Pilot Accelerator

Polish your pitch and pilot

A three-week intensive virtual program with sessions that includes critiques, legal information, and pitch coaching.

Pitch to major studios

Companies including HBO, Warner Horizon, Broadway Video and many more will take meetings with our fellows.

Get read by industry insiders

Our panel of prestigious judges are producers and writers on your favorite shows and they want to read your work!

In this highly competitive virtual accelerator program for TV writers, 6-8 fellows will receive three weeks of industry training before having the opportunity to pitch to major studios, production companies and producers. The entire accelerator, including training and pitching, will occur online.


The goal of this program is to launch the careers of our fellows, which could take the form of selling their TV pilot; securing follow-up meetings with executives; getting hired as a freelance writer, staff writer or writing support staff on an existing series; and/or making valuable industry contacts.

Fellows will be selected with the help of industry judges.

See below for the timeline. If you have any questions not answered here or on our FilmFreeway page, visit our FAQ or watch the replay of our live Q&A.  Applications for our 2021 accelerator are now closed.

Who is hearing pitches
 

The 6-8 selected fellows will have the opportunity to pitch their pilots to an elite group of studios, productions companies and producers. These pitches will happen in the beginning of October over Zoom.

In addition to the companies listed below, the following individuals will be hearing pitches: Clifton Campbell (executive producer of "Sleepy Hollow," "White Collar," "The Glades" ), Leonard Dick ("The Good Wife," "House," "Lost"), and Kevin Fox (co-executive producer "Law & Order SVU". "Lie to Me").

HBO

"Big Little Lies," "Game of Thrones," "Insecure"

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"Made for Love," "The Flight Attendant"

Warner Horizon Television

"Queen Sugar," "Pretty Little Liars," "You"

Comedy Central

"Awkwafina is Nora from Queens," "Another Period," "Irrational Fears"

Berlanti Productions ("Riverdale," "The Flash," "You")

"Riverdale," "The Flash," "Supergirl"

Sid Gentle Films

"Killing Eve," "Ragdoll"

Blumhouse Television

"The Purge," "Sharp Objects," "Fall River"

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"Normal People"

Fabel ("Bosch")

"Bosch"

Broadway Video ("Shrill," "30 Rock," "Kenan")

"Shrill," "30 Rock," "Kenan"

Jax Media ("Broad City," "A Black Lady Sketch Show," "Emily in Paris")

"Broad City," "A Black Lady Sketch Show," "Search Party"

Good Fear Content

"Mulan"

Tornante Company ("NOS4A2," "BoJack Horseman")

"NOS4A2"

Semi-Formal Productions

"The Shrink Next Door"

Who is judging the submissions
 

Semifinalists' pilots will be read by an incredible group of judges, including showrunners and TV writers. This panel of judges will help us select the finalists, who will then go through a virtual interview before the 6-8 fellows are selected. Even if you are not selected as a fellow, there is still a chance you might be contacted if one of these judges likes your script enough to interview or refer you for a writing position.

Semifinalists will also receive the latest version of Final Draft 12 software and gain access to a library of select virtual workshops from the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge virtual workshop series. Plus, they'll attend an exclusive virtual networking event, where they'll meet their fellow semifinalists.

Elle Johnson

Elle Johnson is a writer, producer and showrunner. Most recently, she served as a co-showrunner on Netflix’s limited series "Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker" starring/produced by Octavia Spencer. In addition, Johnson wrote, produced and/or executive produced on shows including "CSI: Miami," "Law & Order," "Ghost Whisperer," "Saving Grace," "The Glades," "Finding Carter," "The Fosters,” "Homicide," "Any Day Now," and "Bosch.”

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Nicole Mirante-Matthews is a producer and writer, known for co-ep of The Walking Dead, co-ep of Luke Cage, supervising producer of NCIS, and writer for Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She began her career as a TV news reporter, graduating from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, USA.

leigh Essence

Writer/director Leigh Davenport is the creator of "Run The World" on Starz. She wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Netflix film “The Perfect Find” starring Gabrielle Union and the screenplay for Lifetime’s Wendy Williams biopic. Davenport is the former editorial director of HelloBeautiful.com. Over the last decade, Davenport has worked in entertainment media in various capacities including writing for The Black Girls Rock! Awards and in unscripted production at BET, TV ONE and VH1.

