EXCLUSIVE: The Black List and Women in Film, Los Angeles have set Ana Brown (Trash Pandas), Audrey Rosenberg (Wild Animals), Christina YR Lim (Gyopo), Rebecca Christian (Sankofa Selah), Sabeen Amanat Farooq (Burn Your Idols) and Zoey Towner (Great American Highway) as the participants for their fifth consecutive Feature Residency, which provides six promising screenwriters of underrepresented genders with a year’s worth of mentorship and career opportunities.
For the first time since 2020, the Residency will kick off in late June with an in-person weekend writing retreat in Los Angeles, which will feature intensive script and professional development sessions. Participants will then have meetings and receive feedback from working feature writers, executives, and industry leaders throughout the course of the year. Creatives participating as mentors this time around include Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith (Legally Blonde), Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy), Graham Moore (The Imitation Game), Kari Granlund (Lady and the Tramp), Dylan Meyer (Moxie), Michael Mitnick (The Giver), Anne Rossellini (Winter’s Bone), Jonathan Stokes (The gringo) and Scott Myers (Go Into The Story).
WIF and the Black List are also currently accepting submissions for their 2023 Episodic Lab and 2023 Feature Residency, as of today. Learn more about both opportunities here. More information on this year’s Feature Residency participants and the projects they’ll develop through the program can be found below.
Script: TRASH PANDAS
Logline: A bereaved musician sets off a wild chase when she kidnaps a baby seal.
Bio: Ana Brown is a screenwriter and stage playwright with a former career in clinical social work.
Script: WILD ANIMALS
Logline: When a mysterious wild animal attacks a young child in an insular and devout 19th century farming community, Frances upends her family and life in an increasingly obsessive search for what she believes to be a mythic beast.
Bio: Audrey Rosenberg is an award-winning writer and director and USC grad whose work has been featured at OutFest, Frameline, and NewFest, among others. She writes unconventional, genre-bending stories that explore the intersections of class and gender through a queer lens.
Christina YR Lim
Logline: When a precocious 11-year-old aspiring violinist immigrates from Seoul to the states with her newly single mother and her troubled teenage brother, each member simultaneously pursues their version of the American dream. But when it begins to tear them apart, they must find a way to navigate through the new world and save their family.
Bio: Lim is a Korean–American writer and director who explores Asian diaspora through the immigrant and 1st generation lens. She earned her MFA in screenwriting and directing from USC, and is an alumni of the directing fellowship at Yale School of Drama. She garnered a development deal with Kyra Sedgwick’s production company after winning SeriesFest’s Women’s Writing Competition, and she is currently in post-production for her first feature film by Ella as an auteur.
Script: SANKOFA SELAH
Logline: A neurotic grad student reluctantly takes her late father’s place on an all-Black travel group’s “ancestral journey” to Ghana, West Africa hosted by a mysterious spiritualist that’s become her mother’s personal guru in the wake of her father’s death.
Bio: Rebecca Christian is an emerging writer-director and San Diego native dedicated to female-focused and openly Black storytelling. Rebecca’s scripted projects have advanced in the Sundance Development Track and the Austin Film Festival and she is an alum of artist development programs such as the MPI Short Film Lab and the #Startwith8Hollywood program. When she’s not writing, Rebecca works as a doula and certified lactation educator and counselor supporting birthing families in Southern California.
Sabeen Amanat Farooq
Script: BURN YOUR IDOLS
Logline: Qasim Malik, a semi-successful Muslim novelist, gets the opportunity to meet and interview his favorite author, Artie Van Doren, right as the news breaks that Artie has been implicated in a sexual assault scandal. The week Qasim spends with Artie is one filled with tension and intrigue as Qasim tries to delicately figure out the truth about who Artie really is.
Bio: Sabeen Amanat is a Muslim American writer, a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has been chosen as a finalist in several screenwriting competitions, including the Austin Film Festival, and was selected to attend one of ABC/ Disney/ MPAC’s writer’s workshops. She currently lives in Los Angeles and is writing a children’s book titled “A Worried Flower”.
Script: GREAT AMERICAN HIGHWAY
Logline: After a séance proves to have deadly consequences, a teenage girl and her best friends investigate a series of local murders dating back 30 years that all took place near a San Francisco road. In the process, they uncover the dangerous truth about a local urban legend.
Bio: Zoey James Towner is a Los Angeles based writer-director originally from San Diego, California. As a queer trans woman, Zoey is fascinated by genre films featuring characters with deep secrets struggling to be themselves.