Rosanne Hosting Screenwriting Discussion at The Athena TV Lab

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Rosanne Hosting Screenwriting Discussion at The Athena TV Lab Via Zoom

Rosanne Hosting Screenwriting Discussion at The Athena TV Lab Via Zoom

Many thanks to the many great MFA mentors who are doing double duty as mentors to this year’s Athena TV Lab. You can find them on the last two lines of this (now familiar) Zoom grid (starting on the 3rd tier/4th spot): Dawn Comer Jefferson, Jon Vandergriff, Rashaan Dozier-Escalante (also alumna of the MFA Class of 2018), Amy Straus, and Laura Brennan. And there are 2 MFA alums here, too (Sydney Haven and Pam Winfrey).

The Athena Film Festival Virtual Writers Lab

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College Virtual Writers Lab is for emerging women writers who have not had a feature-length narrative script produced within the past 10 years. Writers must submit a screenplay that includes a woman or women characters in a leadership role or position at the center of the story. Scripts must be feature-length narratives (between 80 and 120 pages).

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College Virtual Writers Lab provides women identified storytellers with training, skills, and a robust supportive network. Participants will have several one-on-one mentoring sessions with experienced screenwriters as well as peer-to-peer and group sessions.

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College Virtual Writers Lab will also include industry events where participants will learn about how to navigate the industry as well as a keynote conversation from an established filmmaker. Past panels have included: The Fluidity of Writing, How Does Representation Work, and The Art of Pitching and past keynotes have come from Gina Prince-Bythewood and Kat Candler.

Rosanne is part of a virtual Bucharest Symposium in Screenwriting and Literature

I spent a lovely and engaging morning in the company of several international screenwriting academics discussing teaching online thanks to being invited to this virtual Bucharest Symposium in Screenwriting and Literature by Tudor Voican, PhD, WallachiaIFF Jury President.

Rosanne is part of a virtual Bucharest Symposium in Screenwriting and Literature

Bucharest

The invitation arrived in my email inbox and almost looked like a fake – until I saw the names of the other participants and knew them to be pretty stellar in their fields. So I said yes.  We’ll meet online each Sunday for 3 Sundays to make 20 minute presentations to each other and share our knowledge.  

Though I would have loved to actually fly to what Tudor calls “the legendary land of Principe Vlad III Drăculea aka Vlad the Impaler, Voivode of Wallachia” but for now I am outside on the patio using our built-in Zoom background.

Text of Rosanne’s Keynote at 10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

I’m happy to post this ebook of papers presented at the10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

I gave the opening lecture entitled, “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered” which appears here in English, though the rest of the papers (naturally) are in Portuguese.  It was an honor to be asked to do the lecture and privilege to spend time with Professor Glaucia Davino and her students who made me feel very welcome in their city.

Words matter. Writers matter and women writers matter in this world. It is important to consider writers because the word writer comes before the word director when you describe a filmmaker who can do two things. They are writer-directors, they are not director-writers. That tells us something. The vision of a movie cannot exist without the screenplay. A director cannot direct nothing. There must be an idea. There must be a philosophy. There must be a theme. There must be a story. This proves that the writer is of equal importance. We must remember writers have to be equal partners and I think we realize that without realizing it. When people talk about movies to their friends they don’t say “I loved the camera angle in scene 7.” They quote dialogue from their favorite movies whether they are from a Pixar film or a Disney one, they quote the dialogue and that is the work of the writer. That’s the person who should be given credit, yet often at the start a class I ask students to list their two or three favorite films, who directed those films and who wrote that film. They very often cannot name the person who wrote the film they claim to adore. How can you study to be a writer if you don’t remember writers yourself? Hence the reason to study Screenwriting. Hence researching screenwriters has always mattered.

When actors Frances McDormand won her Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri she said of the screenwriter Martin McDonagh, “He did not sketch a blueprint. That’s an insult to a screenplay. He didn’t string together a few words. He wrote, meticulously crafted, a tsunami, and then he allowed his troupe of actors to surf it into the shore.” (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sag-awards-three-billboards-takes-top-honors-at-a-show-women-took-center-stage-1076726) She credited the writer in a way that many people do not.

Stories – and therefore screenplays and therefore screenwriters — are important because they transmit culture around the world. The United States has had a corner on that market for far too many years but now we’re beginning to see other stories permeate our culture, a good and beneficial thing for a country made of immigrants and the ancestors of immigrants. Stories have always transmitted culture far back to the cave paintings of many ancient cultures, through Gilgamesh, and the griots of Africa. Humans have used stories to move culture forward. Movies are the most current version of doing that so why do we forget to study the storytellers? Now is the time to fix this glaring omission both in casual discussions of films and in academia.

