Please wait...
Please wait...

Netflix, Sky support new screenwriters as part of Bisha K Ali talent programme

US-based streamer Netflix and Europe’s Sky have revealed the six screenwriters chosen to be part of their fledgling screenwriting talent programme.

Bisha K Ali

The inaugural Bisha K Ali talent programme, announced last year, is a year-long fellowship that aims to give new talent from minority backgrounds the opportunity to join a Netflix or Sky writers’ room and receive their first television credit, as well as a US$31,820 bursary.

It is spearheaded by screenwriter Ali, who was part of the writing team for the first season of Netflix’s Sex Education and is head writer of Marvel Studios’ Ms Marvel for Disney+ as well as a consulting producer for Sky original The Baby.

According to Netflix and Sky, applicants had to be dedicated writers with an authentic and original voice and submit a full script to be considered for the screenwriters’ fellowship, which received almost 2,000 entries.

Anne Mensah

The successful fellows are: Asad Ullah, a queer screenwriter and theatre performer from Manchester; Daniel T David, an advertising copywriter; Kayla Hendy, a 23-year-old writer from Slough; Kim Taylor, a former teacher and freelance writer for the stage and screen; Lewis Wren, a 29-year-old playwright and screenwriter based in the North West of England; and Robyn Ahern, a writer who has also worked in film development and academia.

Fellows have been assigned industry mentors and have participated in workshops and conversations with industry luminaries such as Charlie Brooker, Charlie Covell, Kate Herron, Chandni Lakhani and Laurie Nunn.

The screenwriters’ fellowship is part of Netflix and Sky’s broader commitment to improving representation and spreading opportunity across the UK.

Cécile Frot-Coutaz

Ali said: “The world of screenwriting is a historically difficult one to break into, made even more challenging by the systemic issues within our industry. Our fellowship doesn’t purport to have all the answers, but we aspire to be a part of the movement towards a more inclusive industry.”

Anne Mensah, VP of Netflix original series, said: “At Netflix, we want to make shows that reflect the world in which we live and develop a more inclusive pipeline of creatives across the UK.

“True diversity is about whose voices are heard, and whose stories and perspectives are told. Netflix is proud to play a part in helping develop these outstanding up-and-coming writers and designing a programme that not only tries to remove some of the barriers to entering our industry, but provides the space, time and financial security to help writers develop their craft.”

Cécile Frot-Coutaz, CEO at Sky Studios, said: “The stories we tell shape our collective understanding of the world so it’s critical we open up the closed sphere of screenwriting to as many voices as possible, enabling us to tell untold stories to global audiences. Inspired by Bisha’s vision, we are proud to help break down the barriers and back these six new writers at this early stage of their career.”


Please wait...