Meryl Streep is basically the best living actress on this planet. I know that’s a massive statement to make, but one I feel totally comfortable with. She’s incredibly talented, and that’s an understatement. She’s also fascinating as a human being. The few times I’ve attended press conferences with her, I just found myself completely enthralled with watching her speak, watching her mind tick as she carefully measures out her words… she’s just amazing. Now that I’m done gushing, however, I’ve gotta tell you about another awesome thing she’s done: she just announced that she’s funding a screenwriting lab for female writers over the age of 40.
The creation of the lab, and Streep’s involvement in its founding, was announced Sunday at a panel discussion presented as part of the Tribeca Film Festival.
Called the Writers Lab, the screenplay development program aims to increase opportunities for female screenwriters over the age of 40. This year the initiative will accept submissions May 1-June 1, with eight winning scribes named Aug. 1.
Among the mentors to participate in the Lab’s inaugural year are writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Beyond the Lights”), producer Caroline Kaplan (“Boyhood”), and writers Kirsten Smith (“Legally Blonde”) and Jessica Bendinger (“Bring It On”).
According to NYWIFT, Streep ponied up a “significant” contribution to fully fund the Lab. The actress has been a longtime supporter of NYWIFT.
The Writers Lab will take place at a retreat in upstate New York.
Excellent! Especially in Hollywood, not only are the opportunities for women much lower than those available to men, but women over 40 might as well forget it. So glad she’s decided to put some money and resources into nurturing new talent. Just another reason to love her!