Denise Cruz-Castino has sold a live action short to Disney, her first feature 5 Weddings premiered at Cannes in 2018 and will play worldwide September 21, 2018. Her horror short was produced by Raving Eejit Entertainment, and her short, Things Look Grim, was produced by Sasha Golberg.
She’s currently writing and co-producing a WWII movie with Academy Award-winning producer Kim Magnuson and Neil Machlis. Her blog that helps newbie screenwriters, screenwriterwriting.blogspot, was named Website of the Week by Script Magazine. Her scripts have placed in Final Draft Big Break, Fade-In Screenwriting and Nicholl’s Fellowship contests.
Film and Television
Faythallegra Claude (formerly Coleman) is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles, California. Her writing focuses mainly on strong female leads in crime and action thrillers. Her short films have screened on BET, Travel Channel, The CW and in film festivals worldwide including Cannes. Faythallegra appeared on 5 Takes Europe, a series documenting young Americans making films while backpacking through Europe. She was commissioned by CondéNast to write and direct short films and has worked in a variety of film production roles, from assistant camera to assistant editor. Faythallegra is the recipient of an Urban Artist Initiative/NYC Fellowship in Media Arts and a Guy Hanks and Marvin Miller (Bill Cosby) Screenwriting Fellowship. She has written a feature screenplay for RKO Pictures and has developed a television pilot for Jeff Margolis Productions.
Faythallegra holds a B.F.A. in Film Studies from Wesleyan University. A proud native of
Harlem, NY she is dedicated to increasing diversity in Hollywood. She is currently at
work on a dramatic TV pilot about today’s protest culture called, Resist.
Katy Farzanrad is an Iranian-American chick producer, writer, and mother of two. With an MFA in Cinema and TV from USC and the student loans to prove it, Katy pays her bills by producing unscripted television for numerous outlets, including TLC, FYI, WEtv, and OWN, among others.
As a writer/producer, Katy is always in pursuit of a good story. Her feature documentary, Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary, placed in film festivals such as CPH:DOX Copenhagen, DOC NYC, and the Starz-Denver Film Festival.
Alison Mauldin was born and raised in North Carolina and began writing stories at an early age. She attended Gardner-Webb University where she earned a degree in Theater Arts and Spanish.
After college she lived in Seattle and Los Angeles. During this time she wrote her first screenplay, Missy. In 2010 she moved back to Charlotte, NC and produced a short film adaptation of Missy. In the following years, she tried her hand at a lot of different pursuits, including food-blogging, children’s theater, retail, video production, and she learned to make a really good latte.
In 2015, Alison finally decided to chase the dream she’d had all along—screenwriting. She taught herself screenwriting with the help of books, podcasts, panels at the Austin Film Festival, and lots of trial and error. In 2016, she was accepted into the Sundance Screenwriters Intensive in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2017, she was awarded an Artist’s Fellowship by the North Carolina Arts Council. And in 2018 she made the big move back to Los Angeles, to pursue her dream of working as a professional screenwriter.
Cara hails from the “everything is bigger” land of Texas. She can tell you this is true, especially the trucks and the portion sizes. Having grown up in the outskirts of suburbia, she optioned for a life of travel after college. She took a job teaching English overseas in Bangkok, Thailand and during her time there traveled to India, Malaysia, Japan, and Vietnam.
In 2013 she moved back to Texas and from there, continued teaching English. She decided to pursue her dream of filmmaking and moved to Los Angeles in 2016, where she currently writes comedy but hopes to someday write a female-centric horror film for the big-screen.
She was featured in Mortified’s live comedy show series in Los Angeles in 2017. She received her BA in Film & Digital Media from Baylor University in 2012.
The first time Lena Parodi realized she wanted to tell stories for a living was when she was four years old. She and her family had just immigrated to the United States from Italy, and everything around her was strange and unfamiliar. After the long days of struggling to learn the language and social cues of a brand-new country, she would sit on the edge of the pool of her family’s temporary home in an apartment complex and tell elaborate made-up stories to her parents.
Since then, she’s graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a double major in Dramatic Writing and Journalism and a Minor in Spanish. She has also written and directed short scripts for Cinequest Film Festival, transcribed and organized material for several documentary films currently being produced by Beau Willimon’s Westward Productions, translated interview footage from Italian to English for the History Channel’s docuseries Hunting ISIS, and edited and localized English translations of Korean online comics. More recently, she was a Researcher for the 45th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards and worked as a Production Coordinator for Ignition Films.
Lena now lives in Los Angeles and currently works full-time at HUMANITAS as their Program Manager, where she uses her experience in production and her skills as a writer to organize and manage their screenwriting programs and competitions, as well as their annual HUMANITAS Prize Awards, all while writing (and rewriting!) her own work.
