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Jan Marino Scholarship

A scholarship to the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting for women over 55


SeriesFest is honored to partner with the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting to launch the Jan Marino Scholarship, designed to support women over 55 who are students in the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting program. Named to honor author Jan Marino, the mother of M.F.A. student Betsy Marino Leighton, the scholarship nurtures the power of strong, independent female storytelling in television and film. 



The Stephens College Low-Residency M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting is the first low-residency M.F.A. program to focus solely on television and screenwriting, and it carries a mission:  To increase the voices and impact of women in television and film.  

It is mentor based, and all of the faculty are working writers, including some of the most successful television and screenwriters in Hollywood. Students gather at the Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood for ten days of intensive workshops in early August, and again in January. During the semester they work one-on-one with mentors on-line. This flexibility makes the program available to those who are mid-career and have families - which defines many women over 55.  The Jan Marino Scholarship will open doors to a future for these emerging writers that may have seem permanently closed. This year's recipient will be mentored throughout the program by TV producer, writer and director, Jessika Borsiczky



Scholarships will be awarded based upon need and writing samples which demonstrate an original voice and a desire to explore deeply emotional aspects of the human condition, just as Jan Marino did.

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Applications are now closed. Jessika Borsiczky, TV producer, writer, and director, will announce the recipient of the Jan Marino Scholarship at SeriesFest: Season Four. Borsiczky will also serve as the recipient's mentor throughout the duration of her time in the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting program. 



Jessika began her career in HBO’s movie division, going on to oversee some of the network’s high-profile and acclaimed projects, including If These Walls Could Talk and 61*. Later, she ran director Jan de Bont’s film production company, Blue Tulip. Borsiczky followed up her tenure there as co-head of Gavin Polone’s production company, where she produced a diverse slate of television pilots and series, including the NBC drama mini-series Revelations; the highly-rated The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search; and the Cheech Marin comedy and The Ortegas for Fox. Her film work there included producing the horror film, Population 436, starring Jeremy Sisto. Since forming her own production company, Refugee Productions, Borsiczky’s projects have included The Promotion, a comedy written and directed by Steven Conrad starring John C. Reilly and Seann William Scott. In addition she produced the horror movie hit, The Unborn, with Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes. Now focused on writing, directing, and running television programs, she Executive Produced ABC’s FlashForward and Showtime's House Of Lies, starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell for five seasons, where she both wrote and directed on the series. This year Borsiczky Executive Produced and directed season four of Lifetime's critically acclaimed scripted series, UnReal.