Through the Fellowship, each will receive a $40,000 grant and 12 months of tailored mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities with entertainment industry leaders. They join Fall 2021 Fellows Shaina Ghuraya, Greg Machlin, and Aoife Baker, and Spring 2021 Fellows Shani Am. Moore and Kalen Feeney.
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The foundation, whose backers include Netflix, Amazon, WarnerMedia, AMC Networks, the Ford Foundation and the Nielsen Foundation, has received hundreds of applications for the scholarship over the past year. Inevitable’s commitment to diversity and intersectionality is evident in its candidate base, with 58% of candidates identifying as female or non-binary, 53% identifying as BIPOC, and 46% identifying as LGBTQIA+.
Dunnewold is a Minnesota-born Carleton College grad who honed his acting voice as an editor at places like The Onion, Funny or Die and Team Coco before moving to Los Angeles to work on fictional podcasts. His writing is often conceptual, usually dark, and always cheesy. He was also a finalist in the 2022 ATX pitch competition. He doesn’t have a colon.
Ray is a polyethnic writer-director who grew up above and below the poverty line in Eugene, Oregon. After serving eight years in the army infantry and returning from the war, he ended his career as a squad leader and battalion instructor and was able to devote himself fully to his true passion: Arts. While earning his BFA in acting from CalArts, he met his longtime collaborator and writing partner, Paul Masterson, with whom he started the production company, Warrior Poet. Ray went on to earn his MFA in Directing at East 15th in London and has written, directed and produced over forty plays and films in New York, Los Angeles and London. He works most often in the dramatic hour-long space, with a particular fondness for sci-fi/urban fantasy that explores complicated moral gray areas. Ray has just completed the WGA Veterans writing project.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sam and Anton to the program,” foundation co-founders Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska said in a joint statement. “There’s a huge vacuum of high-level talent in the industry – of the 1,300 first looks and overall deals recorded in 2021, only one was with a creator with a disability – and we’re laser-focused on building that screenwriters with disabilities in positions of power, our scholarship helps them develop and sell their own content and climb the (often inaccessible) ladder to the upper levels of the film and television industry.
“Receiving this scholarship means I finally have the time and support to not just write, but to build community, take meetings, read scripts, and still be able to take care of myself,” Dunnewold said. “More than that, it’s crucial validation. In an industry where it’s easy to question your own talent and skills, I’ll often come back to the idea that Inevitable Foundation believes in me as a storyteller.
“Being selected is literally life changing,” added Ray. “I have dedicated myself to writing screenplays for nearly two decades while seeking opportunities to open doors for myself and others. Now that the Inevitable Foundation has opened those doors, I will strive to make the most of them and keep them open behind me.
The Inevitable Foundation also shared progress with its Spring and Fall 2021 Fellows today, noting that Baker and Machlin have signed with Byron Wetzel and Christophe Desorbay at Range Media Partners, with Shani Am. Moore currently writing as as co-producer on the third season of Netflix sweet magnolias. Then there is Ghuraya, who has just been selected for the Women in Film | The Sundance Institute Financing Intensive for its feature film Agg, which she will direct. The foundation also named three Spring 22 finalists – Marc Muszynski, Adam Pottle and Lina Patel – who will receive a professional development grant and guidance from Inevitable to continue to improve their careers.
Inevitable Foundation works to close the representation gap for people with disabilities in film and television, given that people with disabilities currently make up more than 20% of the American population, but only make up 2% of characters in the screen and less than 1% of film and television screenwriters. Through its work, the foundation hopes to create a world where people with disabilities are valued off-screen and accurately represented on-screen. Its scholarship is open to anyone who identifies as having a disability and is free to apply. Learn more about the Inevitable Foundation in click here.
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