Damir and Dario Konjicija
screenwriters to watch
Damir and Dario Konjicija are a brother comedy writing duo originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia. They fell in love with American television watching poorly dubbed episodes of such classic sitcoms like “The Wonder Years,” “MASH” and “Seinfeld.” After a civil war broke out in their homeland, they sought refuge in America and resettled in Louisville, Kentucky. Before moving to LA as a writing team, Damir pursued playwriting while Dario performed as a stand-up comedian. They’ve won the Sitcom Teleplay Award from the Austin Film Festival, the Humanitas New Voices Prize and took part in the CBS Writers Program. They are currently staffed on “The Great Indoors.
How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting?
We moved to Los Angeles without any industry contacts — our only option was to write our way in. So we neglected our personal lives, wrote non-stop and submitted to every writing contest, fellowship and program in town, until we won enough to finally get noticed. Our biggest break was getting accepted into the CBS Writers Program, which opened many doors and launched our television writing career.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
The entertainment industry can be really unpredictable. The only thing you can truly control is the material you’re putting out. Just trust that as long as the work is good, doors will eventually open.
What’s the hardest scene or project you’ve ever had to write? How did you navigate the challenge?
Having to pitch jokes in the writer’s room on the morning after the last election was definitely a challenge…
What was a major turning point in your career?
See answer above.
What are you working on right now?
We’re currently writing on the CBS sitcom “The Great Indoors.”
What are some of your favorite movies?
Coming to America, Forest Gump, There’s Something About Mary, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, About Schmidt, and pretty much any movie starring Bill Murray.
Who are some of your favorite screenwriters?
We’re huge fans of Neal Marlens and Carol Black, the creators of “The Wonder Years,” which is hands down our favorite television series. It pretty much inspires everything we write. We also admire Larry David, Greg Daniels and Tina Fey.
Share a memorable experience at Austin Film Festival:
Meeting Peter Mehlman at a roundtable discussion was pretty surreal. We’re both big fans of “Seinfeld,” and hearing him recount his days in the writer’s room was incredible. What a hilarious, cool, generous guy — we could’ve talked to him all day.