Inevitable Foundation, a non-profit funding and mentoring mid-career disabled screenwriters, has selected Sam Dunnewold and Anton Ray as their Spring 2022 Screenwriting Fellows. They will receive a $40,000 grant and 12 months of mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities with entertainment industry leaders.
Dunnewold and Ray join Fall 2021 Fellows Shaina Ghuraya, Greg Machlin, and Aoife Baker, and Spring 2021 Fellows Shani Am. Moore and Kalen Feeney.
The program focuses on writers who already have professional film and TV experience and infrastructure. Inevitable’s commitment to diversity and intersectionality is highlighted in their applicant base, with 58% of applicants identifying as female or nonbinary, 53% identifying as BIPOC and 46 percent identifying as LGBTQIA+.
In a joint statement, co-founders Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska said, “We are thrilled to welcome Sam and Anton into the program. There is a massive void of upper-level talent in the industry—-of the 1,300 first look and overall deals on record in 2021, only one was with a disabled creator—and we are laser focused on putting disabled screenwriters in positions of power. Our Fellowship helps them develop and sell their own content and climb the (often inaccessible) ladder to the upper-levels of the film and television industry.”
Dunnewold is a Minnesota-born comedy writer who likes a sharp wit and a good poop joke. After graduating from Carleton College with a major in film, Sam honed his comedy voice as an editor at places like The Onion, Funny or Die, and Team Coco before moving to LA to work on fiction podcasts. His writing is often high-concept, usually dark, and always nerdy. He was also a finalist at the 2022 ATX Pitch Competition. He has no colon.
“Receiving this Fellowship means I finally have the time and backing not just to write, but to build community, take meetings, read scripts, and still be able to take care of myself,” said Dunnewold. “More than that, it’s crucial validation. In an industry where it’s easy to question your own talent and skills, I’ll frequently come back to the thought that Inevitable Foundation believes in me as a storyteller.”
Ray is a poly-ethnic writer and director who grew up both above and below the poverty line in Eugene, Oregon. After serving for eight years in the Army Infantry and returning from war, he ended his career as a squad leader and battalion instructor and was able to turn his full attention to his true passion—the arts. While earning his BFA in Acting from CalArts, he met his long-time collaborator and writing partner, Paul Masterson, with whom he created a production company, Warrior Poet. Anton went on to earn his MFA in directing from East 15th in London, and has written, directed, and produced over forty pieces of theater and film in New York, Los Angeles, and London. He works most often in the one-hour drama space, with a special fondness for Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy that explores complicated moral gray areas. Anton just completed the WGA Veterans writing project.
“Being selected is quite literally life changing,” said Ray. “I have dedicated myself to screenwriting for nearly two decades while searching for opportunities to open doors for myself and others. Now that Inevitable Foundation has opened those doors, I will endeavor to make the most of it and keep them open behind me.”
Inevitable Foundation is also thrilled to share progress with our Spring and Fall 2021 Fellows.
Aoife Baker and Greg Machlin (Fall 2021) recently signed with Byron Wetzel and Christophe Desorbay at Range Media Partners, a leading management and production company. Shani Am. Moore (Spring 2021) is currently writing as a co-producer on the third season of Netflix’s global hit Sweet Magnolias. Shaina Ghuraya (Fall 2021) was just selected for the Women in Film | The Sundance Institute Financing Intensive for her feature film Agg, which she will direct.
The Foundation also named three Spring ‘22 Finalists:— Marc Muszynski, Adam Pottle, and Lina Patel. Finalists will receive a professional development grant and guidance from the foundation to continue leveling up their careers. Sam Dunnewold was previously named a Fall 2021 Screenwriting Fellowship finalist.
Disabled people are rarely represented in film and television on either side of the camera. While 20 percent of the U.S. population is disabled, less than one percent of all working film and TV writers are disabled. Through the Screenwriting Fellowship program, the foundation is closing the disability representation gap in entertainment by funding and mentoring those who control the narratives on-screen: writers.