Netflix and Sky unveil first cohorts of UK Screenwriters’ Fellowship

Bisha K. Ali, Netflix and Sky have revealed the six screenwriters selected to take part in their first UK Screenwriters Fellowship.

The year-long program – which is currently halfway through – is led by British screenwriter Bisha K. Ali, head writer of the latest Disney Plus series Ms. Marvel and consulting producer for Sky Original The baby.

The Screenwriters Fellowship – part of Netflix and Sky’s plan to expand opportunities across the UK – aims to give underrepresented talent the chance to join a Netflix or Sky writers room and receive their first television credit.

The six successful contestants submitted a full script that had to demonstrate an “authentic and original voice” and were selected from 2,000 submissions.

The chosen fellows include Asad Ullah, a screenwriter and queer theater artist from Manchester; Daniel T. David, copywriter and Kayla Hendy, 23-year-old writer from Slough. As well as Kim Taylor, former teacher and freelance writer for stage and screen; Lewis Wren, a 29-year-old playwright and screenwriter from the North West of England and Robyn Ahern, a writer who has also worked in film development and academia.

They have been named industry mentors and have participated in workshops and discussions with industry professionals such as Charlie Brooker, Charlie Covell, Kate Herron, Chandni Lakhani and Laurie Nunn.

Speaking about the program in a statement, Ali said, “I am so proud to see the creative growth of the talented and driven writers selected for our screenwriter scholarship. The world of screenwriting has historically been difficult to break into, made even more difficult by the systemic issues within our industry. Our Fellowship does not claim to have all the answers, but we aspire to be part of the movement towards a more inclusive industry.

She continued, “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!’

Anne Mensah, vice president of original series at Netflix, noted how the streaming giant’s content should reflect the diverse world we live in.

“At Netflix, we want to create shows that reflect the world we live in and develop a more inclusive pipeline of creations across the UK. True diversity is knowing which voices are heard and which stories and perspectives are told. 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 financial security needed to help writers develop their craft. , Mensah said.

Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Sky Studios, added: “The stories we tell shape our collective understanding of the world, so it is essential to open the closed sphere of screenwriting to as many voices as possible, we to tell untold stories to a global audience”. Inspired by Bisha’s vision, we’re proud to help break down barriers and support these six new writers at this early stage in their careers.