The application window is open till March 9 for the 2022-23 programme.
Sundance Institute has announced the nine fellows and eight projects selected for its 2021-2022 Episodic Lab programme.
This year marks the Episodic Lab’s return to in-person activities at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah bookended by a digital pre-lab story development curriculum and its first annual Episodic Pitch Parlor hosted in Los Angeles in partnership with XRM Media.
The selected Fellows are Aisha Bhoori (Pipe Dreams), Bridget McManus (The Family Pet), Corey Dashaun (Bottom Bitch), Elizabeth Palmore (Gives Good Death), Jeanette Lim and Marva Whitaker (Before the Apple), Jianna Maarten Saada (El Otro Lado), Mars Wolfe (The 1 & Only MJ Girls), and Meghan Ross (Here to Make Friends). Four of the eight projects are live-action dramas, three are live-action comedies, and one is an adult animation.
The programme is an entry point and sustaining force for early-career writers with original series IP who have yet to be produced, several without literary representation or preexisting industry access. The Episodic Lab is a keystone immersive six-day experience that gives writers an opportunity to workshop their pilot and expand their writing skills. Under the guidance of accomplished showrunners, producers, and executives, the fellows participate in one-on-one story meetings, case study screenings, panels, and simulated writers rooms, which provide creative and strategic tools to shape their pilots.
Creative Advisors this year have included April Shih, Brandon Sonnier, Charles Eglee, Colleen Werthmann, Danny Chun, Dara Resnik, Elgin James, Erica Rivinoja, Jenny Bicks, Kevin Etten, Rochée Jeffrey, Vera Santamaria, Sanjay Shah, and Steven Canals.
Industry Mentors who participated at the Lab include Candace Rodney (Dreamville), Carolina Garcia (Netflix), Carrie Gillogly (AMC), Dante Di Loreto (FreeMantle), Kathryn Tyus-Adair (STARZ), Nancy Cotton (Epix), Neil Thomas (MRC), Sarah Timberman (Timberman Beverly), and Sue Turley (XRM).
Post Lab support focuses on navigating the business, including securing representation, staffing, and pitching skills. On May 4, Sundance will host its inaugural industry-facing Episodic Pitch Parlor presented by XRM Media. This is an invitation-only live event designed to be both launchpad to introduce the writers and their Lab projects.
After completion of the Lab, the Episodic Advancement Fund provides additional monetary support to fellows with grants for research, pitch decks, proof of concept videos, further development of the pilot post-Lab, and travel costs associated with scheduled meetings and opportunities.
Speaking about the programme, Episodic Programme Director Jandiz Estrada Cardoso said: “This was a year of many firsts and I hope to continue reinventing new systems of support for bold creators who are going overlooked. Audiences and networks are insatiable, thirsting for untouched stories. So to any writer seeking to cut through and elevate their work, we have a mountain we can all scale together.”
The application window is still open till March 9 for the 2022-23 programme.