21CF Global Inclusion has selected eight participants in the seventh annual Fox Writers Lab, a highly selective program for emerging TV writers with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. The writers will participate in a four-month intensive on the Fox Studio Lot in Los Angeles that focuses on developing original material, honing skills, and exploring the media and entertainment business. The program creates a strong pipeline of well-rounded talent for staffing on Fox television shows and contributes to increasing the diversity of viewpoints and ideas in the film and TV industry as a whole.
Over the course of the program, the writers will take part in a rigorous intensive on writing for television. They will receive guidance on their scripts through master classes, and will receive group career coaching and individual mentorship from creative executives at FOX Broadcasting Company, Fox 21, FX and 20th Century Fox Television. Experienced writers, showrunners, and directors will serve as guest speakers.
Beyond helping the participants hone their craft and learn the business, the Fox Writers Lab also provides extensive resources for script development and job placement. All participants are eligible to receive priority staffing meetings for the established Fox Writers Lab Staff Writer position on Fox television shows. In addition, one writer will be named the 2018 Fox Writers Lab Fellow and will receive a development deal on his/her script. The Fellow will also receive one-on-one creative meetings with network and other Fox entertainment current and development executives.
In the seven years since its initial launch, the Fox Writers Lab has produced several notable alumni, including: Lena Waithe, Emmy-winning writer of “Master of None” and creator, executive producer and writer of “The Chi”; Ed Gonzalez, co-writer of feature film “All Eyes on Me”; Cindy Fang, staff writer on “Rush Hour” and “Fresh Off the Boat”; JaSheika James and JaNeika James, executive story editors on “Empire”; and Ester Lou Weithers, staff writer on “Star” and “Pitch.”
The Fox Writers Lab is one of many programs at 21CF that nurtures diverse voices and stories, both in front of and behind the camera. Last year, the company launched the inaugural Fox Filmmakers Lab, an initiative designed to help increase the number of female directors working in the entertainment industry. The Fox Television Directors Lab will announce its 2018 class of fellows later this year. 21CF Global Inclusion is focused on seeking and broadening diversity and inclusion efforts, talent, and perspectives throughout the organization.
Learn more about each of the eight participants in this year’s Fox Writers Lab by reading their bios below:
Anthony Florez is a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and was raised in Reno, Nevada. Inspired by the service of his father, uncles, and grandfathers, he became a third-generation serviceman when he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2008. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant and departed the U.S. Navy in pursuit of his creative passions. Anthony most recently participated in the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project.
Felicia Hilario is a Mexican American screenwriter with roots in East LA. She is a graduate of both UCLA’s Professional Screenwriting Program and most recently USC’s MFA in Screenwriting Program. During her time at USC she received the Mary Pickford Scholarship, the Lionsgate-Televisa Scholarship, and the Grillo-Marxuach Family Fellowship. She currently is a Writers’ PA on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Milton Liu is a founding partner of Kulture Machine and the Director of Programs at Visual Communications (LA Asian Pacific Film Festival). Recently, Milton released the feature “Awesome Asian Bad Guys” (FilmBuff) as writer/producer and the web series “John Hughes Ruined My Life” (funded by Tribeca) as writer/director/producer. He also wrapped his short documentary “I Hate Big Phony” on Xfinity TV. Previously, Milton was an ABC/Disney Feature Writing Fellow. Milton is a member of the WGA.
Jenny Deiker Restivo is the winner of the 2016 Launchpad Pilots Competition, and was listed on both the 2016 Young and Hungry List and the 2017 Bitch List. A graduate of the United World College of the Atlantic and the University of Iowa, she is a writer of primarily dark genre dramas and has worked in reality television for the last nine years.
Aiah Samba is an African American screenwriter based in Los Angeles. He studied production and screenwriting at Brooks Institute and UCLA, and has worked as a freelance writer for years. He is currently developing an original TV drama with Overbrook Entertainment and was recently awarded a grant from Break Media to produce an original sci-fi short, Whipping Boy. He is represented by Stories International.
Elizabeth Stamp is a native of Wheeling, West Virginia, and a graduate of Brown University. She began her career as an editor at Elle Decor and Architectural Digest. She is a contributor to The Onion and her original pilot Maternal Instinct was recently named best comedy script at the New York Television Festival. She is currently developing a comedy podcast with Audible.
Jai Tiggett is a writer and producer with a background in independent film. She has written and created content with Al Jazeera, Codeblack, Epiphany Films, Issa Rae Productions and others. She is a film school graduate of Florida State University and UCLA, and she was a Cosby Screenwriting Fellow at USC. Her writing on entertainment and pop culture has appeared in Shadow & Act, Indiewire, Ebony, Women & Hollywood and Cinematiq Magazine.
Tesia Walker is a writer born in the Bronx, but raised in New Rochelle, NY. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, and the recent recipient of the Showtime Tony Cox Screenplay Competition for best episodic one-hour teleplay. Prior to film school, she participated in the NBC Page Program, and worked as a television production assistant for both ABC and FX Networks shows.