Jan Eliasberg writes about characters -- often about women who have been erased from history -- in emotionally complex situations that play out across an epic canvas with moral, political, and social resonance.


W.A.S.P. (film or limited series)


In 1942, America was at war and the need for pilots was great. 1,074 female pilots answered the call and, for the first time, began flying military aircraft in a special program known as W.A.S.P. (Women Air Service Pilots). By the time the war was over, thirty-eight brave female fliers had sacrificed their lives in service to our country.

W.A.S.P. focuses on a select few: the first group of women – the “guinea pigs” -- who championed the W.A.S.P. program at great physical and emotional cost, but who also experienced extraordinary adventures and intense camaraderie. These women are war heroes, who fought on two fronts – both against the foreign enemy and simultaneously against the entrenched sexism of the system at home..W.A.S.P. is the war story we haven’t yet seen: about women who are every bit as brave, flawed, and heroic as their male counterparts.

Photo credit with thanks: Nikolas Muray. 


SALEM (television pilot)


200 people were accused of witchcraft, 49 went to trial, 20 were executed, 5 died in prison. Their accusers, and the prosecution’s star witnesses, were a small group of adolescent girls – teenagers—and a slave, bought at auction when she was only thirteen.

SALEM is a searing tale of disempowerment, sexual repression, and old-fashioned greed. We will experience the infamous witch trials through the eyes of the women, filtered through a contemporary lens of psycho-sexual politics, and watch – appalled, fascinated -- as the abuses done to these women cause them to act out with a captivating and empowering hysteria.




BEFORE I SLEEP is a film about love, loss, and hope, presented in the uniquely American form of a road movie. It follows the complex and unlikely bonds that develop between two women – Miranda, an architect grieving the sudden death of her fiancée, and Ally, his runaway daughter, who shows up on the doorstep bringing a whirlwind of pain, emotional wreckage and real-world violence in her wake.

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Tess Windsor is a rich orphan whose father wills her the family jewelry business. She must rescue the business— and her family’s philanthropic legacy—from the economic turmoil of the Great Depression, by teaming up with a band of ruffian orphans and an ornery, eccentric, legendary Gemcutter who claims 185 A.D. as his birth date. “The Gemcutter” transports its audience from the lush gardens of ancient India to the snowy mountains of Burma; from the wealthiest townhouses of Fifth Avenue to the poorest alleys of the Lower East Side. It’s a story of love, hope, and magic.

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