A curated selection of talented, ambitious, generous and exceptionally creative writers on the cusp of industry and artistic success.
These writers and the scripts they have written meet a high standard of readiness and appeal, with stories relevant to the world we live in today and concepts that can assist in shaping the future of our industry.
As an Advocate for their work, I strongly encourage you to check them out - and if you're in the position, to help move their careers forward.
(To get in touch about any of these writers, please see the contact form at the bottom of the list).
Mgr: First Friday Ent.
Feature - Drama
A headstrong Indian teen escapes an arranged marriage in India for Harvard, where she struggles to fit in while secretly masquerading as her Ivy League-bound brother.
Aarthi Ramanathan is a screenwriter and visual artist with a passion for screenplays in the animation, family and fantasy genres. Having lived in three countries on the opposite ends of the world - India where she was born, Kuwait where she grew up and also was a refugee during the Gulf War, and Canada where she lives now, she finds joy in writing stories from diverse perspectives, particularly that of the underdog and individuals with unique challenges set in soaring visual landscapes that also deeply imbibe the connection between nature and the human spirit. She has also been a finalist in various screenwriting competitions including the Tracking Board Launchpad, Final Draft Big Break, the Screencraft Fellowship and recently achieved the #1 position on the 2020 Bitch List.
Feature - Thriller/Drama
When a hard-nosed detective and her impulsive partner receive a lead on a cold case from a destitute clairvoyant, her growing belief and his cynical response forces them to confront each other’s judgements - and threatens to expose their secret affair.
Adrian Prospero is an award winning director and screenwriter, with over 12 years experience as head director of an Australian based production company. During his career, he has directed National TV spots in his birth country of Australia that have screened overseas in Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
With a strong passion for filmmaking, Adrian has directed numerous documentaries that deal with the human condition. He collaborated with the Western Australia Government and Police to produce documentaries about road safety that are screened to thousands of school children every year. Adrian’s storytelling explores universal themes of families and relationships. He has written and directed a number of short films that have screened at festivals in Australia, Canada and the US. Born in Australia, Adrian resides in Los Angeles.
April M. Sanchez
Mgr: AK Management
DAUGHTERS LOST TO THE DESERT
Feature - Thriller/Drama
A protective mother seeks justice for the murder of her youngest daughter amidst systemic corruption and accusations of being a murderous vigilante herself, which causes tensions with her eldest daughter.
Award-winning writer April Sánchez was born and raised in El Paso, TX, which borders the infamous Juarez, Mexico. April found inspiration for her stories from growing up amongst the beauty, wonder and traditional elements of this bicultural border town. She strives to imbue her characters with a sense of isolation, yearning to belong and the pull of spiritual mysteries one can find if they look deep within the Chihuahuan desert.
April is of a curious and adventurous nature, and is especially interested in the spiritual customs and afterlife beliefs of cultures around the world. In her travels from India to Costa Rica, from Europe to across the U.S., April seeks out the culture and customs of the local people. From Shamans to Priests, Rabbis to Gurus, if there is a spiritual ceremony she is invited to, she will definitely attend regardless of her own personal beliefs.
Feature - Horror/Sci-Fi
When a dorm building gets caught in a time loop and two bloodthirsty monsters run rampant within, one college girl must relive the experience over and over again in order to save her crush.
Avishai is an Orthodox Jewish award winning writer-director from New York, with a focus on horror and science fiction. He attended Maale Film School in Jerusalem for a year, followed by four years at NYU Tisch. His thesis short film, a horror called THIRD DATE, was licensed by Alter after screening at festivals around the country, and his feature screenplay based on that short film garnered top awards at multiple festivals. His award-winning screenplay DRIFT OFF was bought by Boulderlight Pictures.
Currently, Avishai lives in Brooklyn with his family, where he enjoys singing with his family, making chicken soup for Shabbos, and writing a ton.
WHEN THE DESERT WAS HOME
Feature - Drama/War
After the Libyan Revolution, an orphan of an indigenous North African tribe is taken as a servant of a rebel militia, where she meets an Arab soldier who pledges to return her to safety in order to cope with his own demons.
