LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Meryl Streep has funded a screenwriters lab for women writers over 40, to be run by New York Women in Film and Television and IRIS, a collective of women filmmakers.
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.
NYWIFT, which presents the annual Muse Awards as well as the Designing Women honors, is an entertainment industry association that supports female leadership in film, TV and digital media. Collective IRIS was founded by a trio of women with the goal of championing the female voice in narrative film.
Further information about the Lab, including how to enter, can be found on NYWIFT's website.