LMU School of Film and Television is excited to present the five alumni-lead projects selected for the inaugural Story Development Residency. In collaboration with long-time partner Film Independent, the eight-month-long residency enables participants to develop either a feature-length, narrative screenplay or an episodic series with mentorship from professional screenwriters such as NAACP Image Award winner Shernold Edwards “A Day Late and a Dollar Short,” Jennifer Glickman “The Big Bang Theory,” Emmy winner Mike Makowsky “Bad Education”, Felicia Pride “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Queen Sugar,” Oscar nominee Billy Ray “Captain Phillips” and Rebecca Sonnenshine “The Boys,” “The Vampire Diaries.”
Dr. Bryant Keith Alexander, interim dean at LMU School of Film and Television told Deadline, “We are proud to partner again with Film Independent in investing in our alumni. One of our priorities is to set up our graduates for success, both on campus and in their career pathways. This year’s group of mentees will work with some of the best mentors in the entertainment industry, and are a talented group whose projects show tremendous promise, both creatively and commercially.”
This year’s inaugural group represents a range of genres, styles, and tones in their five episodic projects. Sister duo Arielle Jennings ‘13 and Magen Jennings bring their own experience growing up on the Virgin Islands to “Thou Shall Not,” a tale of four young girls using faith to combat the evil forces that plague their island. Also included are Maya Florin’s ’19 gritty, sci-fi action drama “Hybrids” and Kathryn Wright’s ’20 “The District,” an emotionally charged teen drama set against the backdrop of a D.C. private school. “Dope Fiends,” Jonathan Talbert’s ’16 M.F.A. satirical comedy of the OxyContin origin story and Film Independent Incubator Lab alum Terence Johnson’s ’16 M.F.A. character-driven, queer romance “A Taste of Love” complete the cohort. Check out their full loglines below.
2021 LMU Story Development Residency Projects
Maya Florin ‘19
Logline: The world descends into chaos when a mysterious mist activates hidden alien DNA inside the human race, giving many ordinary members of the population the painful and largely unwanted ability to shift into monstrous hybrid forms. Can society survive the species divide of Humans and Hybrids, or will they succumb to the hatred of the unknown?
Arielle Jennings ‘13 and Magen Jennings
Title: “Thou Shall Not”
Logline: Four girls use their new access as altar servers and their Catholic theology knowledge to combat a curse upon them and other evil forces that plague their island.
Terence Johnson ‘16 MFA
Title: “A Taste of Love”
Logline: A struggling baker wants to win a prestigious baking competition to save his business but must contend with small-town politics, failing machinery, and a new rival in the form of his high school crush.
Jonathan Talbert ‘16 MFA
Title: “Dope Fiends”
Logline: “Dope Fiends” is the unbelievable true story of Purdue Pharma – the American drug company that developed, manufactured, and marketed OxyContin –growing from a small family-owned business into a multi-billion-dollar empire and igniting the national opioid epidemic in the process. A comedy of lies and misrepresentation.
Kathryn Wright ‘20
Title: “The District”
Logline: Politics and social standings are life and death at DC private schools, but one overachieving Senator’s daughter has an airtight plan for success. Too bad no amount of planning could’ve predicted her father being caught sexting a minor.
Top image: Po Wei Su ’21 MFA