In this highly competitive virtual accelerator program for TV writers, 6-8 fellows will receive three weeks of industry training before having the opportunity to pitch to major studios, production companies and producers. The entire accelerator, including training and pitching, will occur online.
The goal of this program is to launch the careers of our fellows, which could take the form of selling their TV pilot; securing follow-up meetings with executives; getting hired as a freelance writer, staff writer or writing support staff on an existing series; and/or making valuable industry contacts.
Applicants will submit their full script of their narrative, live-action pilots (half-hour or hour-long format) and answer a few brief questions. WWFC will review all applications before selecting a group semi-finalists. Semi-finalists’ scripts will be read by a panel of prestigious judges, including showrunners, executive producers, TV writers and development executives (see list under Awards & Prizes). Of those semi-finalists, about half will move on to the finalist stage, in which they will be interviewed by WWFC.
Of those finalists, we will select 6-8 fellows to attend a three-week program meeting on Thursdays and Fridays (Sept. 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30, and Oct. 1, 2021). These sessions will cover script development, pitch practice with “Self Made” co-showrunner Elle Johnson and speech coach Samara (dialect coach for Gal Gadot and Rachel McAdams), legal information from entertainment lawyer Anuj Gupta, along with other sessions to help strengthen the pilot and pitch.
At the beginning of October 2021, fellows will have the opportunity to pitch their pilots to executives and producers at HBO, HBO Max, Warner Horizon Television, Berlanti Productions ("Riverdale," "Supergirl"), Sid Gentle Films ("Killing Eve," "Ragdoll"), Element Pictures (“Normal People”), Broadway Video (“Shrill,” “30 Rock,” “Portlandia”), Jax Media (“Broad City,” “Russian Doll,” “Emily in Paris,” “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” “Search Party”), Fabel (“Bosch”), Tornante (“NOS4A2”), Good Fear Content ("Mulan"), Semi-Formal Productions ("The Shrink Next Door") and more!
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Sponsored in part by SanDisk and Final Draft.
The 6-8 chosen fellows will attend a free, three-week intensive training program on pitching and polishing their pilots. The fellows will then have the opportunity to pitch to major studios, production companies and producers, including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Horizon Television, Berlanti Productions ("Riverdale," "Supergirl"), Sid Gentle Films ("Killing Eve," "Ragdoll"), Element Pictures (“Normal People”), Broadway Video (“Shrill,” “30 Rock,” “Portlandia”), Jax Media (“Broad City,” “Russian Doll,” “Emily in Paris,” “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” “Search Party”), Fabel (“Bosch”), Tornante (“NOS4A2”), Good Fear Content ("Mulan"), Semi-Formal Productions ("The Shrink Next Door") and more!
All semi-finalists will have their work read by industry insiders including Elle Johnson (co-showrunner of Netflix’s “Self-Made”), Nicole Mirante (co-executive producer “The Walking Dead”), Anita Kapila (co-executive producer of "Kim's Convenience"), Leigh Davenport (creator, "Run the World" on Starz), Charise Castro Smith (screenwriter of Disney’s upcoming “Encanto”), Christine Walters (former VP of development and original programming at Warner Media), Shukri Abdi (writer for "Kevin Can F**k Himself"), Jasmine Russ (director of development at Fabel Entertainment), Obehi Janice (writer for Hulu’s “Castle Rock”), Kristina Thomas (writer for the upcoming Bad Robot/HBO “Demimonde”), and Dana Farley (literary department, "Good Fear Content"). Semi-finalists will also receive the latest version of Final Draft software and gain access to a library of select virtual workshops from the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge virtual workshop series.
You must be 18 or older to apply. You must have a completed pilot for a live-action, scripted series. No documentaries, animations, web series, or films will be accepted. All Screenplays must be in English. All material must be original and submitted by the owner. If your project is an adaptation, you must specify in the application whether or not you have the rights.
You must be available for all Program dates to participate in the Program if accepted as a fellow. If you are unavailable for one or more Program dates, you will no longer be eligible to participate. If you are part of a writing team, both partners must be available for the Program if accepted. We will not accept writing teams of more than two people.
All fellows’ loglines will be sent to each studio, production company and producer who is signed on to hear pitches. Each person who has agreed to hear pitches will choose a minimum of three pitches to hear. Fellows will not meet with every studio, production company and producer.
These rules are subject to change at any time. If there are any material changes, you will be notified through email.
SUBMISSION RELEASE WAIVER
The Applicant (“Recipient”) submitting to Women’s Weekend Film Challenge’s Pilot Accelerator, on behalf of myself, further hereby agrees as follows:
Recipient agrees to indemnify, defend, protect and hold harmless Women’s Weekend Film Challenge, LLC and its parent and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, representatives and employees (collectively, “WWFC”), from and against any and all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys' fees and punitive damages) arising out of or in connection with Recipient’s participation in the Program, any breach or alleged breach of the warranties and promises given by Recipient herein, and any screenplays, films, plots, characters, or ideas submitted during the Program or on any screenplay, film, or material developed out of those screenplays, films, plots, characters, or ideas.
Recipient acknowledges that as part of the Program and other programs WWFC holds, it receives many submissions of creative materials from third parties and that it is continually developing in-house ideas, stories, and creative materials, and that many such submissions and/or developments may be similar or identical to the Screenplay and/or any material provided, evaluated and/or presented for the Program. Recipient understands and agrees that WWFC’ use of materials or properties containing elements similar or identical to Recipient’s Film and/or any other material presented for the Program, and evaluated by any of the Judges and/or WWFC (collectively, the “Material”) shall not obligate the Judges and/or WWFC to Recipient in any manner whatsoever. Recipient agrees that, to the extent that ideas and concepts presented in Recipient’s Screenplay include material that is in the public domain or owned by a third party, Judges and WWFC will have the same rights in such material as any member of the general public. Recipient further understands that the Judges and WWFC would refuse to evaluate Recipient’s Material in the absence of Recipient’s acceptance of each and all of the provisions of this Release. Recipient acknowledges that no fiduciary or confidential relationship now exists between WWFC or Judges, on the one hand, and Recipient, on the other hand, and Recipient further acknowledges that no such relationships are established between WWFC or Judges, on the one hand, and Recipient, on the other hand, by reason of this Release.
Recipient agrees that Recipient will not assert against Judges and/or WWFC any claim based on plagiarism, infringement, confidential relationship, implied contract, unfair competition or for any other reason whatsoever arising out of any alleged use by Judges and/or WWFC of the Material. If, notwithstanding anything stated herein, Recipient should hereafter claim that Judges and/or WWFC has used Recipient’s proprietary Material, or any portion thereof, without Recipient’s consent or authorization, Recipient specifically agrees and understands that Recipient will suffer no, and make no claim for, damages in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000), if any, and that such damages, if any, shall be Recipient’s sole and exclusive remedy and shall be payable only in the event a court of competent jurisdiction shall find that Judges and/or WWFC has wrongfully appropriated such proprietary Material from Recipient; accordingly, Recipient irrevocably waives any right to seek and/or obtain rescission and/or equitable and/or injunctive relief in connection with any such claim(s). Recipient understands and agrees that Judges and/or WWFC is not responsible for any loss or damage to the Material.
If any provision of this Release is deemed to be invalid, it shall be considered deleted herefrom and shall not invalidate the remaining provisions. To the extent the terms of this Release conflict with the Recipient’s grant of rights to Program, the terms and conditions of this Release govern with respect to the matters set forth herein between the parties hereto.