- Jan. 6, 2021

Join Film Fatales on Friday, January 8th 2pm PT / 5pm ET for a Deep Dive Into Development panel discussion with writer/directors Bridget Stokes (Boy Genius, Herman & Shelly), Minhal Baig (Hala, Ramy), Sarah Adina Smith (Hanna, Looking for Alaska, Buster's Mal Heart, The Midnight Swim) and Suzi Yoonessi (Insatiable, Unlovable, Daphne & Velma, Dear Lemon Lima).

How do you keep digging deeper into a story when it's been years in development? Where do you find inspiration? How do you continue to break and re-break the story? Come hear heavy development hitters walk us through their process, their challenges, and how they've managed to break through. Followed by a Q&A.


If you missed the event, no worries! You can catch up on past events and watch HERE

Bridget Stokes recently completed the feature comedy Boy Genius, starring Miles Brown (Blackish) and Rita Wilson, which premiered at Bentonville Film Festival and opened theatrically and on VOD at the end of 2019. Stokes produced The Lost Husband, starring Leslie Bibb and Josh Duhamel, Netflix documentary, The Rachel Divide and The Volunteer, which won Best Narrative Feature at Urbanworld Film Festival. Stokes directed and produced short film, Think Fast, which won awards for "Best Unstoppable Creator" in Sydney and "Best Short Film" at Moondance. Prior to that, Stokes wrote, directed and produced the feature film Herman & Shelly, which was distributed by Cinetic, and re-released by Seed & Spark. She has been shadowing directors on Fox's The Mick, CW's Jane The Virgin, Amazon's Transparent, ABC's The Goldbergs and CBS's Scorpion. Stokes graduated from Brown University with a degree in Art Semiotics and Africana Studies and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Minhal Baig is a writer/director. Her feature-length film, Hala, about a Pakistani-American teenager uncovering a secret that threatens to unravel her family, premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Apple. She was previously a story editor on Bojack Horseman (Netflix) and staff writer on Ramy (Hulu). In 2017, she participated in Ryan Murphy's Half Foundation Directing Mentorship.

The Los Angeles Times calls Sarah Adina Smith "...an exciting, singular filmmaker, who seems able to use genre elements for storytelling that can often take on a more spiritual, mystical tone." Her film Buster's Mal Heart gave Academy Award winner Rami Malek his first lead role in a feature. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and enjoyed a world wide release. Her first feature,The Midnight Swim, won six top prizes on the festival circuit. Sarah's currently directing a feature from a script she wrote called Birds of Paradise for Amazon Studios, starring Kristine Froseth and Diana Silvers. Sarah has also been making waves as a director in the TV space. She helmed Hanna for Amazon, which premiered in spring of 2019 and is currently in its third season. She then directed the pilot of John Green's Looking for Alaska for Hulu which released to critical acclaim. Before that, she directed two episodes of ROOM 104 for HBO and an episode of LEGION for FX. Sarah and her producing partner Jonako Donley are currently developing several TV concepts through their first look deal with Amazon under their banner Everything is Everything. They are also writing an original series for Peacock with Fox Searchlight TV producing and developing an original series with Tomorrow Studios.

Award-winning director Suzi Yoonessi's second feature film Unlovable (2018) premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, winning a Special Jury Prize and rave reviews. The film stars academy award nominee John Hawkes, academy award winner Melissa Leo and comedian Charlene deGuzman, and it won the 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival Film Lab. Yoonessi's feature film Dear Lemon Lima (2009) premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The film was released by Phase 4 Films, HBO, Showtime and The Sundance Channel. Yoonessi directed Daphne and Velma (2018) for Warner Brother's Blue Ribbon Content, which is the origins story of two female super sleuths from Scooby Doo. Yoonessi was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing of go90's Relationship Status and a Webby for Snapchat's The Dead Girls Detective Agency. In addition to episodic, Yoonessi directed branded, short and commercial spots for Funny or Die, Condé Nast, Smart Girls, Attn:, Portal A, Retrofit and Super Deluxe. Yoonessi was nominated for a Streamy Award for her International Women's Day spot #OwnYourVoice. Yoonessi is currently a director at Disney Animation Studios.