Issa Rae’s diverse writers’ initiative has produced the first fruits of its labor. The “Insecure” star pitched dsytopian sci-fi series “The Awoken,” a new project from Katelyn Howes, to buyers on Wednesday at a special Hollywood event. Freshman writer Howes beat more than 2,000 other writers in the Fresh Wave! initiative set up by Rae’s ColorCreative.TV that Rae runs with Deniese Davis, Sky Vision and Talos Films.
“The Awoken” follows Alabine Rivers, a young adult resurrected from cryogenic preservation in 2103, according to Deadline. Rivers finds herself in a strange new future and is forced to join the underground network of The Awoken, a group of others like her who are deprived of basic human rights. The Awoken are hunted by a new regime hellbent on restricting scientific and technological advancement, returning the U.S. to its farming roots. A ten-minute pilot presentation was shopped to buyers alongside with runner up LaDarian Smith’s “Court for Short” half-hour comedy.
Rae rose to stardom via her popular Youtube series “Awkward Black Girl” and eventually creating, writing starring in and executive producing HBO’s “Insecure,” which garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Rae earlier this week. Focused on lifting up “underrepresented voices,” the actor said that Fresh Wave! has “produced not just a fantastic winner in Katelyn, but a wealth of new voices.” Sky Vision’s Managing Director Jane Millichip told Deadline that the series has international appeal without requiring a big budget as “The Awoken” is set in a “low tech dystopia,” saying, “The best sci-fi shows are about alienation rather than aliens and spaceships.”
For her part, Howes is ecstatic about the development of “The Awoken,” telling Deadline:
“The producers and mentors of Fresh Wave have provided a thoughtful and unique program that has allowed a female created sci-fi world to come to life. With The Awoken, I set out to write about privilege and how you can only really see it once it’s taken away. It’s a story about growing up. It’s a story about memory. And of course, at it’s heart, it’s a story about love.”