The Inevitable Foundation has revealed the winners of its Starz #TakeTheLead Elevate Collective Grants and the Winter 2024 Elevate Cohort, both of which support disabled TV writers to level up their careers.
Recipients of the Inevitable Foundation x STARZ #TakeTheLead partnership include Kryzz Gautier, Hari Ziyad and writing partners Chris and Charlie Frazier. Each receives a $12.5k grant as well as mentoring and coaching from Starz creative executives.
More from Deadline
For its Winter 2024 Elevate Collective Cohort, the winners are Andrew Reid, Roma Murphy, Obiageli Odimegwu and Cheryl Meyer. Each will receive $5k in funding for professional development, including career coaching, professional development, work-from-home equipment, script consultation and/or IP acquisition.
“We are excited to announce the awardees from our partnership with Starz #TakeTheLead given their commitment to supporting diverse creators in the premium cable space. We look forward to leveraging this partnership to support Kryzz, Hari and Chris and Charlie’s professional development and unique stories,” Inevitable Foundation co-founders Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska said in a joint statement.
“Inevitable Foundation is a leader in fostering industry success and longevity for disabled creatives. We’re thrilled to support Inevitable and the evolution of television programming toward greater inclusivity and authenticity,” shared Kathryn Busby, President of Original Programming for Starz.
Learn more about each winner below.
Kryzz Gautier (she/her) is a Queer, Afro-Latina, formerly undocumented writer-director from the Dominican Republic who specializes in character-driven, grounded sci-fi and genre at large. She creates complex worlds filled with three-dimensional characters that mostly revolve around the Latino, queer, and female experience. Gautier was on The Black List 2021 and has written on an HBO series and 2K Games’ BioShock 4. She’s been in programs like Netflix’s Directors On The Rise, NBC’s Female Forward, Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative, Joey Soloway’s Disruptors, The Sundance Institute and was a semi-finalist in The Academy’s Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. She’s repped by CAA and Rain.
Chris and Charlie Frazier (he/him) often center their stories on characters with disabilities, rooted in their own experiences with Cystic Fibrosis. They got their start after selling their series Flinch to USA Network, and have since developed both TV and features with Warner Brothers, Fox and MGM. In 2022, they won Best Comedy Pilot at the Austin Film Festival, and they recently wrote Radical, a drama about Yuri Kochiyama with Nina Yang Bongiovi and Lisa Ling producing. They are repped by Circle of Confusion.
Hari Ziyad (he/they) is a certified death doula whose writing is informed by their identity as a Black queer born in Cleveland, Ohio to Hindu and Muslim parents. They write for the upcoming podcast Black History, For Real (Wondery), and were previously a staff writer on CBS’s The Neighborhood and a script consultant on David Makes Man (OWN). They are the bestselling author of Black Boy Out of Time and the creator and former Editor-in-Chief of RaceBaitr. They have placed in competitions including Screencraft, Filmmatic and the Sundance Development Lab. They are repped by Culture Creative Entertainment.
Andrew Reid (he/him) is a disabled Jamaican-Cuban storyteller who migrated to the United States at the age of 10. He gravitates toward genre films and untold dramas within the world of disability, mental health and the Caribbean community. He is a DGA Award-winning director and MFA graduate from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He was recently nominated at the NAACP Image Awards, HBO Max Latino Short Film Competition and Best of New Filmmakers LA, and is repped by Independent Artist Group.
Roma Murphy (she/her) has always wanted to make the world a better place, but as a comedy writer, she suspects she’ll probably make it worse. Years of existence as a quadruple-pronged diversity hire left her fascinated by how systems of oppression leave marginalized people so desperate to prove themselves that they miss out on forming real connections with others, a topic she often explores through comedy. She’s participated in the Disruptors Fellowship, Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab and Respectability’s Summer Entertainment Lab. She’s also worked in children’s cartoons, most recently as an Associate Writer at Disney. Murphy’s repped by Cartel.
Obiageli Odimegwu (she/her) grew up in Nigeria and worked on Wall Street before transitioning into screenwriting. Odimegwu writes about outsiders in harrowing situations and is currently a co-producer on the CW’s All American. She previously worked as an executive story editor on Amazon’s Motorheads, a Staff Writer on Guilty Party at Paramount+ and wrote true crime podcasts at Spotify. Since receiving her MFA from USC in 2019, Obiageli’s scripts have garnered her a Humanitas New Voices Award, a BAFTA Newcomers Fellowship and a Paramount Writers Mentoring Program Fellowship. She’s repped by MetaMorphic Entertainment.
Cheryl Meyer (she/her) is a small-town girl with big-city dreams who dabbled in every job both in front of and behind the camera before becoming a bonafide scribe. As a physically disabled writer, she brings her unique perspective to narratives and loves to write about complicated women in messy situations. She recently worked as a co-producer on Amazon Freevee’s Beyond Black Beauty and her thriller feature film, All the Lost Ones, was acquired by Paramount+ for 2024. Meyer’s works have been spotlighted by Toronto and Cannes International Film Festivals and has participated in the Respectability Entertainment Lab, Stowe Story Lab and TIFF Series Accelerator Lab. She’s repped by Meridian Artists.
Best of Deadline