Shining a Spotlight on Emerging Talent

2018
2019
Ryan P. Shrime's screenplay, PLEASE DON'T DIE, ROGER BERMAN, just won 3rd place out of 2000 submissions in the Emerging Screenwriters Feature competition.Ryan has been acting, writing, and producing since he graduated from Harvard University with an honors degree in Economics. Having made numerous appearances in film and television, he is a graduate of the three-year Meisner training program at the William Esper Studio in New York, and has also studied at Berg Studios and the Lesly Kahn Studio in Los Angeles, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre both in New York and Los Angeles, with the Michael Checkhov Acting Studio in New York, the American Repertory Theater in Boston and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He co-wrote/created/executive produced the acclaimed web series, Bathroomies, produced The...
Erica Tachoir is a writer, director, and actor based in Brooklyn. A graduate of the film program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Erica also studied film at FAMU in Prague, acting at Atlantic Theater Company, and improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Her screenplay SCATTERING JAKE was an Academy Nicholl Quarterfinalist, a Final Draft Big Break and PAGE Award Finalist, and a WeScreenplay and Table Read My Screenplay Austin winner. Her short film TOO SUNNY FOR SANTA (starring Natalia Dyer from Stranger Things) screened at festivals across the country from Newport Beach to Nashville and garnered awards from AmericanLife TV and the Russell Hexter Filmmaking Fund, among others. With her comedy writing partner Corinne Caputo, she co-wrote and starred in the web series LIFE, AFTER, a...
Zoe Warncke grew up in Germany and became a lawyer in Düsseldorf. At the same time, she became one of the most exclusive dominatrix on the planet - Domina Hera. Her best-seller book release "Lawyer by Day/Dominatrix by Night" prompted her to host her own talk show, become a spokes person/model for various designers, and collaborate with other photographers, filmmakers and musicians.   She married filmmaker Michael L. Mizrahi and moved to New York City, where she currently lives with him and their Sphynx cats. Zoe is now working as an editor-at-large for an online fashion magazine, giving inspirational artistic counseling to artists, PR stories, photo productions etc.   Zoe is open to new experiences that feed her hunger for beauty.     One of Zoe's favorite quotes and tattoos -  "A...
Steven, an optioned screenwriter, was born in London and has lived in the Netherlands, Curaçao, USA, Gibraltar and is now back in London.  In a past life he was a Cambridge scholar, a chartered accountant, a CFO and also an international bridge player.  Since becoming a screenwriter five years ago, he has been official selected on over 140 occasions and has over 30 wins.  He is currently steeling himself to becoming a drug user if and when Hollywood beckons.  He has already spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.   Steven is currently unrepresented.
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Diane Lansing from dancer to actor, found natural creative progression through telling stories. Her award winning short plays were produced At the Electric Lodge in Venice California, claiming LA Weekly’s  “Pick of the Week.” The short film Out Of Her Element was developed from one of the plays and a new passion bloomed for her as a director and filmmaker. Presently at work on her fifth screenplay, Diane plans to direct a new short film (and eventually one of her feature scripts).  Diane had a fantastic experience directing The Perfect Date, followed by directing her first PSA for Women In Film. Creating and collaborating through film, are now her driving force.
Sean Collins-Smith is a former midnight crime journalist, journalism professor, and Bruce Springsteen-addict from Richmond, Virginia. He's always wanted to write for television and grew up watching the magical whimsy of Joss Whedon and the hyper-verbose stylizations of Aaron Sorkin. Between covering crime in the back of a news van at 2:30 a.m. and working 16-hour days, Sean read pilot scripts and then began entering screenplay contests in 2017. He placed as a finalist in the Austin Film Festival's Pilot competition that year with his first script, "End of Life". His second pilot, "Lifers Anonymous," was written in 2018 and helped Sean win the ISA Fast-Track Fellowship, which connected him to his current manager, Jewerl Ross. In October, Sean returned to the AFF as a finalist for the second consecutive year,...
