Sabrina Almeida hails from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. She has a BS from MIT and an MFA from USC. Sabrina mostly writes serialized, character-driven dramas with strong, logic-based procedural elements. But she has also written comedies, including nine produced episodes of Invention Story, an animated children’s TV show. Sabrina is currently in the CBS Writers Mentoring Program. She has also been a part of the Latino Lens: U.S. Hispanic Drama Series Incubator, two Latino Scene Showcases, the National Hispanic Media Coalition TV Writers Program, the L.A. Scripted Comedy Festival, and the Broad Humor Film Festival. Sabrina currently serves as the Scholarship Director for Alliance for Women in Media Southern California.
Lara Ameen is a screenwriter, disability advocate and PhD student in Education with an emphasis in Disability Studies at Chapman University. She holds an MFA in Screenwriting from California State University, Northridge, and a BA in Film Studies with a minor in Disability Studies from UC Berkeley. She has given presentations on disability representation in the media to the Writers with Disabilities Committee at the Writers Guild of America, West, in Los Angeles and at the University Film and Video Association Conference in Washington D.C. She acted in and executive produced the short film “She Inspires” for the 2015 48-Hour Disability Film Challenge. Her scripts have placed in ScreenCraft’s Bahamas Screenwriters Residency Program, Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition and Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition. When she’s not writing screenplays, she writes paranormal fantasy novellas about queer disabled characters who save the world. She is currently writing her third novella.
Diane Anderson-Minshall is a queer Native American (Choctaw/Zuni/Cherokee) journalist and editor, published author, and long-time HIV & LGBT health activist, who has received numerous awards for her work with marginalized communities.
She is CEO and chief storyteller of Retrograde Communications, modern editorial services and content development agency that’s LGBT and POC run. The agency produces two magazines, a website, a review blog, and PSAs and educational materials for non-profit campaigns like Kaiser Foundation’s Greater than AIDS transgender campaign and Walgreens Pride.com #GetTested initiative.
Most notably, she currently serves as the editorial director of The Advocate magazine (the country’s oldest and bestselling LGBT magazine); editor in chief of Plus (the most widely read magazine for people living with HIV); chief content officer of TinyLivingChic.com; and executive producer of The T With Dr. D, a six-part TV series on HIV treatment, testing, and prevention.
A freelance writer for several decades, Diane has appeared New York Times, Out Traveler, Black Book, Ladies Home Journal, Bitch, Esquire, Radar, Us Weekly, Passport, Bust, Beekman 1802 Almanac, San Francisco Chronicle, Out, Glamour, OutTraveler, SheWired, Pride, Gay.com, and dozens of regional LGBT media outlets including Bay Area Reporter, Southern Voice, Washington Blade, OutWeek, and Lesbian News. Diane is the 2016 recipient of the NLGJA’s Lisa Ben Award for Achievement in Features Coverage.
Diane and transgender journalist Jacob Anderson-Minshall are co-conspirators in life and love. They co-authored the Blind Eye mystery series and they wrote the memoir, Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders, about their now 26-year-relationship, which survived Jacob’s gender transition. In 2015, she and Jacob were given the best creative non-fiction book award for Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders; her husband then became the first openly transgender author to win a Goldie award from the Golden Crown Literary Society.
Margot Atwell is the Director of Publishing at Kickstarter, where she helps authors and publishers use the platform to build community and find support for their creative projects. Previously, Margot was Publisher at Beaufort Books, an independent publisher of fiction and non-fiction books. Margot’s writing has been published in numerous print and online publications. Her first book, The Insider’s Guide to Book Publishing Success, was published in February 2013. In 2014, she raised almost $10,000 on Kickstarter to launch Gutpunch Press and fund her second book, Derby Life: A Crash Course in the Incredible Sport of Roller Derby (2015).
Carmiel Banasky is the author of the novel The Suicide of Claire Bishop (Dzanc, 2015), which Publishers Weekly calls “an intellectual tour de force.” Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, The Guardian, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and on NPR, among other places. She earned her MFA from Hunter College, where she also taught Creative Writing. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, I-Park, and other foundations. After four years on the road at writing residencies, she now teaches, edits, and writes prose and TV in Los Angeles. She is from Portland, Oregon.
Jess Barron is the VP & GM for LIVESTRONG.COM, the leading healthy lifestyle website with over 28 million unique monthly viewers. LIVESTRONG provides the blueprint to simple healthy living. Jess and the LIVESTRONG team created the #StrongerWomen series interviewing female leaders of fitness and wellness empires who offer advice on careers and finding balance. In order to make healthy recipes easier and accessible to everyone, Jess and her team created a one-minute video series called Simple.Healthy.Eats. that has had more than 15 million total views. Prior to LIVESTRONG, Jess worked in the fitness industry at Beachbody.
Marisol Bello is the content director at the Center for Community Change, a national social justice organization that builds the power of low income communities, especially those of color, to make the change they want to see in the world. She was a journalist for 23 years, most recently at USA TODAY, focusing her work on the stories of people whose voices are seldom heard. A first-generation American, Marisol was raised in the Bronx. Yes, she’s a Yankees fan. And she thinks most great works should be translated into Spanish telenovelas.
After receiving a Masters degree from the Peter Stark Producing Program at The University of Southern California, Adrienne Biddle began her career at Jersey Films, where she worked on several projects including Man On The Moon, Caveman’s Valentine, Garden State, How High and Erin Brockovitch.
In November of 2002, she left Jersey Films to become Vice President of Production and Acquisitions at Summit Entertainment. Summit’s production arm generated five movies during her tenure: Dot The I, Wrong Turn, Lies And Alibis (which she co-produced), and Step Up.
In November of 2005, she left Summit to become Rogue Pictures’ Senior Vice President of Production. This genre division of Universal Pictures released several movies during her tenure: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, Balls Of Fury, Hot Fuzz, The Strangers, Doomsday, Last House On The Left and she was the executive in charge of The Hitcher, The Unborn and Fighting. Rogue was sold to Relativity Media in December 2008.
In September of 2009, she partnered with writer/director Bryan Bertino to form Unbroken Pictures.
The duo has produced five movies together: He’s Out There, written by Mike Scannell and directed by Dennis Iliadis, starring Yvonne Strahovski for Screen Gems (’17 release); The Blackcoat’s Daughter, written and directed by Osgood Perkins, starring Emma Roberts and Kiernan Shipka acquired by A24 (March ‘17 release); Stephanie, written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, directed by Akiva Goldsman, starring Frank Grillo and Ana Torv for Blumhouse and Universal Pictures (’17 release); The Monster, written and directed by Bertino, starring Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine for A24, and Mockingbird, written and directed by Bertino, for Blumhouse and Universal Pictures.
The company is represented by UTA.
Vanta M. Black is the author of Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place. The novel has won several awards including the Best General Fiction Award at the Halloween Book Festival, and Best Horror Novel at the 2016 Hollywood Book Festival. Vanta has participated in book signings at Barnes & Nobles and the Flintridge bookstore, as well as The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and at Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con among other festivals. She is currently working with her writing partner Minoti Vaishnav to turn her novel into a television show, with a producer already attached.