Inevitable Foundation Announces Loreen Arbus Foundation Elevate Collective Grantees

Inevitable Foundation has announced the winners of its partnership with the Loreen Arbus Foundation to support disabled women and nonbinary writers.

The recipients are Matilda Feyiṣayọ Ibini, Melanie Abrams Fierstein, Natalia Temesgen and Anne Hamilton, who will each receive an $8,000 grant as well as mentorship, coaching and professional connections.

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“We are incredibly excited to welcome our newest members of Elevate Collective with the support of The Loreen Arbus Foundation, who shares our steadfast dedication to elevating the voices of disabled creatives,” stated Inevitable Foundation co-founders Richie Siegel and Marisa Torelli-Pedevska. “Loreen’s unparalleled legacy of championing disabled creatives continues to impact the entertainment landscape—and these four disabled creatives—at-large.”

Added Arbus: “Given my lifelong commitment to advocating for the rights and opportunities of individuals with disabilities, I am thrilled to support this diverse cohort of writers and filmmakers. Together, we aim to provide these creatives with the necessary resources to not only survive but flourish.”

According to her bio, Fierstein (she/her) specializes in “brow-raising dramas and true stories”. She combines her experience in politics, working for candidates including Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, with her unique perspective as a disabled woman to write socially-relevant stories with relatable leads. Fierstein has been selected as a NBCU TV Writer’s Program finalist and Austin Film Festival semi-finalist, and her scripts have been featured on Coverfly’s Red List, the Diverse Voices Official Selection, among others.
Temesgen (she/her) is a playwright, TV writer/producer, and creative writing professor, whose plays have been produced in Atlanta, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. She has written TV episodes for Netflix’s “Dear White People,” Max’s “Julia,” and Hulu’s “Reasonable Doubt.” Temesgen was a 2021 artist in residence and recipient of the Film Focus Fellowship at Serenbe Institute. She received the American Playwriting Foundation’s 2019 “Relentless Award” and an honorable mention for “Lawnpeople,” a political drama dealing with immigration, identity, and motherhood.
Ibini (she/they) is an award-winning bionic playwright, screenwriter and author of Nigerian heritage from London, who writes thought-provoking narratives that explore themes of identity, belonging and empowerment through various mediums. Screen credits include BAFTA TV-nominated “CripTales” and “Mo <3 Kyra,” a short film produced by Film4 and 104 Films that debuted at the 2023 BFI London Film Festival. They also co-wrote an episode on the Prime Video series “Wilderness.” A feature film they co-wrote was selected for the annual The Brit List. Select awards include a 2024 Olivier Award and most promising playwright at the 2023 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, as well as being named a 2023 BFI Flare x BAFTA mentee.
Hamilton (she/her) is a director and screenwriter who writes about women, mental health, neurodiversity, and cancer. She has adapted short stories and books for the screen, developed feature film and pilot scripts for major studios including Paramount and Miramax, and directed films and episodic television. Hamilton is a graduate of the American Film Institute, the NBC Female Forward Directing Program, the CBS Diversity Directing Initiative, the Disney/Fox Filmmaker Labs, as well as Notre Dame, Stanford and Yale Law School.

Inevitable Foundation also announced its Elevate Collective cohort for spring 2024, which includes Shea Mirzai and Alex Lora-Cercos. Each will receive $5,000 in funding for professional development, including career coaching, professional development, work-from-home equipment, script consultation and/or IP acquisition.
Mirzai (he/him) is an Iranian-American, LGBTQ+ writer/producer and person who stutters. He’s also a four-time honoree of Franklin Leonard’s annual Black List and was recently re-elected for a second term as co-chair of the WGA’s Disabled Writers Committee. He has written features for Will Smith and Overbrook Entertainment, Tooley Entertainment, AGC Studios and Universal Studios. He is an executive producer on NatGeo’s “Origins” and most recently staffed Max’s “World of Marvels.”
Lora-Cercos (he/him) is a Spanish filmmaker who writes about the complexities of the human condition and believes in the power of cinema to reflect and effect change. While recovering from an amputation, he moved to New York on a Fulbright Grant to pursue an MFA in film and became a writer. He’s since written and directed the feature film “Unicorns,” co-written the feature “We Are Living Things,” and made two documentaries and several short films. Among other accolades, Lora-Cercos was awarded the 2024 Sundance grand jury prize for his short film “The Masterpiece” as well as seven New York Emmys.

Fierstein is repped by Sherice Dugan at Sandstone Artists; Temesgen is repped by Daniel Vang and Zack Waxenberg at 3Arts; Ibini is repped by Ikenna Obiekwe at Independent Talent Group; and Hamilton is represented by Magnolia Entertainment and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.

Mirzai is repped by Zero Gravity Management and Brecheen Feldman Breimer Silver & Thompson, LLP and Lora-Cercos is repped by Jacob Snyder at Sugar23.

[Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Melanie Abrams Fierstein, Natalia Temesgen, Anne Hamilton and Matilda Feyiṣayọ Ibini]

Shea Mirzai and Alex Lora-Cercos
Shea Mirzai and Alex Lora-Cercos

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