This not only is important news, it’s also quite wonderful:
by Mike Fleming Jr
EXCLUSIVE: Paul Feig’s digital production company Powderkeg has launched Break the Room. It is a writers room development initiative formulated with writer-producer Sameer Gardezi. BTR, done with support from PopCulture Collab and MuslimArc, will approach the creation of diverse content by bringing writers of color together with community thought leaders for a week long writers room filled with diverse scribes to put marginalized voices in control of representing each projects’ community and ideas.
Feig has been quietly road testing this initiative, and the first show to come out of it is the digital short-form series East of La Brea, produced in association with Lyft Entertainment and Pillars Fund.
The project follows two twentysomething working class Muslim women, Aisha Hassan and Farha Munshi, as they struggle to navigate the changing landscape of their native Los Angeles home. East of La Brea premieres at SXSW, competing in the Episodic Pilot Competition.
BTR has completed two rooms in Los Angeles and Albuquerque respectively with another one to commence later this month in Portland. The first project under the banner is and untitled D’Lo project, which is based on the life of Sri Lankan trans comic D’Lo, who was supported by what they call an “all queer” writers room to tell the story of coming back to his small desert hometown of Lancaster, CA. From the Albuquerque room has come The Great Manygoats, a comedy about a Navajo family that struggles to cut through the red tape of government grant funding by changing their trading post business into a vegan sex shop. This project was written by an all Native American room….