Julia Skikavich is an award-winning screenwriter, online producer, editor and journalist. Her TV pilots, MISSING PIECES and SURVIVORS: B.S., have won and placed in several contests, including the Austin Film Festival, Final Draft's Big Break, WeScreenplay, and Screencraft. Her screenwriting has been hailed for its women-centric approach in tackling intractable social issues, centred on wholly relevant discussions.  Julia holds degrees in screenwriting, journalism and political science, and is trained in script continuity and supervision. She has worked on a variety of news programs, factual entertainment and reality series. Journalistically, she has held positions as a senior news writer and associate producer in digital programming. Her work has appeared in Canada, the United States and Australia in print as...
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With a B.A. in Economics from Trinity University and concentrated study in Philosophy at Boston College, I moved to Los Angeles, bought an electric bass and joined a band. With the discovery that music was not my strongest skill set, I embraced an opportunity to change career paths, and feed myself, by working as a copywriter. My work has been honored with numerous national ADDY and PROMAX/BDA awards and Silver medal at the Chicago Film Festival.   As the middle child of nine kids, I was a storyteller from an early age, with a lot of stories to tell. My passion for writing led me to studying screenwriting structure and craft after college, and subsequently led to teaching screenwriting, which I did for more than two years.   As a screenwriter, my scripts have placed in the Austin Film Festival,...
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Annika was born and raised in former East - Germany. After her B.F.A. in Theater History and Directing at Bayreuth University in Germany, Annika received a Fulbright scholarship for Indiana University, Bloomington and then completed her education with a Masters in Film Directing at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. She started working as part of the crew in various positions from P.A. to the camera department on productions such as ‘Savannah’, ‘Don’t trust the B-‘ and ‘Chasing Life’ before becoming an actor herself. She has been in 'Mob City', 'The Originals', 'Expendable Assets', ‘Hindsight’, ‘NCIS New Orleans’, ‘Jungle Cruise’ and ‘Counterpart’, among others. Annika has written and directed several...
Susan is an award winning screenwriter and filmmaker.  She has written and directed two features and several short films.  Her feature directorial debut, THE MO of MI played in over 30 independent film festivals across the country and abroad before it was acquired and distributed by Ardustry Home entertainment.   Her second feature film, CHANGING SPOTS was produced from her award-winning screenplay of the same name where it also found nationwide success on the festival circuit before distribution by Pet Projects Entertainment.  The film has recently been adapted into a novel.   Midwest born and raised, Susan earned her film degree from the University of Texas in Austin.  She currently resides in Los Angeles, pursuing her passion of storytelling and working in television as a promo...
In 2017, Callaghan won the ISA's Emerging Screenwriters Contest with his sci-fi pilot REDSHIFT, and in 2018 he won the Final Draft Big Break Contest with his period legal drama PORTIA’S LAW (co-written with his mother, Hana Callaghan). His feature film script THE MILLER FAMILY RIFLE, a dramedy about gun control, is currently in development with producer Aaron Cruze. Various scripts by Callaghan have been finalists for the PAGE Awards, The Tracking Board's Launch Pad Competition, The Screencraft Pilot Launch Competition, and the Cinequest International Film Festival, as well as ranking in the top 20% for the Nicholl Fellowship. Callaghan studied playwriting at Yale under Donald Margulies, where he was the school’s first gay sex-and-dating columnist (and yes, his mom read his column, and the ensuing...
Jason is a member of the Producer's Guild of America with over 100 hours of original programming to his name. His most recent credits include story producing the fifth season of E!'s hit series BOTCHED and Disney's reboot of BUG JUICE. He's developed multiple projects for various networks and digital platforms, while focusing on scripted content. His stylish short film METAMORPHOSIS has won multiple awards on the festival circuit, including Best Drama Film (Atlanta Horror Film Festival) and Audience Favorite (Hollyshorts), and is still being screened in high schools across the country. Horror is his genre of choice and he has 7 completed feature screenplays and 2 television series that have placed in top writing competitions, including Script Pipeline, Screen Craft's Horror Contest, Nicholl, Scriptopalooza, Final...
