Lab alumni Shireen Alihaji (2019), Elisabeth Good (2020), Cashmere Jasmine (2021), Ru Kazi (2019), and Peter Lee (2022) shared their industry experiences and offered advice during the opening session of the 2022 virtual cohort of the RespectAbility Entertainment Lab.
Los Angeles, Aug. 19 – RespectAbility’s Entertainment Lab kicked off its latest 2022 virtual cohort earlier this week, welcoming eighteen individuals and one writing duo, from the United States, Canada, Argentina, and Australia. The Lab’s first session included a panel of recent Lab alumni who shared their industry experiences, offered advice to the participants, and discussed their most recent projects and endeavors.
Peter Lee, a television writer who just completed the in-person version of the Lab earlier this summer. Lee described how RespectAbility’s guest speakers and industry panels helped him find unique consulting opportunities. “The execs that we met with really understood how valuable our perspectives and experiences are,” said Lee. Lee also shared his hope that the newest cohort make every effort to get to know each other and connect with professionals to build a lasting network. “I felt an immediate connection to everyone. They really understood what it meant to be disabled, and I didn’t realize how meaningful that would be to me.”
Shireen Alihaji is a filmmaker and alumna of the 2019 Lab. She spoke about how the Lab provided her with the opportunity to share her disability in an empowering way. Her film, Blue Veil, which Alihaji included on her Entertainment Lab application in 2019, is based on a personal narrative and was featured on both The Black List and the Cannes Screenplay List. “I felt like I was in a safe space, and I also learned how to talk about my project,” she shared. “The friendships I gained from this space were amazing and life-changing, some of which turned into collaborations,” Alihaji continued. In addition to her other accolades, Alihaji was selected for the Sundance Institute’s Latine Collab Scholarship this past year. [continue reading…]