LMU Film School And Film Independent Launch Screenwriter Mentorship Program; Billy Ray & Rebecca Sonnenshine Among Elite Scribes Participating

EXCLUSIVE: On Thursday, Film Independent and The Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television announced the launch of a new screenwriter mentorship program, on which they’ve teamed up.

The Loyola Marymount University/Film Independent Story Development Residency is bringing together a select group of LMU alumni to develop either a feature-length, narrative screenplay or an episodic series over the course of eight months, with guidance from professional screenwriters. During their time with the program, Residents will be advised on best practices for pitching and developing stories from a producing perspective. They will also take away practical working knowledge of the film industry and market, in a 2021 post-pandemic environment.

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Screenwriter/producers speaking at, or serving as mentors for the program this year include NAACP Image Award winner Shernold Edwards (A Day Late and a Dollar Short), Jennifer Glickman (Melissa & Joey, The Big Bang Theory), Emmy winner Mike Makowsky (Bad Education), Felicia Pride (Grey’s Anatomy, Queen Sugar), Oscar nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) and Rebecca Sonnenshine (The Boys, The Vampire Diaries). LMU’s SFTV Film Festival and Career Manager Lex McNaughton and Film Independent’s Associate Director of Film Education Paul Cowling will be managing the program, with script consultant Ruth Atkinson (Sheikh Jackson, 37 Seconds) serving as Creative Advisor.

Residents will also be given the opportunity to network with a wider range of entertainment professionals, including independent creative producers, agents, programmers, consultants, and distributors.

“We are proud to partner again with Film Independent in investing in our alumni,” said Dr. Bryant Keith Alexander, interim dean of the LMU School of Film and Television. “One of our priorities is to set up our graduates for success, both on campus and in their career pathways. This year’s group of mentees will work with some of the best mentors in the entertainment industry, and are a talented group whose projects show tremendous promise, both creatively and commercially.”

“We are thrilled to support LMU’s efforts to advance the careers of their alumni as they navigate the industry,” added Maria Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives at Film Independent. “Harnessing our years of experience creating state of the art education and artist development programs we are excited to design and execute a very robust program for this talented group of emerging writers from the School of Film and Television.”

The LMU/Film Independent Screenwriting Development Residency is open to LMU graduates and alumni who are no more than 8 years out from their graduation date. It is one of many exclusive opportunities provided to LMU alumni to help with job placement, post-education support, and enrichment as they enter the entertainment industry workforce.

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