Private Project

The Forest

The Forest is a young adult fantasy-comedy TV series in the vein of Enchanted. The pilot episode follows an 18-year-old, impossibly chirpy, Black princess named Nia Dragonbelly and a 400-something-year-old disgruntled Forest “conductor” named Freya Nambut as they cross a danger-laden mythical forest to escape to the North, where natural hairstyles, like afros, braids and Bantu Knots, are legal. Problems occur when they are ambushed by a band of Bad Bandits and Freya is badly injured. Now Nia must outsmart, outrun and outmaneuver the Forest’s most dangerous inhabitants to save Freya and complete her mission to live life in the land of follicle freedom. But when Nia encounters an unexpected person from her past, she realizes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It is an inspirational, coming-of-age series that explores themes related to self-acceptance, courage and tolerance, while reflecting warmly on girlhood and social power. The series offers a diverse cast of memorable female characters—each with her own unique identity and trajectory—and is an exhilarating reminder that we are all enough, just as we are.

  • Charlita Rainer Gaston
    The Misadventures of the Oddly Gifted
  • Project Type:
    Short Script
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
Writer Biography - Charlita Rainer Gaston

Charlita Gaston is an American actress, screenwriter, film producer, director, philanthropist, and sometime map maker. Her experiences living and teaching on four continents has given her a unique opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. From Japan to Iceland to Croatia to New Zealand, her travels around the world have shown her time and time again that it's not just our values, morals, ethics, customs, and traditions that connect us, but our willingness to listen—truly listen—to someone else's story.

For over a decade, Charlita has been listening to the world through the lens of her camera. Thanks to her role as founder and CEO of ATCS Productions, the conversation is just getting started. She is drawn to scripted and unscripted film and TV projects that disrupt and dismantle old narratives and assumptions about women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.

Her work has been recognized by The Black List Feature Screenwriter Incubator (Round Two), The Ida B. Wells Narrative Fund, Film Pipeline Shorts, The Indie Fest Film Awards, The Women of Color 2021 Filmmakers Lab, Emerging Screenwriters' Top 100 in Comedy List, The Cynosure Screenwriting Awards, The Nostos Screenwriting Retreat in Tuscany, Italy among others.

She resides in Los Angeles, California, where she lives out loud as a Brit Pop trivia hotshot (ish).

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Writer Statement

I write heightened comedies about outsiders on the brink of radical transformation. After living on four continents and traveling to over 30 countries, I realized that I get a kick out of being an outsider. I always see the absurdity in most situations, which has given me an insight into people, relationships, and friendships that an insider almost always misses.

I spent years working as a marketing expert, which has helped me explore my characters’ inner needs more deeply, and also write absurdly humorous scenes that push normally accepted realities to the extreme to give the audience a fresh new perspective. I firmly believe that people who laugh together are less likely to kill each other, which makes laughter a mighty good thing.

Growing up in the Midwest, my first introduction to comedy was TGIF, a TV programming block in the 90s that featured comedy classics such as Family Matters, Full House, and Step by Step. These shows not only made me laugh, but they also taught me that humor should be taken seriously, which is what inspired me to earn my Master’s degree in Film and TV. I think nothing informs my writing more than my background in fine arts.

Having written TV comedies for the past six years — in addition to making my directorial debut as a directing fellow for The Women of Color 2021 Filmmakers Lab — I’m excited to write and direct For the Gods, a 90-minute comedy-drama film. The title is taken from the popular drag phrase, "Her face is beat for the gods" — 'beat' referring to make-up that has been applied so perfectly that it makes the person appear flawless.