EXCLUSIVE: The Gotham Film & Media Institute today named Ahya Simone, Bré Rivera and Paige Wood (Femme Queen Chronicles), Ariel Zucker and Daryl Paris Bright (GYNO), Chy Chi (Hot Dish), Stacie E. Hawkins (Night Watchers), Connor Austin Jones (On The Line), Maia Nikiphoroff (The Rise of Elisa Lynch), Lauren Ciaravalli (S.L.U.T.), Lori Webster Fore (Soul City), David Barker, Jerónimo Rodriguez and Jay van Hoy (Wiring Utopia), and Edith Rodriguez (Youth) as the fellows and projects for its 2022 Gotham TV Series Lab, taking place today through May 13th.
The Gotham TV Series Lab provides teams of up-and-coming creators, writers and producers with the knowledge, resources and mentor support necessary for writing strong pitches and creating solid development strategies. The five-day program is composed of workshops, panels and case studies, with a particular focus on the inner workings of the writers’ room and new trends in the marketplace.
This year, for the first time, two of the 10 projects included are from the Expanding Communities program, by way of recommendations from partner organizations, Gyno and Night Watchers. Expanding Communities is dedicated to providing resources, a community space, and industry access to individuals with disabilities, as well as Black, Indigenous, PoC, and LGBTQIA+ creators across the film, TV and audio industries.
“We are proud to announce the newest cohort for our fourth annual Gotham TV Series Lab which provides writers and creators new to the TV field with first-hand mentorship opportunities with industry experts,” said The Gotham’s Executive Director, Jeff Sharp. “This year’s selections feature ambitious projects with exciting world-building concepts and powerful self-possessed characters representing the continued vitality of this ever expanding art form. We are so grateful to be of service in supporting these amazing creators in reaching their intended audiences.”
The Gotham TV Series Lab operates under the artistic direction of Senior Manager, Episodic and International Programming, Gabriele Capolino. The 2022 Lab is being guided by Lab Leaders Neerja Narayanan (Creative Producer, Sony Pictures International Productions) and Rae Benjamin (CEO/Founder, In the Cut; Staff Writer, Netflix’s The Witcher).
All 2022 fellows will automatically participate in the 44th Gotham Week’s Project Market, where they will pitch their projects to industry decision makers. More information on the .projects selected for this year’s lab can be found below.
- Femme Queen Chronicles — An aspiring musician, CHANEL, and her trans girlfriends — ERYKAH and AMIRAH — try to make a name and life for themselves in the city of Detroit. Ahya Simone (Creator), Bré Rivera (Creator), Paige Wood (Creator)
- GYNO (Expanding Communities Fellow)– Connected by one trusty gynecologist, GYNO is an anthology episodic that follows fictional LA strangers who navigate their lives, reproductive systems, and everything in between. Ariel Zucker (Creator, Writer Executive Producer), Daryl Paris Bright (Creator, Writer, Executive Producer)
- Hot Dish — A struggling feminist porno writer working at a toxic, male-dominated, ultra-fine dining restaurant in L.A. falls into a secret relationship with the new chef that sparks the ire of hostile coworkers. Chy Chi (Creator, Writer)
- Night Watchers (Expanding Communities Fellow) — A socially anxious teen discovers she has powers when her parents are abducted by a demonic witch. In order to save her family, she must confront her innermost fears and join a gang of supernatural vigilantes called the Night Watchers. Stacie E. Hawkins (Creator, Writer)
- On The Line — A once-renowned 18-year old sprinting prodigy – Myles D’Vine – struggles back to the line as he faces the physical and mental reality of his life, on and off the track. Connor Austin Jones (Creator, Executive Producer)
- The Rise of Elisa Lynch — A historical satire inspired by the life of Elisa Lynch, who abandons the palaces of Paris for the jungles of Paraguay in the mid-nineteenth century. Maia Nikiphoroff (Creator, Writer, Executive Producer)
- S.L.U.T. — When Lia, a smart yet sheltered virgin, takes a stand after being slut-shamed, she finds herself the unlikely leader of fed-up popular girls, rebels and outsiders alike. As they band together to shift the culture at their school, each teen embarks on a unique journey to find their identity, power, and sexuality. Lauren Ciaravalli (Creator, Writer)
- Soul City — When a catastrophic hurricane slams a small town in North Carolina, a curious connection between the case of an escaped convict and a missing Black girl unearths a hidden Black utopia, long thought to be lost. Lori Webster Fore (Creator, Writer)
- Wiring Utopia — In 1970s revolutionary Chile, an idealistic team of young people and an eccentric British cybernetician race against coup plotters to create an electronic nervous system that can save the country – and change the world. David Barker (Creator, Writer), Jerónimo Rodriguez (Writer), Jay van Hoy (Executive Producer)
- Youth — When the secretly atheist black sheep of the family returns home after her twin brother’s death, she gets roped into replacing him as the youth pastor at her parents’ Chicago church. Edith Rodriguez (Creator, Writer)