Founded by Hartbeat CEO, Thai Randolph and Head of Film, Candice Wilson Cherry, and developed in partnership with Sundance Institute, Women Write Now was designed to champion the next generation of Black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition. Tunisha Brown, IMPACT Magazine’s Founder/Editor-In-Chief, asked Thai Randolph what was her main goal for Hartbeat, she said, “My goal was to be intentional about blacks in cinema in all areas.”
2023’s fellowship brought in three emerging writers, Mayanna Berrin, Kianna Butler Jabangwe, and Danielle Solomon to develop and produce their comedic short scripts under the guidance of some of the most influential Black women in comedy. The resulting projects were then brought into production by Hartbeat studios, where fellows served as creative producers on their projects working alongside guest directors Nicole Byer, Tika Sumpter, and Logan Browning. Logan Browning explained to Tunisha how timing works out for your good. How she wouldn’t want to change the timing of this experience because of the people she’s in this with.
After several months of development, the final projects made their debut exclusively during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Each of the selected fellows received a one-year first-look deal with Hartbeat. During the Sundance Festival, special events were held where guests celebrated the projects of writers Mayanna Berrin, Kiana Butler Jabangwe, and Danielle Solomon. Kiana Butler Jabangwe explained how when she began with the Grammy’s she never thought she would be there for eight years. Being there and going through that process developed the faith to believe in herself and her work.
All three projects can be seen on Peacock as they were picked up. You can find the short films on Peacock’s ‘Movies’ homepage HERE!
Be sure to checkout all three ‘Women Write Now’ projects on Peacock!