Corey Deshon is an award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer, currently known for writing the theatrically-released independent feature films SHINE (2017) and TRESPASSERS (2018). He is currently a Consulting Producer on Season 3 of ABC's A MILLION LITTLE THINGS, and is in post-production on his directorial debut feature, a surrealist thriller entitled DAUGHTER, also from his own original screenplay. He is represented at WME by Roger Green, Ali Bahrynian, Cori Wellins, Dani Potter, and Daniela Federman.
Mgr: FWRD MGMT
Half Hour Pilot - Comedy/Drama
After relocating from an affluent, mostly White part of town to the ‘hood, a bougie Black girl quickly realizes that she's extremely whitewashed and compiles a secret to-do list to increase her Blackness and fit in at her new school.
Danielle Nicki has focused on the craft of screenwriting for nearly a decade. She was born in Naples, Italy to military parents and moved to the States when she was four. She enjoys creating nuanced female protagonists of color with interesting and diverse life experiences often not seen on screen. Danielle has been married for 18 years and has three teenagers who provide her with endless inspiration and material.
Donna Bonilla Wheeler
Feature - Comedy/Drama
A Latinx prodigy musician trapped in a majority-white rural Georgia town fights to break free
from the silence when a carefree fading country star camps her RV on the girl’s father’s farm.
Peruvian-American Donna Bonilla Wheeler grew up in Miami, FL., and is a Los Angeles-based Afra-Indigenous Latinx writer/director focusing on female diversity stories and characters. Her short and feature films have played at festivals around the world, winning in dramedy and family categories. Her original screenplays have been Nicholl Fellowship semi/quarter Finalists, Austin 2nd Rounders, Slamdance Lab selects, Sundance Lab finalists, IFP NoBorders Selections, and DTLAFF Screenplay award winners. She co-created the MIPTV In Development Latinx drama TV series, CLASH.
Donna is a MIPTV Producer to Watch, an Alliance of Women Directors Executive Board Member, AWD Industry Support Fellow and Directing Shadow, Outfest Directing Shadow, and members of Film Independent, WIF, Sundance Collab, and Film Fatales.
One Hour Pilot - Crime Drama
The murder of a legendary Black bull-rider at an isolated Texas town’s rodeo draws recently returned homicide detective Ana Delgado into the heart of a community-wide conspiracy involving an environmental crime - even as she grapples with the death of her estranged mother and the bittersweet family legacy she left behind.
Eugene Navakas has lived in twelve cities in seven states, including Lubbock, Texas, the extremely isolated inspiration for GALAPAGOS, TEXAS, his current crime-drama hour-long. He has an M.A. and Ph.D. in English Lit., but he’s also worked the help desk at Enron and shoveling frozen manure in the stables of a small Ohio farm. His grief-and-fertility dramedy half-hour, EXPECTATIONS, won the 2016 TV Pilot Writing Competition at UCLA Extension.
THE WHITE MOUSE
One-Hour Pilot - Adventure/Drama
Number One on the Gestapo’s Most Wanted List, a frivolous prewar socialite turns deadly assassin and secret agent in World War II, ending the war early but losing everything in the process. Based on true events.
Heather Farlinger holds an Honours B.A. with Distinction from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a Specialist in International Relations and a Minor in Economics; a Finance Certificate from McGill University, completed the Screenwriting workshop with UCLA Screenwriting Program Chairman, Richard Walter, as well as Robert McKee’s Story Seminar. She crafts multidimensional character-based stories in mainstream genres, highlighting triumphs of the human spirit and strength of character.
Heather's projects have either won or placed in the top two percent of the Austin Film Festival, the PAGE Awards, Screencraft, Script Pipeline, and many others, and all of her projects are on Coverfly’s Red List. Current TV/Film projects include prestige dramas, science fiction thrillers, history, biopics, horror and comedy. She has a keen interest in science, science fiction, technology, history, politics, international law, intelligence and spycraft, and foreign affairs.
Janaé Rachel Ballot
BEVERLY HILLBILLY HEROIN
Feature - Drama
A powerhouse attorney couple battles Big Pharma in a high profile death opiate lawsuit, when a career climbing associate threatens to expose their secret as functioning heroin addicts, they’re forced to confront their failing marriage and either get clean or risk losing everything in glamorous Beverly Hills.