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Elaine is humbled to be chosen as one of the Top 25 Writers to Watch in 2019 by the International Screenwriters Association. She has had scripts place in the world-renowned PAGE Awards, Austin Film Festival (3 times), Final Draft Big Break (Top Ten), and the ISA (Grand Prize for Table Read My ScreenPlay and Top 50 for Fast Track). Other notable writing competition placements include Scriptapalooza (1st Runner Up), Blue Cat, and Script Pipeline. Her produced works include winning the Grand Prize and Audience Vote of the NewFilmmakers LA On Location Project (a $60K value) for “The Angeleno Hunter”, an Honorable Mention at the NBCUniversal/YOMYOMF Interpretations contest for “Scare Me”, and having two films accepted to Academy qualifying festivals: “Jiating - Family” and “The...
This Kenyan award winning storyteller came onto the scene with her directorial debut, “BOUND: Africans vs African-Americans” (BOUND) a documentary that attempts to heal the little-known rift between people of African descent. Written, directed and produced  by Peres, BOUND played in over a dozen festivals around the world winning the Women In Film- Lena Sharpe Award at the Seattle International Film Festival (2014), the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles (2015), and the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color Award at the African Diaspora Film Festival in New York (2015). BOUND continues to screen at festivals and universities including Harvard and Columbia and is used as a teaching tool in St. Cloud, Minnesota and USIU-Kenya. It is currently available...
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Josh Sorokach is a writer living in New York City. In 2015, Josh teamed with Abominable Pictures to turn his New York Television Festival-winning script Semi-Charmed Life into a TV pilot starring Ryan Hansen, Noël Wells, Illeana Douglas, Allan McLeod, and John Ennis. Earlier this year, Josh's TV pilot, Clean Slate, won the 2018 Table Read My Screenplay competition. Josh has completed the advanced sketch writing program at the UCB Theatre, was hired to write a TV pilot for the production team behind 'Super Troopers', and has written numerous articles for Decider, Uproxx, Splitsider, Above Average, MTV, People's Choice, and Barnes & Noble.
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A. J. BERMUDEZ is an award-winning playwright, author, and screenwriter. Her past works include The Face of the Earth (winner of the Diverse Voices Award, 2018), Hunt (HBMG Foundation Selection, 2017), and an adaptation of W.H. Auden’s The Sea and the Mirror (Yale Center for British Art, 2013). Her work has been featured at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the National Winter Playwrights Retreat, and the Yale Center for British Art, where she has also served as a guest artist and lecturer.   Having grown up throughout the southern United States, Bermudez has sought to explore underrepresented narratives in a variety of media. Upon completing high school at 16 and graduating first in her class, she moved to Moscow, Russia, where she worked as a volunteer...
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Jodi Levitan began her writing career without words, first finding success writing mime and clown routines. Those routines grew into longer stories, and those stories grew into full length award-winning screenplays. Jodi’s screenplays are character-driven stories with strong female leads that reach a multi-generational audience. All of her scripts are award winners in major screenplay contests, including The Austin Film Festival, Big Break, The Page Awards, StoryPros, The Richmond Film Festival and The American Zoetrope Screenplay Competition with Francis Ford Coppola serving as judge.  With her most recent script, Jodi was the grand prize winner of the Emerging Screenwriters Shoot Your Sizzle competition. A short version of the screenplay was shot in December. Jodi received her BA in...
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Wendy Wilkins is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker and comedian just named one of ISA’s Top-25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2019.   Hailing from the rural area of upstate New York, Wendy has lived and worked in Hollywood for over 25 years.  She’s been a Warner Brothers Writers’ Workshop Participant, an ABC/Disney Writing Program Finalist, a Final Draft’s Big Break Contest Top-10 Finalist, a Women In Film: NY/Meryl Streep Writers’ Lab Finalistand a 2018 Austin Film Festival Second Rounderalong with 40 other competition placements and awards.     Last year, her original dramatic/sci-fi TV pilot script HOMETOWN won the ISA Fast Track VI FellowshipandSpace & Time Film Festival’s screenplay...
