Recent CSUN graduate Sybil Azur is one of the 50 students from across the country selected to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s 2021 Summer Fellows program.
Azur, who completed her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in screenwriting in May, is already on the path to becoming a successful writer in the industry.
“Being accepted to the [Summer Fellows] program on the heels of graduate school has been a beautiful validation that I’ve chosen the right path,” Azur said.
The summer fellowship provides internships at top Hollywood studios and production companies, including one-on-one visits with professionals, online panels with leaders in the television industry and customized seminars. Additionally, fellows become lifelong members of the foundation’s alumni family, giving them access to events and networking opportunities as they build a career in the industry. This year’s program started mid-June.
Azur is currently interning in the production company Olive Bridge Entertainment, responsible for big-screen successes such as “Peter Rabbit,” “Annie” and “Easy A” and innovative TV content for different streaming platforms like “Sneakerheads” for Netflix and “Woke” for Hulu, giving her the opportunity to learn about different entertainment formats and gain a deeper understanding of the production process.
This opportunity also has provided Azur with the tools to expand her craft and make a name for herself as a writer. And it has reminded her why she wanted to pursue this career in the first place, she said: to tell the stories of underrepresented groups and expand the cultural narrative.
“When I was growing up, I didn’t realize the negative impact of not seeing people of color in all types of roles and positions, even subconsciously,“ said Azur. “I can’t wait for the day when what we see onscreen mirrors the demographics and experiences of everyday life, and I’m excited to help move the needle on that front.”
Before turning to writing, Azur worked as a dancer in the industry. It wasn’t until she read a couple of memoirs from Shonda Rhimes and Nora Ephron that she realized her passion for screenwriting.
Azur set her mind to developing as a writer, which led her to CSUN’s acclaimed screenwriting MFA program in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. The program’s reputation among peers in the industry was a big factor in her decision, she said.
“I have a lot to say about a lot of things, and I have a heart to leave the world better than it was when I got here,” Azur said. “When I looked at the [CSUN] program offerings, and that we would come out with a full portfolio of scripts we would be able to build upon, I was sold.”