Janaé Rachel Ballot is a feature film screenwriter, film producer and director. Janaé believes story comes first and a collaborative team is how one prospers. Janaé has written and is attached as producer to feature films that are in development. Janaé wrote and is co-producing a timely biopic about “Psycho” star Anthony Perkins entitled, “Don’t Fence Me In” alongside Lisa K. Crosato.
This year she wrote the feature drama “Beverly Hillbilly Heroin” and now is in post production with her directorial debut. It’s a satirical comedic short film, “Influencer” When she’s not writing, she’s playing with her three year old nephew.
WINDOWS OF AVALON
Feature - Psychodrama
When a vibrant young woman moves in next door, a repressed housewife must contend with her burgeoning sexual awakening as she is haunted by a dreamlike reorientation of reality.
Jennifer Cooney was raised in a small Pennsylvania town, where her earliest and closest influence was her family: a close-knit group of hardworking, leading edge, business owners with hearts of gold. From a very early age, she was an astute observer of her surroundings; no detail, grand or minute, of character or circumstance escaped her attention. She nursed her innate curiosity of the human condition with poetry, photography, psychology, and film, constantly building the mental and emotional library of understanding within her. In college, she followed her passions, studying English, Communication & Rhetorical Studies, Psychology, and Philosophy, graduating with two majors and a double minor, all with Honors. Post-graduation she found her true calling in screenwriting and soon fell in love with the art of filmmaking. When she watched lesbian films, she didn't see what she wanted, so she knew her next step was to create them. The quintessence of the first generation of LGBTQ films was the "coming out story," a vital and important step, but riddled with fear and shame.
The emergence of Jennifer's production company, HalfJack Generation, marked the birth of the next generation of lesbian filmmaking with its first Feature Film, Rain Beau's End, written and produced by Jennifer. This next generation of lesbian films focuses instead on the lives of women whose sexuality adds to the strength, not the downfall, of who they are. Jennifer is also a four-time published poet, a still photographer, and a painter, residing in the countryside of Pennsylvania with her wife and two dogs.
Feature - Drama/Romance
A country star's meteoric rise on the Nashville music scene threatens to come crashing down when his first major-label tour is derailed by the public revelation of his love for another man.
Jeremy is an accomplished writer/director from Vancouver, Canada. His debut short film Dominant Chord had a successful festival run and is licensed on the streaming Service Dekkoo and is also available on Amazon and Vimeo VOD. His short film script Vigilance was one of six finalists for the MPPIA Short Film Pitch at Whistler Film Festival and his feature Next of Kin was official selection for cold reading series Vancouver.
Jeremy’s years of experience as a professional actor has served him well and is the solid foundation for his storytelling talents. He loves to craft character driven drama’s and psychological thrillers. As an LGBTQ filmmaker Jeremy recognizes the importance and power of stories that come from filmmakers from all backgrounds, especially underrepresented communities. He wants to help bring those unique, entertaining stories to the forefront. So that more people can see themselves reflected in the art they consume.
CAROLINE BUXTON'S LIPSTICK POSSE
Feature - Comedy/Drama
In 1969 Florida, an offbeat housewife discovers her gift of gab as she embarks on a door-to-door career with a hodgepodge of saleswomen under the nose of her authoritative preacher husband.
After experiencing her Arabic father become a felon, roving-eyed husband as an ex, three babies all grown up, and a job of substitute teaching K-12 spiral into budget cuts, Kelly Karam began writing. Fueled by fifty years of life participation, both positive and negative, this award-winning screenwriter now pens authentic, passionate characters who live in worlds where the rules, like life, are never fair, but always worth the journey.
Agent: Gersh Mgr: Atlas
Feature - Drama/Romance
A budding artist who is apathetic towards love returns to Japan for her grandmother’s funeral. While there, she recounts a family secret her grandmother once shared, one that makes her examine her chosen path and the true meaning of love.
Mayumi Yoshida is a Japanese actor known for her role as Crown Princess (The Man in The High Castle) which got her a nomination for Best Emerging Actor at UBCP Awards.
