Writing in Unreal: Projects

This is the first time Unreal Engine is being used in a program to support writers. Ten film projects were chosen whose writers and directors have been paired with Unreal Engine artists to workshop their scripts using real-time 3D tool.


birth / rebirth

A psychological horror film about motherhood and creation, inspired by Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'.

Laura Moss is a filmmaker from New York City whose work has screened at MoMA, Tribeca, Rotterdam and SXSW. They were named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2017. Their short film, Fry Day, which is currently available on the Criterion Channel, premiered at SXSW in 2017. They directed the pilot of the sci-fi/comedy series neurotica, starring Karen Gillan and Jon Bass, which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Director for a Comedy Pilot at Seriesfest. Laura was a 2020 Sundance Screenwriters and Directing Lab fellow.

Laura Moss
(Co-Writer, Director)

Brendan O’Brien is a writer and producer whose films have screened at SXSW, Rotterdam, Tribeca and Clermont-Ferrand. His work has been cited in the London Review of Books and the Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. Brendan was a 2020 Sundance Screenwriters Lab fellow with the feature script, birth/rebirth. birth/rebirth is currently in development and has received support from the Sundance Institute as well as Rooftop Films.

Brendan O’Brien


In the aftermath of a freak accident, a nomadic telecom tower climber is forced to repair the connections he needs most - with his family.

Tisha Robinson-Daly is a writer and director based in Philadelphia. She has written, directed and produced several short films and is a SAGindie honoree, a Sundance Institute and Knight Foundation Fellow, a recipient of two Sundance/Knight Production and Development grants, a Stowe Story Labs alumna, a Stowe/National Endowment for the Arts grantee for HIGH. In 2020, The Hubble Foundation collaborated with Tisha to create the six episode series, “In Their Own Words,” which allows those who have been directly affected by the dangers within the tower climbing community to tell their stories. Both shows air monthly on Phillycam, along with Vimeo, Facebook, IGTV and streams on the Higher Than 7 network.

Tisha Robinson-Daly

After earning his M.F.A. in film from Columbia University, Jonathan Mason served as Creative Director for Belladonna Productions (Jim Mickle's COLD IN JULY, Afia Nathaniel's DUKHTAR) and co-founded New York-based production service company Bullet Pictures (Abel Ferrara's 4:44). His Algerian/French short L’ÉCHAPPÉE, co-directed with Hamid Saïdji, played at over 40 festivals including Clermont-Ferrand and Berlin Interfilm, and was the recipient of the Canal+ Prize. Jonathan is currently co-writing a project with Oscar-nominated writer/producer Bráulio Mantovani (City of God), and developing his debut feature directorial collaboration, HIGH, with activist/filmmaker Tisha Robinson-Daly.

Jonathan Mason

Little Lying Wild

When the moon falls from the sky in rural Belize, a young girl finds a body no one believes exists. She sets out on her own to solve the crime - and stop the unseen monster from killing again.

Samantha Aldana is an award-winning, Belizean-American director/writer. Her work is heavily influenced by the traditions of her multicultural upbringing in the American South and the Caribbean. Her first feature film, Shapeless, was selected as a 2020 fellow of the The Gotham Narrative Lab and premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Festival. Samantha is the recipient of the Belize Film Commissioner’s Emerging Storyteller Feature Film Award for her in-development feature Little Lying Wild. This film was also selected to participate in the Tribeca Film Institute Network and the Emerging Voices Program at the New Orleans Film Fest.

Samantha Aldana

Bryce Parson-Twesten’s first feature, Shapeless, premiered at Tribeca 2021 after being selected as a fellow in the Gotham Narrative Lab. His feature Mai Pen Rai (Nevermind) advanced to the second round in Sundance Development Track, and his screenplay Little Lying Wild was a finalist in the New Orleans Film Festival Screenplay Competition and a semifinalist in ScreenCraft Screenplay Competition. Before focusing on film, Bryce ran two oral history projects and was the writing manager of a theatre company that specialized in 24-hour play festivals.

Bryce Parson-Twesten

Guadalupe Mountain

Forgotten in the midst of her parents’ crumbling marriage, a young barrel racer named Lola attempts to escape a predator by harnessing her secret source of power.

Emily Ray Reese is a queer filmmaker from New Mexico, her filmmaking focuses on telling the unseen stories of rural America. Her work explores queerness, economic hardships, and New Mexican culture. She works to create the magic she found as a child playing alone in the vast wilderness while also addressing the dark realities of poverty, addiction, and death. Reese’s script ‘Baby Lu’ participated in the 2012 IFP Emerging Narrative Lab and earned Reese the 2013 NYFA Geri Asher Screenwriting Fellowship. Recently, Reese was a grant recipient of the 2020 Stowe Story Lab for her feature screenplay ‘Guadalupe Mountain’ and was chosen to participate in Stowe Story Labs Launch advanced development program.

Emily Ray Reese

Long Live Dick Parker

After receiving a Cold War relic, Michie sets out on an odyssey to find his old ruffian friend, Dick Parker, but he receives more than he bargained for when a local militia upends his life to weaponize the device.