Anita Kapila

Anita Kapila is one of the most in demand comedy writers in Canada. Anita has been a Co-Executive Producer on the last five seasons of KIMS CONVENIENCE and received a 2018 CSA nomination for her writing. She has also written for the new Bell series CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING and will be serving as Co-EP on STRAYS, the KIM'C CONVENIENCE spin-off. On the development side she is currently working on a pilot for Amazon. Her other live-action credits include MR D and HOW TO BE INDIE.

Obehi Janice

Obehi Janice is a Los Angeles-based writer, actor and comedian. Her credits include Dicktown (FXX), Castle Rock (Hulu) and an upcoming show on HBO. She’s currently developing a pilot with Hillman Grad and Big Beach for Amazon Studios. You can see her face on a screen at The National Museum of Natural History talking about the lessons learned from dinosaur extinction.

Christine Walters

As VP of Development & Original Programming at Warner Media, Christine Walters oversaw production and development on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Miracle Workers, Tacoma FD, Jon Glaser Loves Gear, Friends of The People and The Chris Gethard Show, amongst others. Her extensive writing and producing credits include series and specials for Comedy Central, Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, and Sundance Channel. Walters performed improv and sketch comedy for two decades at UCB.

Shukri Abdi

Shukri R. Abdi, is a writer, actor, and producer from Potomac, Maryland. Currently a writer on Nickelodeon’s DANGER FORCE, her other writing credits include AMC’s KEVIN CAN F**K HIMSELF, BET’s BLACK CARD REVOKED, and narrative podcasts for Broadway Video & Audible. In 2019, Shukri was named a New Face of Comedy by the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and performed her characters in Montreal, Canada.

Jasmine Russ

Australian born, Jasmine Russ immigrated to the US in 2014 to work in casting before transitioning to development under Fabrik Entertainment. Currently she is the Director of Development at Fabel Entertainment where she specializes in genre blending, horror, comedy and first time creators. As an executive at Fabel, Jasmine has set up multiple projects at Netflix, Amazon and IMDb TV, as well as working with the team to shepherd and grow the development slate.

Kristina Thomas

Writer on the upcoming Bad Robot/HBO Drama “DEMIMONDE”, Writer-Director Kristina Thomas first showed her potential in the documentary side of filmmaking by winning awards that led her to win $50,000 to direct a pilot TV show in New Orleans, Louisiana for MTV/Endemol. After paying her dues as script coordinator for such shows as Greenleaf, Lovecraft Country and The Haunting of Bly Manor (S2), her feature "WORTH IT" received recognition as a semi-finalist for the Women in Film/ The Blacklist.

Dana Farley

Dana Farley has spent her career working across the entertainment industry. A proud New York native, she graduated from Bucknell University with her Bachelor’s degree in English – Film/Media Studies & Anthropology. She has worked at Magnolia Pictures, Tribeca Film Festival, TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, Paradigm Talent Agency, Warrior Films and, most recently, The David Lynch Foundation before joining the literary department at Good Fear Content.

Meet our 2021 fellows

This ultra-talented group of writers received top scores from our judges and excelled during the interview process. They will attend a three-week intensive course with sessions led by professionals in the business. The content of the sessions is geared toward advancing the fellows' careers and includes feedback on pitches from a showrunner and speech coach; a mock writers room; and legal information from an entertainment lawyer. At the end of the accelerator, the fellows will have the opportunity to pitch to these major companies!

Danielle Nicki

Danielle Nicki has focused on the craft of screenwriting for nearly a decade and enjoys creating flawed women of color protagonists with interesting and diverse life experiences not often seen on screen. She is a Nicholl Fellowship quarterfinalist, an Austin Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival Finalist, and was recently named one of International Screenwriters Association’s Top 25 Writers to Watch in 2021.

Joanne Thomson

Joanne Thomson is an actor, writer and director from Glasgow, Scotland. As a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduate and a BAFTA LA Newcomer, she has worked across BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated series with BBC, Sony, Amazon and Netflix and has directed internationally award-winning theater. Her writing has placed in several Screencraft competitions as well as making the BBC Writer’s Room Top 2%. Her most recent film, which she will also co-direct, is currently shortlisted for BFI funding.

