Write On with Screenwriter Dana Stevens of The Woman King
January 20, 2023
Written by screenwriter Dana Stevens, The Woman King is a historical epic about an all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th to the 19th centuries. The film is set in the 1820s and stars Viola Davis who is tasked with training the next generation of young warriors. Stevens chatted with Final Draft about discovering the “richness of the story” while writing the script. “I just could not believe that I did not know this story, that I had never heard of it,” Stevens said. “And the more I delved into it, just on my own… I mean, I was watching things on YouTube, like things in French, you know, I was just I was just blown away.”
When asked for advice to aspiring screenwriters trying to break into the industry or write a passion project such as The Woman King, Stevens had some inspiring words. “Go ahead and write. Write a lot. Have a few things you're working on. Have your personal project that you just love, that you think maybe no one will ever make, but also maybe have another project that's your, you know, more commercial thing,” she says.
The Woman King is now available on a variety of streaming platforms.
Written by: Sade' SellersSade Sellers is a screenwriter and producer based in Burbank, California. Originally from Michigan’s capital, Lansing, Sade’ has been working in the entertainment industry since 2009. In 2017, Sade’ was a finalist for Tv One’s Screenwriting competition for her teleplay The Replacement. This achievement motivated the network to hire her as a writer for their upcoming movie of the week event, Deadly Dispatch, which premiered on the platform in the summer of 2019. Through that production process, Sade’ met casting director Leah Daniels-Butler who was in the midst of staffing her production company, 1oneninety5. Sade’ then rose to the role of Vice President of Content Acquisitions and Development and spent the next year learning the ecosystem of film and television development from pitching to production. Using that experience, and bound at home due to COVID-19, Sade’ made a return to her first love, screenwriting, utilizing her free time to write new content. www.sadesellers.com