AFI Announces Winners of 2020 Writers’ Room Ready Awards – American Film Institute


AFI Announces Winners of 2020 Writers’ Room Ready Awards

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 Writers’ Room Ready Awards: Haley Bartels, Christina Kingsleigh Licud, Kenda Greenwood Moran and Alessandro Pederzoli!

The award recognizes outstanding work by AFI Conservatory Screenwriting Fellows, and the winners will be paired with mentors, giving them an opportunity to work directly with established artists. 75% of the past winners of the Writers’ Room Ready Award are currently staffed on shows.

The mentors for 2020 are all AFI Conservatory alumni and include: LaToya Morgan (THE WALKING DEAD, INTO THE BADLANDS, PARENTHOOD and SHAMELESS), Andy Siara (LODGE 49, PALM SPRINGS), Christina Strain (THE MAGICIANS, FINDING OHANA) and Sheila Wilson (WARRIOR NUN). Siara, Strain and Wilson won the award during their time at the Conservatory. Siara’s first feature, PALM SPRINGS starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, broke the record for the highest sale at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – beating the previous record by 69 cents, and Strain’s feature FINDING OHANA directed by Jude Weng and starring Kelly Hu is currently in post-production for Netflix and will be released in May. Morgan spearheaded the creation of AMC’s Inclusion Initiative and recently was a writing and producing advisor for the Sundance Institute’s Episodic Lab.

And here are the winning projects by the 2020 award recipients: 
24K (Half-hour comedy) – Written by Christina Kingsleigh Licud
After her childish parents split, a slacker half-Filipino teen at a predominantly Black high school must step up as mom to provide for her precocious little sister. When she learns that the highly competitive majorette squad is offering a full-ride college scholarship, she plots to earn a spot on the team. But her nemesis, the team captain, will do anything to stop her.

BARBARY (One-hour drama) – Written by Haley Bartels
San Francisco, 1896. When a shy postmortem photographer and a brazen actress-cum-mortician’s assistant are led to a grisly murder scene staged just for them, they must brave the city’s lawless Barbary Coast – a viper’s nest of corrupt politicians, Chinese tongs, and dangerous brothels – to unravel a series of killings that hit increasingly close to home.

NARCOBRUJA (One-hour drama) – Written by Alessandro Pederzoli
The wife of a drug lord is left for dead after a rival cartel brutally murders her family. Found and cared for by an indigenous Witch, she learns Pre-Hispanic black magic and vows to take revenge against those that killed her family.

TAMMANY (One-hour drama) – Written by Kenda Greenwood Moran
New York City, 1868. A tenacious Irish Immigrant, desperate to protect and provide for her rebellious teenage sister, disguises herself as a man to get a job at the notoriously corrupt political organization Tammany Hall.

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