Jen Goyne Blake is a Partner at DIVERSITY HIRE LTD, a production company currently under a television overall deal at FX, alongside April Shih. Prior to this partnership, Jen was the Founding Director of the Episodic Lab at the Sundance Institute, where for nearly 7 years, she headed the program dedicated to nurturing television writers from underrepresented communities. Blake shepherded over 200 writers and produced over 20 Labs during her tenure. She currently serves as the Board Chair of New Market Discovery. Diversity Hire's first feature film, JOYLAND, was an official selection for the 2022 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize. JOYLAND had its North American debut when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was selected by Pakistan as its official submission for Best International Feature Film for the 2023 Oscars - where it has now advanced to the 15-film shortlist.
Zara Meerza is an Emmy award-winning British - Indian filmmaker, journalist, and screenwriter. A staff writer for season two of acclaimed HBO series INDUSTRY, she’s worked on projects across documentary and narrative for HBO, Vice, Sky, the BBC, Jigsaw, TIME Studios, First Look Media, The Intercept, Conde Nast and Warp Films. Zara is directing the feature documentary THE TWINS produced by MIJA’s Tabs Breese and Yesenia Tlahuel, executive produced by FIRE OF LOVE’s Academy Award nominated director Sara Dosa and editor Jocelyne Chaput. Zara has served as Director of Film Acquisitions at Vice News and has consulted for BAFTA, the Camden International Film Festival, Catapult, Women in Film, True/False, the Black List and Doc Society advising on their festival programming, awards and fund allocation. She has a background in the music and journalism industries and holds degrees from Cambridge University, University College London and the University of Manchester.
Vera Santamaria is a feature and television writer whose career spans multiple genres and two countries. She is the Executive Producer / Co-Showrunner of HOW TO DIE ALONE, Natasha Rothwell’s (THE WHITE LOTUS, INSECURE) upcoming series for ABC Signature /Hulu / Onyx Collective. Previously, she was Executive Producer / Showrunner on Hulu's much-lauded second season of PEN15, sharing in its 2021 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy and WGA Award nomination for Best Comedy. In addition to writing for Marvel Studios’ MS. MARVEL and Apple TV+’s star-studded anthology series, ROAR, in 2021 she also penned her first feature, a sought-after original comedy sold to 20th Century Fox. Her other television work includes the critically acclaimed ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, BOJACK HORSEMAN, PLAYING HOUSE and COMMUNITY. In Canada, she wrote for DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION, LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE and her own series loosely based on her life, HOW TO BE INDIE.
Graham Yost began writing for television in 1989 on the Nickelodeon series HEY DUDE. Next, he briefly worked on FULL HOUSE, soon after selling the script for SPEED. His feature credits include BROKEN ARROW, HARD RAIN, MISSION TO MARS, and THE LAST CASTLE. He wrote and produced for the Award-winning HBO miniseries FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, BAND OF BROTHERS, and THE PACIFIC. In 2002, Yost created the NBC series BOOMTOWN, and in 2006, he created RAINES for NBC. He was the showrunner on JUSTIFIED, the Emmy winning FX series based on the books by crime novelist Elmore Leonard. He served as an Executive Producer on THE AMERICANS, and was the showrunner on seasons one and two of Amazon’s SNEAKY PETE. Since 2019, Yost has been with AppleTV+, where he is executive producing SLOW HORSES, and showrunning SILO, based on Hugh Howey’s SILO series of novels.
Stephanie is an Emmy-winning director, writer, and producer. Most recently she directed Jez Butterworth’s MAMMALS, starring Sally Hawkins and James Corden for Amazon Prime. Laing is currently in production on season three of Apple TV+’s PHYSICAL, starring Rose Byrne where she has directed 24 of 30 episodes to date as well as served as an Executive Producer on the series. Some of her TV credits include, HBO Max’s MADE FOR LOVE starring Billy Magnussen and Cristin Millioti, LOVE LIFE starring Anna Kendrick and HBO’s hit comedy series VEEP, which ran for seven seasons and won over 15 Primetime Emmy Awards. Laing’s feature film FAMILY SQUARES, starring Henry Winkler, Judy Greer, June Squibb, Casey Wilson, Margo Martindale, and more was released theatrically in February of 2022. Laing wrote, directed, and produced the film, her feature writing debut. Up next, Laing is directing the adaptation of Claire Vaye Watkins’ I LOVE YOU BUT I’VE CHOSEN DARKNESS.
Joi McMillon is an award-winning film and television editor best known for her work on Barry Jenkins’ critically acclaimed film MOONLIGHT, the Best Picture winner at the 89th Academy Awards. McMillon’s efforts on the feature solidified her place in history as the first black female nominated for an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Film Editing. Her latest projects include THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, Jenkins’ critically acclaimed limited series originated from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and ZOLA, the revolutionary, Twitter-thread-based feature directed by Janicza Bravo. In 2021, she began collaborating with Jenkins on Disney’s upcoming film MUFASA: THE LION KING. McMillon resides in Los Angeles and serves on the Academy’s Film Editors Branch Executive Committee.
Lulu Wang is a filmmaker who captivates audiences with sincere storytelling through a global lens. In 2020, Wang established her production company, Local Time, with Dani Melia, to produce artist-driven stories that open audiences to new perspectives in storytelling. Wang’s second feature THE FAREWELL, which she both wrote and directed, first premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, garnering both international and domestic acclaim. Wang is currently in post-production on her anticipated Amazon series, EXPATS, starring Nicole Kidman, where Wang is showrunning and directing all six episodes. She has several other projects in development with various studios and streamers. Most notably, she’s directing her upcoming feature, CHILDREN OF THE NEW WORLD, with FilmNation, based on Alexander Weinstein's short story of the same name, and a US adaptation of Hirokazu Koreeda's LIKE FATHER LIKE SON with Focus Features.