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Read and Download The Entire Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered Presentation in PDF Format

Text of Rosanne's Keynote at 10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.
Download the Portuguese PDF 

Watch the the entire presentation here

Photos from the event

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil. Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil. Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

Another Day, Another Video Conference via Instagram

Another Day, Another Video Conference

Another Day, Another Video Conference via Instagram

As a member of the Executive Council of the Screenwriting Research Network (SRN) I have the great pleasure of meeting with colleagues from several continents (Australia, South America, Europe, etc) on a monthly basis to discuss the business of the organization. it continues to amaze me how technology allows us to do this – as it continues to amaze me how lucky I am to have had the chance to meet all of these lovely folks in person at our various conferences. Can’t wait for the next one – in Oxford in 2021!

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#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Haña Lucero-Colin – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Every Monday we will be profiling a member of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting 2020 graduating class. This exciting, fresh crop of writers are the future of the industry and are going on to do BIG things, so get to know them now! 

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Haña Lucero-Colin - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Haña Lucero-Colin is a writer, musician, and artist based out of Los Angeles, CA. As a storyteller, she strives to shed light on previously unseen spaces with empathy and a sense of humor. In 2014 she was awarded the Gene Amole Scholarship for Humor and Integrity in Journalism from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. A former ArtLab intern, Haña contributed to a play titled “I.Am.Here.” about a group of mixed-income high school students giving voice to their own unique stories. She also composed original music for the piece, which was performed at the University of Denver Colorado. She is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting through Stephens College. She is best known on screen as Shawn on The Fosters and MoCap Student #1 on ConMan. You may also recognize her concentrating face from a brief stint on ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, but otherwise she was fairly blurry. Haña is mostly just happy to be here.


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#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: CJ Ehrlich- Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Every Monday we will be profiling a member of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting 2020 graduating class. This exciting, fresh crop of writers are the future of the industry and are going on to do BIG things, so get to know them now! 

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: CJ Ehrlich- Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

This week, Stephens College is proud to present: CJ Ehrlich #MeetTheGraduates

A Bostonian who resides in the wilds of NY, C.J. Ehrlich is an award-winning playwright, whose works have enjoyed over 200 productions around the world, and are published in numerous “Best of” anthologies (including The Best American Short Plays of 2015-16). Full-lengths include The Cupcake Conspiracy: Terrorism is Easy, Marriage is Complicated (with Philip J. Kaplan), the anti-romcom This Time We’ll Make It Work, and scifi comedy Zane to Gate 69. While in the MFA program, C.J. has written a full-length horror screenplay, Graduation, and is developing the comedy Stupid Voices from the Future, as well as pilots for a supernatural, teen-oriented thriller, and a comedy about a team of reality TV losers. She also spent a wonderful semester living amongst the female screenwriters of the silent era, and has mixed feelings about Al Jolson.


Visit the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for more information.

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#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Emma Jeszke – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Every Monday we will be profiling a member of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting 2020 graduating class. This exciting, fresh crop of writers are the future of the industry and are going on to do BIG things, so get to know them now! 

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Emma Jeszke

#MeetTheGraduatesMonday: Emma Jeszke

Emma Jeszke is a dramedy writer, with a focus on coming-of-age stories that challenge and expand typical narratives about girlhood, young adulthood, and motherhood. She has a special talent for keeping you laughing till you’re crying.

Her television pilot Postpartum, about the joys and struggles of being a new mom, was a top-ten finalist in the Women Writing Competition at Series Fest. She is the author of the feature screenplays Wildflower, a forbidden love story about a soldier and an antiwar activist set in 2004, and Bobbi Malone, which follows a thirty-something as she reconnects with her estranged grandmother through a theater troupe. She’s also the author of several stage plays, and the creator of the forthcoming web series Holly & Gem, about two sisters who reconnect after one escapes a cult.

Her plays have been performed regionally in places such as the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and the Blank Theatre in Los Angeles. She is a book editor at Theatre Communications Group, the foremost publisher of theatrical literature, where she’s spent eight years working with world-renowned playwrights. She’s currently finishing her MFA in TV & Screenwriting at Stephens College.


Visit the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for more information.

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#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

A Photographic February for Stephens MFA in TV and Screenwriting

February was a month of sharing the marvelous photos from all the guest lectures who graced the January Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting workshop with their talent and inspiration… (plus a quick shot of my upcoming book on Films of the Civil War).

February at Stephens MFA in TV and Screenwriting


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#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Write Your Family’s Stories! – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Sometimes the best scripts are hidden in our own families – call relatives, have dinners, write letters.

Then come to the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting to learn how to Write, Reach, and Represent all those hidden stories.Write Your Family's Stories! - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Charles M. Schulz Museum

💪🍪 We honor the great women who have gone ahead of us and who walk beside us every day on this #InternationalWomensDay. This Peanuts strip was first published on November 11, 1976⁠.⁠⁠


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#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Found Treasure – Some Of The Women Who Wrote Hollywood – Screenland Magazine, 1931

While many film historians and teachers still don’t know the name of many of these marvelous female screenwriters from Hollywood’s Golden era, research shows they existed. It’s the job of this generation of scholars to bring these names into the larger conversation.

Found Treasure - Some Of The Women Who Wrote Hollywood - Screenland Magazine, 1931

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