News: New Initiative For Women In Comedy. Apply Here.

News: New Initiative For WomenIn Comedy. Apply Here.
The TellHerVision Project has been launched to support women in comedy. The deadline is midnight on Sunday, June 28. If you fit the bill below this is well worth applying for.
 
Comedy 50:50 was founded by Saskia Shuster, who is Controller for Comedy at ITV. Read more about it here. ERA stands for Equal Representation for Actresses and the mission statement of ERA 50:50 is: "ERA 50:50 wants to see women represented on screen, in television and theatre in equal numbers to men. Currently women are systemically under represented. This does not accurately represent our society. It distorts our view of the real world. Equal representation for Actresses, for Audiences, for All. Equal means 50:50."
 
Are you a woman who is an experienced comedy performer? 
 
Have you written a comedy script or had a script that has remained permanently ‘in development’ with a production company?
 
Have you found it impossible to gain access to a writers’ room? 
 
In 2020, any woman wanting to become a paid, commissioned comedy writer faces an almost insurmountable challenge. According to the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, female writers are particularly rare in comedy and light-entertainment (11% in comedy, 9% in light entertainment - Equality Writes, 2018). 
 
ERA 5050 is launching ‘TellHerVision’ - an all women writers’ room led by a professional comedy mentor. This project is supported by ScreenSkills using National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI as part of the Future Film Skills programmes and in partnership with Comedy 50:50.
 
This project attempts to directly address the current gender inequality in TV comedy writing and the lack of access to comedy writers' rooms for women as part of ERA5050’s strategy to create lasting change in the industry. 
 
Six writers in an all female writers’ room will be given the task of creating and writing an episode in the style of the British studio sitcom with women in the lead roles.
                                                                   
A professional comedy mentoring team including Joanna Scanlan (actor, writer, producer) Juliet Morrish (producer, director, actor), Michaela Hennessy-Vass (executive producer and former commissioning editor) and Polly Kemp (actress and co-founder ERA 5050) will be on hand to guide the writers over the course of several weeks. As well as offering a safe creative space, we want this programme to be flexible and to respond to the writers’ needs - it aims to be a creative experience for all participants. 
 
At the end of the project the aim is to have a single 25 minute episode of a comedy that will be the result of the collaboration of all participants with all rights protected within a legal framework overseen by Comedy 50:50. The aim is to create a one off performance in line with current Government guidelines around social distancing.
 
Criteria: 
    -    A minimum of 5 years’ experience in the comedy industry 
   -    Experienced writer or writer/performers of character and narrative based comedy 
    -   None or limited experience in a writers room
    -   Writing partnerships can apply and will be considered as one place in the writers’ room. Both members of the partnership must be women.
 
They are looking for women who feel they have hit a wall in their career - who have proved themselves on the live circuit but are no longer considered ‘hot new talent’ and who are no longer eligible for new writers' schemes. 
 
Each writing place will be paid £1000 to take part in the programme over the course of several weeks. 
 
In light of the current COVID crisis and to accommodate existing work and life commitments, this will be an entirely virtual project and will endeavour to be as flexible as possible with the schedule. 
 
To apply submit a script sample (anything from 3 to 10 pages) with a short paragraph to give the extract context. Please write a personal statement no longer than 500 words to help them understand your background, and how you think you’d benefit from this programme.
 
Please send your script sample, accompanying paragraph and personal statement saved as one PDF with your name and contact details.
 
 
The deadline for submissions is midnight on the 28th June and they will contact successful candidates by COP 11th July. The programme will begin on the 13th July and will run for 4 weeks.
 

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