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Three-month paid development program helps APA writers package scripts for production to increase Asian American representation in film and television
December 16, 2020 — Los Angeles, CA — Giant Leap Accelerator, an entertainment incubator focused on diversity and inclusion, today announced the launch of its film and television development program focused on discovering new Asian/Pacific American (APA) stories. The accelerator pairs writers with industry mentors in packaging marketable projects into production as a means to introduce more Asian American representation to a consumer audience. Giant Leap Accelerator’s 12-week curriculum is the industry’s first paid writing program for new, non-guild APA screenwriters at no charge to apply.
The program’s inaugural class will accept 7 new Asian/Pacific American writers to be assigned to screenwriters or showrunners as industry mentors to help with writing workshops. Over the course of the three-month accelerator program, writers will have support and resources to package their projects, including presentation decks and sizzle reels, before the culmination of a pitch day to studio, streamer and network executives, independent producers and investors. This vertically integrated pipeline from development to production makes Giant Leap Accelerator the next generation model in content creation for Asian American writers.
“Less than 2% of writers in the guild are Asian/Pacific American. That’s abysmal and causing a writing talent bottleneck that’s suppressed APA representation both in front of and behind the camera,” said DJ Jiang, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Giant Leap Accelerator. “We’re taking a page right out of Silicon Valley’s playbook and creating a hands-on support structure and network to discover great ideas from the best creative minds. This accelerator gives voice to fierce Asian American stories no longer needing to mute themselves to mainstream audiences.”
Actor and producer Brian Yang is also a company co-founder with an advisory board that includes Munika Lay, VP of Film at Miramax; and Sonny Vu, formerly President and CTO at Fossil Group.
“The talent has to be there, but so does opportunity. It’s not ‘representation’ if the characters are kept to only the pages and never make it onto a screen for the audience to see,” said Yang. “We hope that this opportunity for rising APA writers to hone their work and pitch it in front of industry evaluators will not only help create a reliable pipeline of quality projects that will be given legitimate consideration, but add more creators into an ecosystem that’s already notoriously challenging to gain a foothold in.”
The accelerator program launches with pitch day participants from a variety of entertainment industry companies including 3AD, 20K, A-Major Media, Freeform, Hulu, MGM, NBCUniversal, Perfect Storm Entertainment, Red Hour Films, Macro, Miramax and Verve.
For more information about Giant Leap Accelerator or to apply, visit here.
About Giant Leap Accelerator
Giant Leap Accelerator, cofounded by DJ Jiang and Brian Yang, is a TV and film development accelerator focused on Asian/Pacific American (APA) stories for increased representation. Adopting a Silicon Valley incubator approach in discovering the most creative ideas, the accelerator pairs writers with industry mentors to refine and package marketable projects over an intensive 12-week period before pitching to studio and streaming network executives, independent producers and investors. Giant Leap Accelerator is a paid writing program with the goal to foster a new generation of Asian American writers, showrunners and storytellers. For more information, visit www.giantleapaccelerator.com.
Giant Leap Accelerator