RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021
Julia Skikavich is an award-winning screenwriter and journalist whose writing has been hailed for its timely women-centric approach in tackling intractable social issues.
Much of Julia’s identity was tied up in being a journalist until she became ill in her 20’s and was eventually diagnosed with a neurological disorder. The life-changing diagnosis shifted many of Julia’s priorities, and prompted her to merge her journalistic background with a career in television and film.
Julia often writes about illness and disability. Her TV pilots have won and placed in numerous screenwriting contests. In 2019 she was listed as one of the International Screenwriters’ Association’s TOP 25 Writers to Watch and later received the year’s Emerging Screenwriter Award. In 2020, she was selected for the Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award and Mentorship and the International Screenwriters’ Association’s Fast Track Fellowship. In both programs, she received support and guidance from established industry professionals and showrunners in Canada and the United States.
Julia has worked on a variety of news programs and factual docuseries that have aired domestically and internationally, on networks that include: HISTORY, SCI, FYI, DOC, and REELZ. Journalistically, her work has also appeared in print, online and radio. Julia started her journalism career on the politics beat and went on to cover major events and breaking news stories, including election campaigns, plane crashes, murder trials, the Olympics and Sasquatch sightings. While working at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Julia held positions as a reporter/editor, senior news writer and associate producer.
Julia graduated with highest honors from Carleton University’s celebrated Journalism program with a minor in political science. She later attended night school and received a certificate of Screenwriting from Toronto’s George Brown College. Originally from Quebec, she has lived throughout Canada, including Yukon in Canada’s North. She currently resides in Canada’s thriving television and animation hub — Toronto.
After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2021 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 8-week, 24-session virtual summer Lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, will take place June 22 – August 12, 2021. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. This Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award. Learn more: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab.
This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by:
- Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company
- Gold Sponsors: A&E and Final Draft
- Silver Sponsors: NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS