BRIC, African Voices, Reel Sisters Announce Scriptwriting Workshops Partnership

BRIC and African Voices/Reel Sisters are pleased to formally announce their partnership in co-presenting Scriptwriting Essential
-A +A

Photos: Reel Sisters

(BROOKLYN, NY — July, 2021) — BRIC and African Voices/Reel Sisters are pleased to formally announce their partnership in co-presenting Scriptwriting Essentials & The Art of Writing Strong Female Characters™.

These two organizations combine their strengths and leadership in the arts community to address inclusion in the film industry with a series of workshops taught by industry professionals. The Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, a lead funder of the program, supports women writers.

“We are proud to partner with BRIC to provide a nurturing space for women of color to share their stories and gain important access to developing their films,” said Carolyn A. Butts, founder of African Voices, a nonprofit organization that presents the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series. Reel Sisters is the first Academy qualifying film festival devoted to women of color. “Netflix, HBO and other major digital media outlets are seeking scripts by Black, Latina and Asian creators — it’s our time to shine. The first ten pages of your script and your elevator pitch are the keys to successfully getting your project greenlit.”

Scriptwriting Essentials will support women screenwriters as they develop and create scripts for television, film and digital media, providing industry knowledge and mentorship while developing an active and engaged community of scriptwriters. BRIC will offer participants hands-on training so that they are able to edit, produce and pitch shows for cable TV, while African Voices/Reel Sisters will pull from its extensive roster of veteran film industry contacts to ensure that screenwriters are connected with professional filmmakers and mentors who will have a positive impact on their careers.

“With this partnership, we are able to provide exciting opportunities for women of color to further their goals in their creative endeavors and professional pursuits,” said BRIC President, Kristina Newman-Scott. “By sharing industry insights and connecting emerging screenwriters with mentors, they will have the tools necessary to take crucial next steps in their careers.”

The program and partnership builds on a relationship that began in 2018 with a successful, jointly presented screenwriting series for women, designed to create a space for them to write their first script. These courses, led by accomplished women in the film industry and focusing on the female lens in storytelling, have grown in scope and participation over the past several years, leading to this new, ambitious program.

Past workshop instructors include Valerie C. Woods, a veteran television writer/producer who served as a co-executive producer/writer on Season 4 of the critically acclaimed drama series Queen Sugar; Lisa Michelle Payton, an award-winning writer for two Warner Bros. hit comedies, The Parent’ Hood and Living Single; and Stacey Muhammad, an award-winning writer/director/producer, who has directed several major television and film shows including Queen Sugar (Season 4, Ep. 11), Paramount’s Guilty Party (Season 1, Ep. 107-108) and BET’s First Wives Club (Season 2, Ep. 201 & 202).

Radha Blank, producer and director of Netflix’s highly acclaimed The 40-Year-Old Version and Leslie Harris, an award-winning writer/director/producer of JUST ANOTHER GIRL ON THE I.R.T., have served as special guest speakers.

On July 8, 2021, African Voices launched Reel Sisters Tea & Cinema Series, a monthly virtual streaming series that will feature films, web series and forums for the independent filmmaking community. The first event kicks off with a screening of Sisterhood directed by Domiziana De Fulvio. Members from Screenwriting Essentials will have an opportunity to share works in progress. The National Endowment for the Arts is supporting the series and workshops. For more information visit

Scriptwriting Essentials will offer year-round virtual workshops and in-person workshops are expected to resume in the fall. The next Scriptwriting Essentials workshop will begin in July. For information on the workshops, visit and


Scriptwriting Essentials

January-July (ongoing)

This class offers tips on pitching scripts to such major content platforms as OWN, Netflix, BET and HBO. Students will learn how to write strong and richly layered women characters as well as the nuts and bolts of writing scripts that sell. The instructor will guide writers in achieving their personal scriptwriting goals.

Scriptwriting Master Class

January-July (ongoing)

The six-session Scriptwriting Master Class will focus on giving writers a strong foundation in story and character development. The workshop is for professionals interested in connecting with a writing community to begin a new script or revise work in development. Writers must understand the basics of scriptwriting as time will be devoted to writing, polishing log lines and beat sheets that will help you pitch your project to major television and film studios as well as digital media platforms.

Media Talks: Getting Started with Scriptwriting Event

On June 30, 2021, BRIC aired a special Media Talks with Reel Sisters on scriptwriting. Booker T. Mattison, the director of Ungubani, who recently led Scriptwriting Essentials and Master Scriptwriting workshops and Carolyn A. Butts, Reel Sisters Founder, provided information on preparing your script for production. Media Talks is available on Youtube: Media Talks hosted by Jessica Mason.

Summer Screenwriting Symposium & Writers Lab

August 10-14, 2021 (call to confirm dates) African Voices will present a Summer Screenwriting Symposium for filmmakers interested in connecting with industry professionals and participating in a special Summer Writers Lab, sponsored by Reel Sisters and BRIC. The Writers Lab is devoted to writers interested in developing risk-taking narratives. Writers will work in small groups and one-on-one with veteran writers/producers. Writers will enjoy a weekend working in a supportive environment of producers, directors and screenwriters. This is a unique opportunity for writers to revise key elements of their feature length or short film script and create a dynamic elevator pitch. Writers interested in the lab must submit five to ten pages of their script for consideration for the writing intensive.

Public Table Reading

September 2021 (date & time TBA)

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and BRIC Media Education will present an exciting staged reading of scripts by filmmakers from our Scriptwriting Lab and Master Class workshops. Join us for an intimate conversation with the writers on their works-in-press.

BRIC is a leading arts and media institution anchored in downtown Brooklyn whose work spans contemporary visual and performing arts, media and civic action. For over 40 years, BRIC has shaped Brooklyn's cultural and media landscape by presenting and incubating artists, creators, students and media makers. As a creative catalyst for their community, BRIC ignites learning in people of all ages and centralizes diverse voices that take risks and drive culture forward. BRIC is building Brooklyn's creative future.

For additional information, visit

African Voices, a nonprofit arts organization, strives to transform the world one story at a time by creating a space for audiences to experience art, literature and film by artists of color. Founded in 1992, African Voices’ mission is carried out through public programs and the publication of a national literary magazine devoted to showcasing writers and artists from the African Diaspora. Scriptwriting Essentials & The Art of Creating Strong Female Characters™ is a trademark of Reel Sisters. Spelman College, a top HBCU and women’s college, will archive African Voices magazine, which has published the work of more than 4,000 writers and visual artists. Each year, African Voices provides artistic services to 5,000 artists of color and young people throughout New York City and the tri-state area.

For additional information, visit

Also Check Out...

In the favelas and peripheries of Brazil, arbitrary arrests—lacking proof and motivated by race
Racial Policing: In Brazil, Crime
Meet Claudienne Hibbert-Smith,
Black Woman Making History In The
Mali has marked its 61st anniversary of the country’s independence from France.
Mali Marks 61st Independence Day
Educators, like art teacher George Galbreath, whose art is shown above, continue to face decisions in the classroom
Educator Uses Art To Showcase
“Freedom to Vote” Act, a compromise bill that would expand and protect the right to vote
Democrats Must Pass Voting Rights
oppressive laws curtailing human rights including the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,
Gambia: Oppressive Laws Remain