Meryl Streep, currently presiding over this year's Berlin International Film Festival jury, has signed on once again to fund The Writers Lab, a four-day screenwriting retreat and development intensive for women screenwriters over the age of 40. Now in its second year, the lab features panel discussions, one-on-one meetings, and a series of more informal conversations designed to cultivate new cinematic voices. This year's edition of the lab is scheduled for September 22-25 in New York.
Streep caused a stir Thursday with her response to criticism that the Berlinale jury, which includes no people of color, is whitewashed. "There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we’re all from Africa originally," she said, according to Variety. "We’re all Africans, we’re all Berliners."
The mentors attached to the 2016 Writers Lab include Meg LeFauve ("Inside Out"); Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Beyond the Lights"); Caroline Kaplan ("Personal Velocity"); Mary Jane Skalski ("Win Win"), Darnell Martin ("Cadillac Records"), Kristen Smith ("Legally Blonde"), and Gurinder Chadha ("Bend It Like Beckham").
The call for submissions is open through April 14, with the 2016 participants to be announced August 1. Submissions must be feature-length, fictional narrative scripts of any genre written by women over the age of 40, who are American citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. For more info, visit nywift.org and thewriterslab.nyc.