Chicago’s Emmy-Nominated TV Platform OTV launches Fellowship Program

Tribble and Karan Sunil speak with Karim Ahmad of the Sundance Institute (Photo credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo)

Queer-led, intersectional television platform Open Television (OTV) continues to provide a pipeline to Hollywood for emerging television producers, writers, directors with the announcement of its 2022 OTV Fellowship Program.

Entering its third year, the OTV fellowship identifies and support promising talent within the OTV community to support the development of a new project. Designed for emerging writers and directors, this program offers training to artists in the fundamentals of project and career development, offering stewardship as they embark on careers in the film and television industry. The fellowship prioritizes early-career artists who are still developing their portfolios and only have one or a few short projects produced. Fellows must identify with multiple communities that have been historically marginalized in the film & TV business because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, class, disability or citizenship status.

“OTV Fellows serve as a constant reminder that there are so many passionate intersectional stories in the world,” says Elijah McKinnon, Executive Director/Co-Founder, OTV. “Each year, I’m blown away by the bravery, intention and authenticity shared in the applications. It’s a true testament to the fact that we all have a role to play in empowering our siblings, lovers, and friends to reach for their dreams. The time is now for us to invest in the next generation of intersectional storytellers.”

Fellows receive a $10,000 stipend, specialized assistance and resources from OTV as they develop their projects and careers as well as an invitation to a 2-day mentorship intensive program produced in partnership with the Sundance Institute. All participants are encouraged to attend the workshops and masterclasses offered in the Study Hall series.


Each participating fellow must complete their pitch in time for the OTV x Sundance Mentorship Intensive, where they will pitch their projects to industry executives and veteran filmmakers. As they grow in their careers it is expected that fellows will return to the OTV network to contribute to the community by attending events, hiring from within the OTV community, serving on the jury to select future Fellows and offering their expertise back to the ecosystem in future OTV Study Halls.

“The OTV FELLOWS program is a direct manifestation of our organization’s core values: intention, compassion, and empowerment,” says Sarah Minnie, Head of Artist Development and Production, OTV. “As we continue to grow, so do our artists and our community at large. The expansion of the fellowship is perfectly timed, as more and more content creators and storytellers from around the U.S. have become more dialed into the way we experiment with alternative ways to develop, produce, exhibit, and distribute stories that truly matter. It’s a huge privilege to be able to offer our fellowship to artists outside of Chicago and I can’t wait to see what these creatives do with a bit of magic and care from the OTV fam.”

2022 marks the first year the fellowship will be open to up-and-coming talent from across the country.

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