Her other recent acting credits include The Terror: Infamy (AMC) and The Good Doctor (ABC). As an award winning writer/director she has been a leading force in emerging Asian-Canadian Cinema.“TOKYO LOVERS” has won Best Performance Award at Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Best short at Japan Film Festival LA.
Her directorial debut film “AKASHI” has won Outstanding Writer out of 4500 films at NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, Best Female Director at Vancouver Short Film Festival, Matrix Award at the Vancouver Women in Film Festival and many more internationally. She recently received 2019’s Newcomer award at Vancouver Women in Film Festival’s Spotlight awards for her success in multiple fields. She recently finished her first horror short "Trim" and won Best Film, Best Screenplay at Blood n Guts 48hr film festival. She also just completed her Harold Greenberg funded short film “In Loving Memory” co-directed with Diana Bang and written/starring Andrea Bang. She is currently in development of her first feature film AKASHI, which is about a struggling artist returning to her home in Japan and unfurls a family secret that challenges her definition of love and success. She will be writing, directing and acting in it.
Minh-Anh Vo Dinh
Mgr: Rascality Ent.
Feature - Horror
In 1500s Vietnam, a family of three women find shelter on a secluded island, where they slowly succumb to the mischievous trickeries of an ancient deity. A horror retelling of a Vietnamese fairytale.
Minh-Anh Vo Dinh is a Toronto-based screenwriter who focuses on anything that spooks and unsettles the audience, from the psychological to the body and more. Minh-Anh believes in highlighting the voices of women, POC, and LGBT individuals within horror and how their unique perspectives can elevate the genre to greater lengths. His scripts are primarily character driven and explore psychological themes and social issues while using horror to accentuate the story.
Minh-Anh's feature scripts have placed in contests, including THE COLDEST WINTER , a Top 10 Finalist in the 7th Annual New Blood Contest and WHEN THE SHADOWS FALL, a Semifinalist in the ScreenCraft Horror Contest 2019. He is currently seeking representation.
Nathan Hale Williams
ANEMONE'S GOT TALENT
Half Hour Pilot - Comedy
A remarkable yet self-destructive ‘over-the-hill’ singer gets her last chance at stardom, but must first overcome her own wacky behavior and the limits showbiz puts on aging female POCs - puppets of color.
President & CEO of iN-Hale Entertainment LLC, Nathan Hale Williams is a storyteller.
Named a Black Enterprise Magazine Modern Man of Excellence ®, Nathan is a multihyphenated entertainment professional, who is an award-winning filmmaker, best selling and award-winning author, entertainment attorney, and television personality. His film, 90 DAYS, which he wrote, directed and executive produced was screened at over thirty top international festivals receiving several “Best” awards, including, an African Movie Academy Award (Africa’s Oscar equivalent) for Best Diaspora Short and Overall Winner, Best Actress and the Audience Choice Award at the 2018 Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase. Nathan is the executive producer and producer of the NAACP Image Award and GLAAD Media Award nominated film, Dirty Laundry(FOX/Codeblack).
His latest film, BURDEN, which chronicles the micro and macro-agressions faced by men of color in America premiered at the American Black Film Festival and is now being used by Fortune 200 companies in unconscious and racial bias trainings. Currenlty, he is in post-production for the feature-length documentary, IT CAN BE DONE: Ending Homelessness in America, which will be released in fall 2020.
GUNS AND GRACE
Feature - Western
A widow teams up with a tough Blackfoot woman against the bank robbers that killed her husband. An action-adventure that proves sisterhood is not just by birth.
When Odin was six, his family emigrated from Turkey to Detroit. Feeling at home in America and the Middle East has driven both his storytelling as well as his work as a top programmer of events for MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) communities in Los Angeles.
Odin is currently on a paid writing assignment for Big Screen Entertainment. He has the #1 ranked adventure script on Coverfly with GUNS AND GRACE, and his pilot about the video game industry, GAME LIFE, has gone through development at Atlas Entertainment. Other projects have won or placed highly in many contests including Nicholl, Script Pipeline and the Bitch List. His newest TV and film projects have heavy sci-fi and action elements.
Odin has also worked in TV development, directed two features and was a grip for years in New York. He is an avid collector of 70s Japanese electronics and a big DIYer – he built a working hovercraft in his garage and his next project involves patenting a new French fry shape!