Kate Torgovnick May

Kate Torgovnick May is a television writer who’s fascinated by people and the things that make them tick. She’s drawn to unexplored female worlds — the staff lounge of a fertility clinic, the sugar baby conference circuit. A staff writer on “NCIS” and consulting producer on The CW’s “Hellcats” — and a former journalist who worked for JANE Magazine, The New York Times and TED Talks — Kate's work is grounded in research and a desire to understand people.

Kenyetta Raelyn

Kenyetta Raelyn is an award-winning LA-based screenwriter. Obsessed with the Gilded Age and early American industrial tycoons, she writes vividly about capitalism, wealth and privilege and their intersection with race and class. Last year, she was a participant in the Blacklist/Women in Film Episodic Lab and landed in the top 10% of the Nicholl Competition. In 2019, Kenyetta was a part of Meryl Streep’s The Writers Lab NYC and the ScreenCraft Drama Feature Competition winner.

Ramou Sarr

Ramou is a writer in Los Angeles. She created, wrote, and starred in the web series “Brunch,” about two Black women pondering their neuroses over eggs and mimosas. She has written several personal narrative essays, two Glamour magazine cover stories, and one creepy short story about a missing Midwest teen. She has a background in indigent criminal defense and is passionate about telling the stories of dynamic, complicated, and often messy women.

Spade Robinson

Spade Robinson is an award-winning writer and director with experience that spans feature film, documentary, television, commercial and theater. Robinson is a master's alumnus of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she emphasized writing and directing. Spade has directed several short films and written a host of television pilots and feature screenplays. She has twice been a finalist for the Sundance Episodic Lab, and she’s been a finalist for Film Independent Episodic Lab and AFI’s Directing

SamanthaWilson

Samantha Wilson was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. After graduating from DePaul University with a degree in screenwriting and photography, she moved to Los Angeles, California. Her time as an assistant in the film and television industry morphed into a career as a script reader and story analyst, working for high-profile screenwriting contests and a major studio. She enjoys writing character-driven dark comedy, dramedy, and drama, often with a grounded, genre twist.

Vivian Kerr

Vivian Kerr is an actor, writer, producer, and director. In 2020, she was a finalist in Sony Pictures TV's Rising Storytellers Search with her pilot “Five Points,” about the female-led gangs of 19th-century New York, which is also in the 2021 Stowe Story Lab. Her feature debut, “SCRAP,” is currently in post-production. The script was a Top 10 finalist in Final Draft's Big Break. It stars Anthony Rapp and Lana Parrilla and will premiere in 2022.

Timeline
 

The virtual accelerator runs from Sept. 16 to Oct 8, 2021. The 6-8 fellows who are accepted into this program will spend several weeks polishing their pilots and pitches through sessions with guest speakers and peer review before a week of pitching to studio executives and production companies. All sessions and pitches will take place through Zoom.

Fellows are required to attend every session. Here are the dates (note these dates and times are subject to change):

June 17, 2021:

Applications open.

July 1, 2021:

Regular deadline

July 21, 2021:

Late deadline

Mid-August:

Semifinalists announced. Semifinalists' scripts will be read and scored by industry judges.

Late August:

Finalists announced. All finalists will be interviewed virtually.

First week of September:

Fellows are announced. Fellows will have assigned work to complete before the beginning of the program, including reading other fellows' scripts, watching several virtual workshops and polishing pitch materials.

Sept. 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30, and Oct. 1, 2021, 3 - 6 p.m. PT / 6 - 9 p.m. ET:

Fellows attend virtual meetings led by WWFC and industry insiders to strengthen their scripts, polish their loglines, prepare pitch materials, practice pitching, and learn about navigating emails they might come across in the entertainment industry. Industry guests include “Self Made” co-showrunner Elle Johnson, speech coach Samara (dialect coach for Gal Gadot and Rachel McAdams), and entertainment lawyer Anuj Gupta.

Wednesday - Friday, Oct. 6-8, 2021:

Pitch week! Prior to this week, we will send the fellows' loglines to the companies and individuals signed on to hear pitches. They will each select three pitches they would like to hear based on those loglines. Fellows will be notified with the exact dates and times of their pitch meetings a few days in advance. 

 
Press

Learn about our new pilot accelerator on DeadlineVariety, tv tech,and Women and Hollywood:

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Meet our 2021 finalists
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Meet our 2021 semifinalists
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More questions?

Check out our FAQ page.

Sponsored in part by:

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