Ever dreamed of pitching to the likes of Netflix and HBO? This spring, that dream could become a reality for selected TV scribes of the 2023 Women’s Weekend Film Challenge’s (WWFC) pilot accelerator. A press release announced that applications are now open for the organization’s second annual virtual program.
Launched in 2021, the pilot accelerator helps six to eight budding scribes advance their careers as well as increase visibility of women and non-binary folks working in the TV industry. The program elevates “strong, completed pilot scripts who lack the industry connections to sell their series or break into the writers room,” per the release.
Set to kick off March 30, 2023, the three-week program will see fellows attending virtual training sessions led by industry insiders on how to pitch and work in a writers room. The program will end in April, crowned with a week of pitching to studios, production companies, and producers seeking fresh material or writers.
“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,” the accelerator page details.
Applicants must submit a completed pilot for a live-action, scripted series. Documentaries, animations, webseries, and films will not be accepted. All material must be original and submitted by the owner, who must also specify if the project is an adaptation and whether or not they have the rights.
Fellows will be selected by a panel of industry judges that includes “Strays” executive producer Anita Kapila, “Queenie” creator Leigh Davenport, and “The Walking Dead: co-executive producer Nicole Mirante-Matthews.
“Our inaugural accelerator demonstrated how many talented women and non-binary writers are ready to take their careers to the next level — they just need the support and connections to get there,” said WWFC co-founder Katrina Medoff.
WWFC co-founder Tracy Sayre added, “Studios and production companies are looking for untapped talent and our fellows get an incredible opportunity to hone their pitches and meet people who can catapult their careers to the next level.” She emphasized, “Ultimately, it’s viewers who benefit the most from more diverse storytelling on screen.”
The deadline to submit is January 4, 2023. Visit WWFC’s website for more details. Click here to submit an application.
Among the accelerator’s alumni is Vivian Kerr, whose latest feature, “Scrap,” premiered at this year’s Deauville Film Fest. She stars in and wrote the pic, which follows a recently laid-off single mother struggling to hide her homelessness from her family.
“The speakers were amazing — from all different areas of the entertainment industry,” Kerr said in praise of the WWFC accelerator. “We got a lot of one-on-one feedback from them, which was so helpful in refining our pitches. The program really was a game changer.”
Founded in 2017 by Sayre and Medoff, the WWFC “works for gender equity by creating opportunities for women and non-binary people to bring their leadership, talents, and stories to the forefront of the film and television industry,” according to the organization’s website. Best known for its signature film challenge, WWFC has produced 36 short films with over 900 women and non-binary filmmaking professionals.