Inevitable Foundation has revealed its Fall 2022 Accelerate Fellows and announced the expansion of its Accelerate Fellowship (formerly Screenwriting Fellowship), supported by an exclusive, multi-year commitment from Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity.
The organization has been doing the work when it comes to breaking down barriers keeping mid-level disabled screenwriters from reaching their full potential. The fellowship gives writers the funding, mentorship, connections and community they need to become industry-leading creators. The year-long program offers $40,000 grants along with an immense amount of business and writing support to help Fellows develop and sell their own content. The expanded program includes additional mentorship opportunities with industry experts and creatives, access to health insurance, and expanded educational and community programming, including guidance on IP acquisition.
Inevitable Foundation has announced Monica Lucas and David Dineen-Porter as its Fall 2022 Accelerate Fellows. They join Spring 2022 Fellows Sam Dunnewold and Anton Ray, Fall 2021 Fellows Shaina Ghuraya, Greg Machlin, and Aoife Baker, and Spring 2021 Fellows Kalen Feeney and Shani Am. Moore. Since launching in 2021, Inevitable Foundation has granted over $250,000 in funding to disabled screenwriters.
“We are thrilled to partner with Netflix to launch the Accelerate Fellowship and speed up the transition for disabled writers to become high-level creators,” said Inevitable Foundation co founders Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska. “Despite disabled people making up over 20% of the U.S. population, less than 0.5% of first-look and overall deals go to disabled writers and 97% of writers’ rooms have no upper-level disabled writers. Netflix’s multi-year commitment—the largest from any streamer, studio or network to date—is a resounding endorsement of our barrier-breaking approach to fostering the next generation of disabled creators. We are also very excited to welcome Monica and David as our Fall 2022 Accelerate Fellows.”
Monica Lucas is a neurodivergent, Puerto Rican screenwriter who writes stylistic character dramas about women and girls wrestling back power from the systems that seek to diminish them. She believes in the power of story to make the world a more empathetic place, especially for women, people of color, and folks with disabilities. Monica got her start as a political activist in Washington, DC, where she worked in the U.S. Department of State and for various nonprofits and think tanks. She has received her MFA in Writing for Screen and Television from USC, has her first pilot in development and is co-writing an upcoming narrative podcast. She was the 2021 JHRTS Feature Drama Winner as well as a finalist in the Moving Picture Institute’s Short Film Lab.
“I am beyond excited to have been selected as a Fall 2022 Accelerate Fellow,” said Lucas. “Hollywood is a difficult industry with complex social norms that remain obscure to many who attempt to break in; navigating it with Autism has been especially challenging. This fellowship will set me up for success as I work to become a screenwriter who can break down stigma for other storytellers with disabilities.”
David Dineen-Porter is a comedy writer with an interest in science fiction and absurdism. He was born by emergency C-section, demonstrating an early love of drama. In college he majored in Assyriology, inspired by an episode of Star Trek (“Darmok”) and a deficit of long-term planning. He has worked on Magic For Humans on Netflix, The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS, and Xavier: Renegade Angel on Cartoon Network. He also produces and hosts the surrealist comedy podcast Party of Four. He was listed on Vulture’s 50 Comics to Know in 2015, and has performed at Just For Laughs 42, San Francisco Sketch Fest, and Bridgetown Comedy Festival.
“Inevitable Foundation’s mission to provide specialized help to disabled creatives has renewed my optimism about what is possible for me. The opportunity to hone my craft with professional guidance and such a supportive community of peers is overwhelming,” Dineen-Porter shared.
Inevitable Foundation is also excited to report on the progress of its existing Accelerate Fellows. Since being named as a Fellow in Spring 2021, Shani Am. Moore has been a Story Editor on Hulu’s political and relationship series The Bold Type and an Executive Story Editor on the BET+ series Kingdom Business. Most recently, she was a Co-Producer on the latest season of Netflix #1 hit Sweet Magnolias. Shaina Ghuraya (Fall 2021) recently signed with Jeff Portnoy at Bellevue Productions and Sam Dunnewold (Spring 2022) signed with Brandon Stein at Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Sam was also connected with director Ashley Eakin via Inevitable Foundation’s Concierge service, and the two are now working with a leading production company to adapt her short film, Roommates, which debuted at SXSW in 2022, into a feature film.
As part of the relaunch, the Foundation is moving to an annual cycle for naming new Fellows and has updated its Mid-Level Criteria, which will now guide applicants to the programs that they’re eligible for. Prospective applicants for the Fellowship can learn more about Inevitable Foundation’s programs on its website and by taking their Programs Eligibility Questionnaire. Those who qualify will be invited to apply for the 2023 cohort early next year.