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A graduate of the Film School at SUNY Purchase in New York, Farr has been involved in film production for over 30 years, from storyboard artist to gaffer to editor to writer and director on commercials, music videos, and features. Somewhere in all that he formed a band and released 3 albums.   His latest feature film A MARINE STORY, about the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law, premiered in June 2010 and won 20 film festival awards. David Weigand of the San Francisco Chronicle writes: “This film does not go where you might think it will go because it’s so credibly written, acted and directed. “Don’t ask, don’t tell”? How about “don’t miss this film.”    Farr’s previous feature film THE GYMNAST has won 28 awards to date...
Chris Courtney Martin hails from Philadelphia, where she was introduced to her craft. In high school, she placed in the Philadelphia Young Playwrights competition three years out of four. After receiving the prestigious Liberty scholarship, Martin started Drexel University's Screenwriting & Playwriting program, where she switched gears to focus on screenwriting. Martin graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree from Drexel's SCRP program, as well as minors in Film & Video and Art History. She has since won/placed in several screenwriting competitions (including Urbanworld and Emerging Screenwriters) and received promotion via the 2018 Young & Hungry List, 2018 Bitch List and ISA's Top 25 to Watch in 2019. Though she is known for her work in Horror/Thriller, Martin's body of work explores an array of...
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Peter Jang was born in Columbus, OH where he earned 5 National Champion titles in Taekwondo. At 18, he attended the University of California, San Diego, earning a BA in Economics. After graduating, Peter was introduced to the film industry where he became an extra and stand-in, then a full-time actor and stuntman, and now an award winning screenwriter and director. He was named the 2017 Grand Prize Winner of the International Screenwriter's Association's Emerging Screenwriter's Screenplay Competition and one of their "Top 25 Writers To Look Out For In 2019". He now resides in Los Angeles, CA.
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The Kuy sisters graduated from Oregon State University and Yale University.  They both pursued careers in medicine, then came full circle to return to their first passion - writing.  They are extremely grateful to The ISA team for selecting their project for The Top 25 Award.  They hope to share their mother's story with the rest of the world and to honor the 2 million lives lost during the Cambodian Genocide. They have written for the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Salon, The Independent... and are contributors for The Huffington Post. The adapted screenplay has won 28 awards and the not yet released book has won 6 awards. The not yet released book, treatment, and supporting document are available upon request from approved Industry Professionals. Film and Television...
David is an award-winning screenwriter whose love for cinema started at the age of five, when he would recruit his identical twin brother to help him reenact his favorite movie scenes for their parents. David’s passion continued with theatre studies in high school, and he ultimately joined the Screen Actors Guild in 2009. After taking a creative writing course in college, David realized he wanted to be a screenwriter. Since then, he has completed nearly two dozen feature length screenplays and television pilots. In 2017, David was selected as an ISA Fast Track Fellow. He has also placed in several of the most prestigious screenwriting competitions, including the Academy Nicholl Fellowships (semi-finalist), Final Draft Big Break (finalist), Page Awards (category Top 20), ScreenCraft (finalist) and Tracking Board...
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Originally from Canada, Evan Cooper is an award-winning director and screenwriter. His debut film, The Armoire, has screened at more than 20 festivals across North America, creeped out packed audiences, and won multiple awards. The film tells the story of a fresh-off-the-bus, aspiring actress who discovers a piece of furniture in her apartment to be unnervingly haunted. Cooper's next project is a psychological thriller titled, The Will O Wisp, and stars actress Chrissy Metz of This is Us. 
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C.J. is a media creator specializing in queer-themed, genre-driven, and human interest content. C.J.’s screenwriting work has won multiple awards. His feature script titled Geller High School’s Mondo-Secret Crush Committee, a heist/teen rom-com mash-up, won 1st Prize in Columbia College Chicago’s Written Image contest in the Alumni Feature Screenplay category. The script also won the Grand Prize in the New York Screenplay Contest’s Action/Adventure category. The judges called it “smart, highly original, and very entertaining,” and the Creative World Awards said, “This story has great commercial potential and could really resonate with audiences.” C.J.’s fiction writing has been nominated for the Pushcart...