Ian Skorodin and LA Skins Fest host monthly gatherings for Native writers in California. Photo from
The first ever Native American TV Writers Lab will take place in Los Angeles, California.The new program is being spearheaded by the LA Skins Fest in partnership with NBCUniversal, CBS Entertainment Diversity and HBO. The group wants to help Native Americans develop writing careers at major television networks.“Together with our partners, we are honored to offer this incredible opportunity,” Ian Skorodin, a member of the Choctaw Nation and the founding director of LA Skins Fest, said in a press release. “This lab is a first step in giving a voice to an overwhelmingly talented but overlooked community.”Applications are due April 11. Participants will be selected for an “intensive” five-week writing workshop in May and June during which they will develop a television script to present to network executives.Native Americans are historically under-represented in television and film, from writing to casting to production. Recent controversies have shone a spotlight on casting, with reports showing very few roles for Native talent.The new Native American TV Writers Lab is one of the few to address other segments of the industry though the Sundance Institute has been helping Native filmmakers and producers turn their projects into reality since 2004.