Stage 32 & Catalyst Studios Unveil Script Development Program Finalists & Announce Berlinale MD Mariette Rissenbeek As A Mentor

EXCLUSIVE: Industry training platform Stage 32 has revealed the 11 finalists selected for its inaugural Empowering Women Script Competition, running in collaboration with production company Catalyst Studios.

Beyond offering a competition platform, the initiative will also provide ongoing development support and mentorship to the female and non-binary finalists.

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“It’s not just about finding the next great script. This program fosters the talents of promising artists and empowers their voices to change the world,” said Stage 32 Managing Director Amanda Toney.

The winning writer will receive a guaranteed $5,000 option for their script and is eligible for up to $3,000,000 in financing from Catalyst for production.

In addition to financial support, the Catalyst team will collaborate with the winning writer on development, while Stage 32 will provide educational support for script development.

The partners also announced that outgoing Berlinale Managing Director Mariette Rissenbeek has joined the program as a mentor for the winner.

Catalyst Studios was launched in 2022 as a joint venture between social entrepreneur Holly Levow and producer Paul Kampf of Equitas Entertainment, and Mark Pennell of Beacon Pictures, with a focus on emerging talent and diverse storytelling

“We are very excited about all the finalists and are looking forward to showcasing this incredible talent.  It’s so important to share diverse perspectives and stories that have the power to create awareness on important issues and a shared understanding in our communities,” said Levow, who is president of the company.

The winners will be announced on February 16.

Finalists & Projects (Synopses provided by Stage 32 and Catalyst)

Jacquelin Elyse Rosenthal
A powerful narrative inspired by a true story, Backlog follows a young college sexual assault victim who, after years of reclaiming her life, becomes the key witness in a Senate Hearing to end the rape kit backlog. Will she find the strength to be the voice of hope for women globally?

Support System
Laurie Ashbourne
Support System unravels the story of a single mom who, after extreme measures to collect child support from her child’s deadbeat dad, becomes a vigilante sought after by others facing similar challenges, and a target for those who owe.

The Single Girl’s Guide to Narcissists
Diane Thomassin
A dating app enthusiast and kindergarten teacher forms the Bomb Squad with her friends to find love. However, when she meets the seemingly perfect catch, their relationship takes a toxic turn, leading to the discovery of her true worth and breaking free from a gaslighting grip at her sister’s wedding.

Carole Rinn
Unfolding explores the upheaval in the lives of a mother and daughter when a turn of events changes their lives forever.

Everybody Knows
Rangeley Wallace
After her high-school science teacher mother’s unexpected death, a daughter returns home to uncover a ruthless climate change coverup that ruined her mother’s career and ultimately led to her demise.

For Her
Alyssa Carter
In For Her, a rookie lawyer in El Salvador fights for the release of a young woman incarcerated for miscarriage in a country where abortion is illegal, based on a true story.

Marisa Forrest
A recovering addict must rescue her estranged son from a sinister evangelical cult that turns children into murderous criminals, operating under the guise of an “orphanage.”

Mira Atwah
Equinox follows a young single mother who must deliver a large illegal shipment with her three-year-old daughter to make ends meet.

Agnes Peel-McGregor
A troubled physical therapist moves from Poland to San Francisco for a fresh start but discovers a mysterious girl from the orphanage next door is following her, unveiling secrets of her own hazy past.

The Venus Conspiracy
Lydia Cornell
The Venus Conspiracy unveils a corporate drone accidentally discovering a tech company’s plot to keep women thin and insecure to make billions off of them. The challenge is convincing anyone, even her family, of the sinister truth.

Rachel Eddy
At a Passover Seder gone awry, teenage siblings uncover a sinister family secret, sending them on a chaotic guilt-trip to confront their shaken Jewish identity.

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