July 15, 2021
WarnerMedia announces the finalists of their inaugural WarnerMedia Access Writers Programs that aim to amplify underrepresented voices in both the U.S. and in Canada. The U.S. program, formerly known as HBO Access, is designed for emerging writers and the Canadian program is designed for mid-level writers, and the first time the company has launched enterprise-wide talent programs under the WarnerMedia Access brand. Both programs begin in July and will allow applicants to hone their artistry; gain deeper industry knowledge; and experience invaluable exposure to company executives, creators, and established industry professionals, as well as workshop a script into a viable draft.
The U.S. program selected 21 participants whose scripts were in various genres, and they went through a rigorous interviewing and screening process for the seven-month long program. An advisory council was established, comprised of accomplished producers Sara Hess, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Sarah Schechter, Bird Runningwater, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sonya Winton-Odamtten, Jonathan Kidd, Bill Lawrence, Mindy Kaling and Ben Stephenson, along with executives Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer, HBO and HBO Max and Channing Dungey, Chairman Warner Bros. Television Group. They reviewed the curriculum and provided guidance as needed. Participants will learn about the television business from internal executives, attend master classes on storytelling and collaborative creative writing with showrunners, as well as other established special guests.
WarnerMedia Access x Canadian Academy Writers’ Program is an “artist-in-residence” style program, the first of its kind in Canada, targeted at mid-level writers who are ready to step into their next roles. WarnerMedia and the Canadian Academy conducted internal, peer, and juried reviews to select the 18 writers for both television and film. This program is offered to storytellers of all genders, abilities, and identities from underrepresented communities in Canada, and participants are able to write in either English or French. These creators are experts in their craft but may not have had the opportunity to reach their full industry potential, and whose individual voices and perspectives need to be heard and amplified.
“We’re very happy to be able to continue to support underrepresented voices both in the U.S. and Canada through our WarnerMedia Access brand,” said Karen Horne, Senior Vice President, Equity and Inclusion, WarnerMedia. “It gives us the opportunity to work with emerging voices and further the growth of those who are mid-career level.”
“There is such an incredible pool of talent in Canada, and we are thrilled that WarnerMedia gets to champion a number of these gifted writers with this program,” said Deanna Cadette, Executive Director, WarnerMedia Access Canada. “We received an overwhelming response with submissions from truly talented Canadians and are excited to move forward with the selected writers to help them advance on their path to success.”
The selected participants are:
Craig T. Williams
Eric Anthony Glover
Lenny Len & Etan Manasse-Piha
Lisa Sanaye Dring
Malia Dawkins Jennings
Richard Nguyen & Vinita Mehta
Jay Cardinal Villeneuve
For more information on the participants, please go to https://warner-access.com/talent.
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. The organization also includes Xandr’s suite of advanced advertising solutions designed to help to improve advertising for brands, publishers, and consumers.
WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).
About WarnerMedia Access:
At WarnerMedia we believe in authentic, meaningful connection—to each other, to culture, and to our consumer. That’s why we empower fearless storytellers who bring our world into focus—and create cultural touchstones with the power to draw us together. Through best-in-class talent development programs, mentorship, placement opportunities and industry exposure, WarnerMedia Access serves as a powerful conduit connecting under-represented Talent to our content and brands.
For more information on WarnerMedia Access visit https://warner-access.com/.
About the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is the largest non-profit professional arts organization in Canada. We are dedicated to recognizing, advocating for, and celebrating Canadian talent in the film, television, and digital media sectors. Our more than 4,000 members encompass industry icons and professionals, emerging artists, and students. Collectively, we deliver professional development programs and networking opportunities that foster industry growth, inclusion, and mentorship.
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television proudly acknowledges the support of its Leading Media Partner, CBC; its Premier Partner, Telefilm Canada; Platinum Partner, CTV; Principal Partner, Netflix; and its Lead Partners, the Canada Media Fund, Cineplex, and the Cogeco Fund.
For information on membership and programming visit academy.ca.