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QTIPOC Short-Form Screenwriting [ONLINE]

Starts July 15

8 sessions: Thursdays, July 15-September 2, 6:30-9:30pm CDT

Are you an 18+ queer, transgender, or intersex person of color? Want to be empowered to tell your own story as only you can tell it? Great! In this online course students will write a short 5- to 15-page screenplay.

This course is open to both beginners and those with some prior writing experience. We’ll cover the basics of screenwriting, character archetypes, subtext, and screenplay structure. In-class exercises include character development and scene writing, plus viewing and discussing movie clips from historical New Wave Queer Cinema of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and newer works of this century. The selected films will be rated PG-13 or R.

You’ll be given a few basic characters to shape into your own original screenplay and homework assignments to help you create it. During the final session, we’ll read students’ screenplays aloud in a supportive and respectful environment.

Participants can download the free StudioBinder screenwriting software, which can be upgraded to suit your needs should you decide to go into production. Another option is Fade In, which offers a free unlimited trial and is the software the instructor uses. It is recommended that you use a desktop, laptop, or tablet/iPad to write your screenplay (not a phone). We’ll take two short breaks during each class session.

NOTE: Participation in this online camp requires that you use the free Zoom cloud-based video conferencing service. For optimal performance, it is highly recommended that you install Zoom on your computer rather than running it from a web browser. A few days prior to the class start date we’ll e-mail you the link, ID, and password needed to access this class on Zoom. The instructor will be provided a student roster to take attendance. Click here for a Zoom tutorial. 

Tuition: $240 | $180 low-income

Atlas O. Phoenix (they/them/theirs) is an award-winning director, writer, producer, actor, and editor who creates compelling, provocative film work. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, their previous artistic work has been about the darkness of human nature, child abuse, and familial dysfunction.

Atlas’ work has been screened at multiple film festivals, Intermedia Arts, online, and on MNTV.

In 2020, Atlas helmed their third short successful film, “Do I Qualify for Love?”, which details an evening of child abuse they survived. In 2021, “Do I Qualify for Love?” began its festival tour at the Flikkers Queer Film Festival in Birmingham, England, and in March 2021 it was invited to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The film also competed at this festival for Best Short Documentary and was invited to be included in the Best of the Fest.

In 2018, Atlas received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant to produce and direct their short screenplay, Little Men. In 2020, Little Men won Honorable Mention at the Black Continental Independent Movie Awards festival and was nominated for six awards, including Best Director and Best Short Film. Also, in 2020, Little Men won an Award of Recognition from IndieFEST, among other awards from various festivals. Little Men was also an official selection for the 17th annual Seattle Black Film Festival and the 39th annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival amongst other festivals including tours in Bucharest and the UK. In 2018, Little Men won a Platinum Remi Award from the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival for the short screenplay category.

Atlas is the recipient of multiple grants including the Jerome Foundation Media Arts Grant, The Jerome Foundation Travel Grant, and the VSA Emerging Artist Grant. In addition, they ran a highly successful campaign on GoFundMe for their film, Little Men, raising over $8,000 with another $2000 in private donations.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.




July 15 @ 6:30 pm
September 2 @ 9:30 pm
Event Categories:


Atlas O. Phoenix
Registration Deadline
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
8 sessions: Thursdays, July 15-September 2, 6:30-9:30pm CDT