Bisha K. Ali, Netflix and Sky have revealed the 6 screenwriters who will be part of their first screenwriting talent program.
The one-year fellowship is led by screenwriter Bisha K. Ali (Sex Education, Ms. Marvel, The Baby) and aims to help screenwriters receive their first television credit.
“The world of screenwriting is historically difficult to break into, made even more difficult by systemic issues within our industry,” said Bisha K. Ali.
“Our Fellowship does not claim to have all the answers, but we aspire to be part of the movement towards a more inclusive industry. I know our spectacular inaugural fellows have long creative careers ahead of them and will continue to be essential storytellers across multiple genres and mediums. Remember their names – I’m sure you’ll see them in the credits of your favorite new shows!”
These names include Asad Ullah, a screenwriter and queer theater artist from Manchester. He is part of the Fat Blokes Company, an award-winning queer dance company. Her work focuses on tackling the drama, romance and comedy that live at the intersections of her life: “Queer, Muslim, British, Brown and Fat”.
Lewis Wren is a 29-year-old comedy playwright from the North West, but now based in Bristol. His plays have been shortlisted and shortlisted for awards including the Bruntwood Prize and the Lancaster Playwriting Prize, and his screenplay has been shortlisted for the BBC’s Writers’ Room.
“At Netflix, we want to create shows that reflect the world we live in and develop a more inclusive pipeline of creatives across the UK. True diversity is knowing which voices are heard and which stories and perspectives are told,” said Anne Mensah, VP of Netflix Original Series.
“Netflix is proud to play a role in nurturing these up-and-coming writers and designing a program that not only attempts to remove some of the barriers to entry into our industry, but also provides the space, time and the financial security needed to help writers develop their craft.”
The Screenwriters Fellowship is part of a wider commitment by Netflix and Sky to “improve representation and spread opportunity across the UK”.
“The stories we tell shape our collective understanding of the world, so it’s essential to open up the closed sphere of screenwriting to as many voices as possible, allowing us to tell untold stories to a global audience.” , said Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Sky Studios. .
“Inspired by Bisha’s vision, we are proud to help break down barriers and support these six new writers at this early stage in their careers.”