Cinema Studies

The Oberlin Screenwriters Intensive

January 19–21, 2023

The Oberlin Screenwriters Intensive, piloting January 2023, is a three-day immersive experience for aspiring screenwriters in film and television.

A professor speaks to a class while standing in front of a movie screen. An image is projected on his face and shirt.
Professor Joshua Sperling hosts a story workshop as part of Obiewood, an organization connecting Oberlin students with entertainment industry professionals.
Photo credit: John Seyfried

The Oberlin Screenwriters Intensive (OSI) invites highly motivated Obies to workshop a feature-length screenplay or episodic pilot script in one-on-one sessions with established writers and dedicated mentors. With the goal of cultivating industry-ready storytellers, OSI also includes group workshops, industry panels, and community events, as well as follow-up support after the intensive is completed.  

For the 2023 pilot, eight Obies will be selected to work with six mentors. The intensive will take place on campus over Winter Term in various locations including Peters Hall, Oberlin Center for Convergence (StudiOC), and the Apollo Studios.

Application Process

The Oberlin Screenwriters Intensive is open to current Oberlin students and alumni who graduated after 2011. Participants must have a feature-length narrative screenplay or an episodic pilot script (half-hour or hour-long) with a brief overview of the first season. The application is a two-part process. 

  1. Due October 15: the applicant’s bio, cover letter, logline, synopsis, and first five pages of their feature length narrative screenplay or episodic pilot script. More details are provided on the application.

  2. Due November 15: finalists will be asked to submit a full script.

Apply to OSI

OSI fellows will be responsible for their own travel and lodging. Breakfast, lunch, and the closing night dinner will be provided. There is no charge for the intensive. A limited number of travel and accommodation stipends will be available.

OSI and Obiewood

The architects of OSI are members of Obiewood: Oberlin Entertainment Network, an organization dedicated to helping Oberlin students succeed in the entertainment industry, working in conjunction with professors of cinema studies Geoff Pingree and Joshua Sperling, as well as Associate Dean Laura Baudot. With the only undergraduate free-standing creative writing program in the country and one of the few stand-alone cinema studies programs, Oberlin is a destination school for students dedicated to the art of storytelling through word and image. OSI enriches this tradition by cultivating the skills, camaraderie, and savvy that emerging artists need for their voices to be heard.

Mentor Bios

Michele and Kieran Mulroney are Los Angeles based writer/director/producers with over 20 years experience in the industry. They are alumni of the 2004 Sundance Writers and Directors Labs where they developed their debut feature Paper Man. Paper Man (starring Emma Stone, Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds, Kieran Culkin) was released in 2010 and was the opening night selection of the LA Film Festival.

Writing credits include Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law, and Power Rangers. Current projects include Big Thunder Mountain for Disney, This One’s for You for Warner Bros. (writer/producer), and Second You for Amblin (writer/producer). They are developing a feminist vigilante feature with Kroll & Co. and casting their second feature directing project Fox Hills with Berlanti-Schechter. 

The Mulroneys have worked extensively as script doctors on over 30 films. They are currently developing multiple projects for television as writer/producers.

Michele is the Vice President of the WGA West.

Micah Schraft has written, produced, and directed several television shows including Mrs. America (FX, WGA Award, AFI Award, Emmy nom), The Morning Show (Apple), Jane the Virgin (CW), Jessica Jones (Netflix, Peabody Award), and Hung (HBO). He has co-written two television movies and two indie features, Sunny & Share Love You (Outfest Audience Award, Vanguard) and The Quiet (Sundance Lab, Toronto Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics). His play A Dog’s Housewas produced by IAMA theatre (L.A. Drama Critics Award nomination for Best New Play) and is published by Dramatists. He has developed screenplays and pilots at HBO, FX, Paramount, Sony, Fox Searchlight, Universal, Amazon, MGM, Summit, ABC, Warner Brothers and CBS. He has taught writing at UCLA, NYU, Columbia University, The Ghetto School, Young Storytellers Foundation, and the Outfest Screenwriting Lab.

Allison Schroeder is an Oscar, Writers Guild of America and BAFTA-nominated writer for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film Hidden Figures. Her other credits include Frozen 2 and Christopher Robin. She most recently wrote on Heart of Stone starring Gal Gadot, which will premiere on Netflix in 2023. She’s currently in development on other projects at Skydance, Disney, and eOne. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from University of Southern California.

Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Muscogee) is an award winning filmmaker from Holdenville, Oklahoma.

Now based in Tulsa, Harjo is the co-creator and showrunner of “Reservation Dogs” (FX Productions), a comedy series following four Indigenous teenage friends living on a reservation in Oklahoma. After its first season, “Reservation Dogs” won a 2022 Peabody award, 2022 Television Academy Honors award, 2022 Independent Spirit Award for Best Comedy Series, was an American Film Institute Awards Honoree, and won Best Breakthrough Series under 40 minutes at the 2021 Gotham Awards. The series is now in its second season.

Currently, Harjo’s series “Poster Girls,” which he co-wrote with bestselling novelist Jonathan Lee, is in development with FX Productions. Paramount+ recently acquired his series “Yellowbird,” which he is co-creating with Erica Tremblay and which is based on Sierra Crane Murdoch’s novel of the same name. LeBron James’s company, SpringHill, is producing “Rezball” (Netflix), a series Harjo co-wrote with Sydney Freeland. Harjo has several other projects in development.

Over his career, Harjo has created and directed five feature films: three narrative dramas and two documentaries. His most recent feature, “Love and Fury," is a documentary chronicling the work and intersection of over a dozen contemporary Native American artists. “Love and Fury” was acquired by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY and released on Netflix in December 2021. The film premiered at the 2021 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival and was an official selection of the Seattle International Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, and DeadCenter Film Festival.

Harjo’s first feature film, “Four Sheets to the Wind,” premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. His feature documentary, “This May Be the Last Time,” premiered at Sundance in 2014. His most recent narrative feature, “Mekko,” premiered at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival and had its international premiere at Toronto International Film Festival. Each of his films are set in Oklahoma and address contemporary Indigenous experiences.

A founding member of the Native sketch comedy troupe, the 1491s, Harjo co-wrote the group’s play, “Between Two Knees,” an intergenerational comedic love story/musical set against the backdrop of true events in Native American history. “Between Two Knees” was commissioned in 2018/2019 by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and New Native Theater. In 2022, it completed a run at Yale Repertory Theater.

Harjo is repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion, and Del Shaw.

Julian Breece is an award-winning writer-director whose work crosses film and TV. Breece wrote the original screenplay for the upcoming Netflix film “Rustin,” about gay Civil Rights strategist Bayard Rustin and the 1963 March on Washington. Breece co-wrote the Emmy-nominated Netflix series “When They See Us” and recently penned the screenplay for Fox Searchlight's Alvin Ailey biopic which Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins is attached to direct. Breece has also worked as a writer and producer on critically acclaimed series such as Amazon’s “Harlem” and Hulu’s “The First.” Featured as one of IndieWIRE's young "Filmmakers to Watch," Breece first earned critical acclaim with his short, “The Young & Evil,” which became an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Southern California's Peter Stark Producing Program.