Sarah Ruttinger is a feminist writer living in Los Angeles. Born in small-town Kentucky, she wrote her first book in 5th grade and her first screenplay in 8th.
While studying film at college in upstate New York, she learned about the importance of intersectional feminism and it has been a major tenant of her work and belief system ever since. After moving to LA nine years ago, Sarah parlayed her love of storytelling into a career in costuming. She has worked in award-winning costume departments on such shows as Glee and Modern Family.
Sarah writes both comedy and drama TV and feature scripts with a focus on independent girls and women living outside society’s norms.
Jessica Silvetti is an award-winning writer and director, whose distinctive voice is a result of her unconventional upbringing. Originally from Mexico City, of Spanish descent and raised in the US, she's been shaped by different cultures and views life through a bilingual lens.
She attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received a BFA in Theatre. After a few years in NYC, she relocated to Los Angeles to merge her love of writing and filmmaking. To date she has written, produced and directed the short films: HAPPY FOR NOTHING, GOODBYE, GLANCES and POOR MAN’S MERMAID. Jessica penned the full length play, LAURA, for which she won second place at the Ebell of Los Angeles Playwright Prize in 2016.
Her bilingual web series LOST MEMORIES / RECUERDOS PERDIDOS, produced by ALZLA, is a narrative focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, which she wrote and directed. The series has received great attention and is available online. In November of 2017, she was recognized with a Breaking Boundaries - Visionary Women’s Award for her work on this impacting series, spotlighting Alzheimer’s and the Latino community.
Her latest digital series, IN ABSENTIA, an anthology of short films she created, wrote, and directed with her husband and partner, Ethan Kogan, is now streaming on Seed & Spark. IN ABSENTIA has received several awards and nominations, including a Silver Remi Award from WorldFest Houston in 2017 and a Best Writing nomination at the renowned RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL in London, England, that same year. The series also received three nominations for the 2018 International Academy of Web Television Awards, including: Best Directing, Best Writing, and Best Drama Series. Most recently, the series was nominated for four Indie Series Awards, including Best Series and Best Directing.
Jessica is constantly developing new projects with a passion and emphasis on creating complex and diverse characters for women. Her feature screenplay, IZABELA’S VIOLIN, made it among the top 10% in the 2017 Academy Nicholls Fellowship and was a Quarterfinalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s 2018 Zoetrope Screenplay Contest.
Film and TV
Meggie started her writing career at the Dramatic Writing BFA program at SUNY Purchase's Conservatory for Theater Arts and Film.
After graduating, she started taking improv and sketch classes at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater in NYC. Since 2013, she has written for the UCB Theater’s sketch comedy night on their house Maude teams. She has also written and produced her own comedy variety show in various NYC theaters as part of the sketch duo Black Magic Lab. Her comedy writing also includes past work as a contributor to the Funny or Die NewsFlash App, where she wrote jokes about today’s top stories. Comedy articles of hers have also been featured on the female news satire blog Reductress and Funny or Die. Her work can be found on her website meggie-spellman.com.
Film and TV
Heidi Weitzer is a writer and director living in Los Angeles. Her dark comedy screenplay "The Cost of Doing Business" is currently optioned and is scheduled to start principal photography in 2019. She is a 2018 LA Comedy Film Fest pilot competition finalist, is a semifinalist for Final Draft's Big Break competition and a 2018 Stowe Story Fellow. She made it to the final round for Sundance Institute’s New Voices Digital Fellowship, has placed in Screencraft, Shore Scripts, the Austin Film Festival, and was the top rated script on the blcklst.com for May and June of 2016. Heidi makes dark comedies and values her privacy.
Megan J. Wilson
Film and TV
Megan wrote her first play (a modern and irreverent take on the Three Little Pigs) at age 10. She chooses to believe the laughter from the audience was at the jokes, not at the effort.
After fleeing the suburbs of Seattle for the golden promise of acting school in New York City, Megan soon discovered she was in fact, a writer, not an actor. She left NYU to work as a writers assistant for a couple of CBS shows, and then moved to Los Angeles, where she wrote and produced the critically acclaimed six-episode web series The Sanctum, was a finalist in the Jameson First Shot competition, and wrote and directed several short films (Mine, Wolf Peak, Womp & Circumstance, Breaking Upwards, all while churning out screenplays and pilots and holding down a day job as a paralegal.
Megan's The Good Place spec: It's a Wonderful Afterlife, was a Second Rounder at Austin Film Festival (2018). Her one-hour drama pilot, Drop Zone, about a female smokejumper who returns home to Montana to discover her sister has married her high school sweetheart, was a quarterfinalist for Script Pipeline (2018) and a quarterfinalist for the PAGE Award (2019) and has since been optioned. And Megan's comedy feature Don't You Wish was a quarterfinalist for the PAGE Award (2019).
in 2018 she helped found the League of Women Writers, and Megan is also on the board of Chicks With Scripts.