Sundance, Black List Partner to Aid Aspiring Filmmakers

If screenwriters upload their scripts to the Black List, they may be able to apply to the Sundance Institute's Screenwriters Lab for free

The Black List and the Sundance Institute have partnered to offer a bevy of services to aspiring filmmakers, formalizing a relationship between two organizations dedicated to developing new talent.

Getty Images

Aspiring screenwriters who upload their scripts to the website of the Black List by April 15 can ask to receive a Black List referral and apply to the Sundance Institute’s 2014 January Screenwriters Lab for free.

Lab fellows will be able to upload their scripts for free and producers and directors who have been lab fellows since 2010 are eligible for a free membership to the Black List.

“In the last three years alone, more than a dozen scripts sourced from the annual Black List have been made into films that premiered at Sundance Film Festival,” Black List founder Franklin Leonard said in a statement. “Put simply, no single organization in the United States has done more to promote American filmmaking voices in the early stages of their development than the Sundance Institute. It’s a tremendous honor to formalize a relationship and share in their work.”

Though initially launched as a survey of industry executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, the Black List has expanded into the service business. Screenwriters can pay to upload their screenplays for members to review and can pay an additional fee to have the scripts evaluated by industry professionals.

Leonard aims to turn the service into an industry mainstay, facilitating connections between aspiring screenwriters and the people who can help turn script into film.

Both Sundance’s Feature Film Program and the Black List have endorsed successful works. Three of the last five best pictures winners and seven of the last 12 screenwriting Oscars have gone to scripts that appeared on the Black List while the Sundance program supported Oscar nominee “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and 2013 Sundance favorite “Fruitvale.”

“We are very excited to collaborate with Franklin Leonard and The Black List to identify new writers to be considered for support by the Feature Film Program Labs,” Michelle Satter, Founding Director of Sundance's Feature Film Program, said in a statement. “Additionally, we want to expand the audience for our Lab fellows and see The Black List website as a great avenue for industry discovery, promotion and potential support.”