people, with Native artists on both sides of the camera,” stated William Jehu Garroutte (Cherokee Nation), who government produces ABC’s Dark Horse and serves as Director of Education for the Native American Media Alliance. “As an alumni of the first Native American TV Writers Lab, I am excited to see this initiative continue to bolster our community, to empower our writers and storytellers. Every year, this program builds on an incredible community of talented artists. I look forward to the new and groundbreaking projects the 2021 cohort has to offer.”
Selected fellows for the sixth annual Native American TV Writers Lab embody:
- Alex Nystrom, an Ojibwe author, director and producer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. After sound-mixing indie movies, Alex moved to New Orleans to pursue filmmaking full-time. He labored his method up the digital camera division on movies akin to Transformers: The Last Knight, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 22 Jump Street, and plenty of others. During that point, he wrote and directed a number of quick movies together with Addam, which was awarded the Promising Filmmaker Grant on the Louisiana Film Prize. Nystrom now resides in Los Angeles and works as a director’s assistant to Amman Abbasi, director of Dayveon (Sundance Film Festival ‘17) and the upcoming function, The Quench. He most just lately produced a documentary quick for the Hindsight Project through Firelight Media, Reel South, and CAAM that may premiere this yr.
- Glenís Hunter (Shinnecock), a New York actress, author and filmmaker primarily based in LA. From a younger age she found the performing arts as a method of self-expression. Growing up within the Dominican Republic after which shifting again to New York in 2001, she acquired the chance to embrace her numerous multicultural (Black, Latinx and Native American) background by spoken phrase, display writing and activism. After graduating from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelors of Arts, she determined to pursue appearing and writing full-time. Past writing credit embody quick movies, akin to Dinner Date, A Walk in The Park and Woke. Woke premiered at many movie festivals in 2019, together with LA Skins Fest.
- Diego Moreno (Pascua Yaqui), a screenwriter from Tucson, Arizona. He obtained his BA in Film and Media Studies from Dartmouth College in 2018. His Native Horror script, My-A-Knee, gained the Laing Memorial Screenplay Award in 2016. His most up-to-date tv undertaking, Casino Coyote, is a 60-minute household crime drama set on an Indian reservation close to the Arizona/Mexico border. Diego is at the moment an MFA candidate within the screenwriting program on the Institute of American Indian Arts.
- Andrina Smith (Shinnecock), a storyteller, author, and performer who graduated from Emerson College with a theatre diploma in a pre-Hamilton world. She knew if she wished to see tales like hers, she’d have to jot down them. Growing up Shinnecock within the Hamptons (the place her tribe is positioned), her work ceaselessly explores identification, race, and the expertise of 1%-adjacent life. She skilled at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater so she might discover all of these constructs, however in a humorous method. Prior to all theatre going darkish, she carried out month-to-month with Like Butter, her sketch group at The PIT in NYC.
- Author and filmmaker Brian Young, a graduate of each Yale University with a Bachelor’s in Film Studies and Columbia University with a Master’s in Creative Writing Fiction. An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, he grew up on the Navajo Reservation however now at the moment lives in Brooklyn, New York. As an undergraduate, Brian gained a fellowship with the distinguished Sundance Ford Foundation with one in all his function size scripts. He has labored on a number of quick movies together with Tsídii Nááts’íílid – Rainbow Bird and A Conversation on Race with Native Americans for the quick documentary collection produced by the New York Times. Brian is at the moment engaged on his second guide with Heartdrum, an imprint of HarperCollins.
- Shelby Ramirez, a Navajo (Diné) and Mexican American artist from the Navajo Nation (Dinétah.) She grew up in cities on the border of the reservation, and has a powerful love for her land and folks. She studied movie with a give attention to animation at Dartmouth College. Her remaining undertaking was an animation which gained Dartmouth’s ASIFA Animation Award. Since 2015, she has labored on a number of tv reveals for Nickelodeon and Fox. She enjoys writing and drawing tales which have minority feminine leads. Her tales search to interrupt down tropes and stereotypes, whereas relating the experiences of contemporary day Native individuals. Shelby is a 2020 Native American Animation Lab fellow.
- JohnTom Knight, a proud member of the Cherokee Nation, who was born on the Claremore Indian Hospital in Claremore, Oklahoma. More just lately, he was chosen as a fellow and took part in LA Skins Fest’s 2nd Annual Native American Animation Lab. Through this, he was in a position to meet and pitch an unique collection idea to executives at Cartoon Network, Crunchyroll, Sony Pictures Animation, and Kung Fu Monkey Productions. In 2019, JohnTom was chosen as a finalist for the Walt Disney Writing Program. Following this, he served as a manufacturing intern with [adult swim] the place he was in a position to work on Squidbillies, 12 Oz. Mouse, Williams Street Swap Shop, and extra. During his time at [adult swim], JohnTom wrote and created a lot of unique animated shorts that aired on [adult swim] streams. Fast ahead to at this time, JohnTom works full time within the online game business.
- Liz Stephens, a Los Angeles-based enrolled member of the Choctaw tribe of Oklahoma. A performer in early variations of The Moth collection, she’s now the writer of memoir The Days Are Gods on University of Nebraska Press, and contributor to a lot of anthologies. Her writing typically examines themes of reminiscence and identification, in her current tasks by a lens of blue-collar and intercourse work, and rural and queer life, with, one reviewer notes, “the humor of an insider and the humility of an observer.” With a PhD in inventive nonfiction storytelling and American Studies, she teaches memoir at UCLA and younger screenwriters at Chapman University. She’s the winner of a Frederick Manfred Award of Western Literature, and finalist for the Duke University Documentary Prize. She runs a author’s residency in Wonder Valley, California in an off-grid cabin exterior Joshua Tree, as Mojave Desert Arts. Current tasks embody pilots The Future of Birds, a lady’s race away from her childhood in a dystopian Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree, 4 19-yr-olds finishing neighborhood service in Joshua Tree National Park as a substitute of jail time.
- Jeremy Charles, a author/director/producer and Cherokee citizen from Oologah, Oklahoma. Native illustration in movie is his mission, forming FireThief Productions in 2014. He is a co-creator, director and producer for Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People, now in its seventh season. This collection has earned 9 regional Emmys, together with an Emmy for Best Director in 2017. His narrative quick Totsu (Redbird) premiered in 2020 and went on to win “Achievement in Film” at L.A. Skins Film Festival. An unique animated collection within the Cherokee language, Inage’i (In The Woods), is at the moment in manufacturing. His path of the music video for “Everybody Needs” by Branjae earned the Judge’s Choice Graphex award in 2018, and he took the stage as a TEDx speaker 2014. His movies have been chosen for quite a few movie festivals around the globe.