The non-profit Inevitable Foundation, dedicated to breaking down barriers for mid-level disabled screenwriters, has announced the expansion of its Accelerate Fellowship via an exclusive, multi-year commitment from Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, also today naming Monica Lucas and David Dineen-Porter as its Fall 2022 Fellows.
Formerly known as Inevitable’s Screenwriting Fellowship, the Accelerate Fellowship is a year-along program that offers its participants $40,000 grants, along with the business and writing support necessary to develop and sell their own content. The expanded program includes additional mentorship opportunities with industry experts and creatives, access to health insurance, and expanded educational and community programming, including guidance on IP acquisition.
Inevitable Foundation has granted over $250,000 in funding to disabled screenwriters since launching in 2021. Its Fall 2022 Fellows Lucas and Dineen-Porter join Spring 2022 Fellows Sam Dunnewold and Anton Ray, Fall 2021 Fellows Shaina Ghuraya, Greg Machlin and Aoife Baker, and Spring 2021 Fellows Kalen Feeney and Shani Am. Moore.
Lucas is a neurodivergent, Puerto Rican screenwriter who writes stylistic character dramas about women and girls wrestling back power from the systems that seek to diminish them. She got her start as a political activist in Washington, D.C., where she worked in the U.S. Department of State and for various nonprofits and think tanks. She received her MFA in Writing for Screen and Television from USC, has her first pilot in development and is co-writing an upcoming narrative podcast. Lucas was the 2021 JHRTS Feature Drama Winner as well as a finalist in the Moving Picture Institute’s Short Film Lab.
Dineen-Porter is a comedy writer with an interest in science fiction and absurdism who has worked on Magic for Humans on Netflix, The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS, and Xavier: Renegade Angel on Cartoon Network. He also produces and hosts the surrealist comedy podcast Party of Four.
“We are thrilled to partner with Netflix to launch the Accelerate Fellowship and speed up the transition for disabled writers to become high-level creators,” said Inevitable Foundation co-founders Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska. “Despite disabled people making up over 20% of the U.S. population, less than 0.5% of first-look and overall deals go to disabled writers and 97% of writers’ rooms have no upper-level disabled writers. Netflix’s multi-year commitment—the largest from any streamer, studio or network to date—is a resounding endorsement of our barrier-breaking approach to fostering the next generation of disabled creators. We are also very excited to welcome Monica and David as our Fall 2022 Accelerate Fellows.”
“I am beyond excited to have been selected as a Fall 2022 Accelerate Fellow,” remarked Lucas. “Hollywood is a difficult industry with complex social norms that remain obscure to many who attempt to break in; navigating it with Autism has been especially challenging. This fellowship will set me up for success as I work to become a screenwriter who can break down stigma for other storytellers with disabilities.”
“Inevitable Foundation’s mission to provide specialized help to disabled creatives has renewed my optimism about what is possible for me,” shared Dineen-Porter. “The opportunity to hone my craft with professional guidance and such a supportive community of peers is overwhelming.”
The Inevitable Foundation will be moving, going forward, to an annual cycle for naming new Fellows and has updated its Mid-Level Criteria, which will now guide applicants to the programs that they’re eligible for. Prospective applicants for the Fellowship can learn more about Inevitable Foundation’s programs on its website and by taking their Programs Eligibility Questionnaire. Those who qualify will be invited to apply for the 2023 cohort early next year.