Alex Coppedge is a writer, producer, and director based in Brooklyn, New York. He most recently wrote, produced, and directed the short film, Grief, currently circulating festivals in the United States. Prior, he has produced, written, and directed features and short films, broadcast spots, branded content, digital shorts, and music videos. He managed operations for a film distribution company, delivering dozens of films to theater, VOD, and linear channels. Currently, he leads creative for a video studio in midtown Manhattan where he oversees a team of content creators, production technology, and budgets. His unique voice derives from North Carolina where he grew up appreciating the oral storytelling of the area. Follow him on Instagram at @alcopp.

Alex Coppedge

Rock Springs

A grieving young girl, along with her mother and grandmother, move to Rock Springs, Wyoming after the death of her father, only to discover there is something monstrous hidden in the town’s history and the woods behind their new home.

Vera Miao is the creator, Executive Producer, writer and director of the psychological horror anthology series, Two Sentence Horror Stories, on the CW Network and Netflix, now in its third season. Her feature script At First – described as a queer Before Sunrise for the Orange Is the New Black generation – was part of the 2014 Film Independent Screenwriting Lab and 2015 Sundance Institute/Women in Film Financing Intensive. She was a fellow of the inaugural year of the Tribeca Film Institute and Chanel’s Through Her Lens program (2015). She has written for AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, and is Supervising Producer of Amazon’s upcoming Nicole Kidman/Lulu Wang series, Expats.

Vera Miao

Smoking Tigers

Set in Los Angeles in the early 2000s, Smoking Tigers is a portrait of a lonely 16-year-old Korean American girl named Hayoung who is taken under the wings of three wealthy students she meets at an elite academic boot-camp. As she falls deeper into their world, Hayoung works harder to hide her problematic family and lower-income background from her new friends, only to discover the bittersweet pains of adulthood that will forever shape her life.

So Young Shelly Yo is a first generation Korean-American filmmaker. Her short MOONWALK WITH ME was a finalist for HBO’s APA Visionaries competition and was granted AT&T’s InspirASIAN Film Award (CAAM). Her most recent short SOFT SOUNDS OF PEELING FRUIT was chosen for the Rising Voices Program and had its international premiere at the Tribeca Festival. Shelly is a recipient of SFFILM’s Sloan Filmmaker Fellowship, VC Media’s AWC Fellowship and the Athena Screenwriting Lab. Her feature script, SMOKING TIGERS, was selected as one of the top scripts for Columbia University’s Blue List and was a finalist for the SFFILM Westridge Grant. Shelly is currently developing her first feature.

So Young Shelly Yo


In a whimsical town where it rains all year, colorful umbrellas are the ultimate accessory. When a teenage artist is chosen to design her town’s newest umbrella, her anxiety about the task makes colors disappear from her vision, a secret she struggles to hide from her color-obsessed town.

Joosje Duk aims to create socially conscious content through a colorful lens. Earlier this year, Joosje won the Netflix New Voices Script Contest with a Dutch comedy feature screenplay about female sexuality. Joosje’s previous work includes her NYU thesis film NIGHT, a drama about microaggressions, which won the HuffPost Arts Impact Award. Joosje’s Dutch short THIN ICE, about society's fear of terrorist attacks, screened at the Hamptons and Atlanta Film Festival. This led her to direct #FITGIRLS, a web series set in the gym. In 2020, Joosje wrote and directed the comedy series ALMOST STARRING, which received a Golden Calf nomination (Dutch Oscar) and will premiere internationally at the Austin Film Festival.

Joosje Duk


Philosophy professor Kit Howley develops a destabilizing obsession with mixed martial arts--and unlikely friendships with two very different MMA fighters.

Maya Singer is a journalist and screenwriter. A contributing editor of American Vogue, she's won wide acclaim for her irreverent fashion reporting, which spans topics from garment worker rights in Bangladesh to dispatches from the front row of Paris fashion shows. As well as the feature THROWN, Maya’s screenwriting credits include Mirth and AURORA, two TV dramas in development with Playground Entertainment. Maya also wrote and co-directed the short MOTHER!!, which premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival as part of Maven Pictures’ WITH/IN film anthology. A magna cum laude graduate of Amherst College, Maya majored in English and Russian Literature and was a Rhodes Scholar semi-finalist. She is based in New York.

Maya Singer


When a black Mennonite begins to experience symptoms of pregnancy, she flees the rural white community she was raised in and ventures into a black inner-city neighborhood where she discovers a possible trail to her biological mother.

Ellie Foumbi is an actor/writer/director from Cameroon. She holds an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in Directing. Her films have screened at several prestigious film festivals, including the Venice Film Festival, HollyShorts and Santa Barbara International Film Festival. In addition to participating in New York Film Festival’s Artist Academy, her projects have been supported by the Venice Biennale Cinema College, SFFILM and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, The Gotham’s No Borders Project Forum, the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab, and the Tribeca Film Institute. Her short film 'Home' was funded by Netflix and premiered on their Youtube platform.

Ellie Foumbi