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Disney Partners With the Black List to Find Undiscovered Writers

Best applicants at the screenwriting organization’s site will be invited to studio’s feature writing program

The Walt Disney Studios and The Black List are teaming to help find undiscovered writers with diverse perspectives for Disney’s Feature Writers Program, the two groups said Wednesday.

The Black List began nearly a decade ago as annual list of the film industry’s favorite unproduced screenplays and has evolved into broader organization offering services to aspiring writers. The new partnership is designed to find undiscovered screenplays and writers and develop them via Disney.

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The Black List will compile a short list of up-and-coming writers with distinctive points of view from submissions to its web site over the next two months. Only writers who have earned less than $250,000 from their screenwriting work over the previous 10 years are eligble. Disney will then invite writers from this list to join their Feature Writers Program.

Submissions are being accepted as of Wednesday.

“There are countless stories to be told and we’re always looking for new perspectives at every stage of filmmaking, especially during the creation of a script,” said Sean Bailey, Disney’s production president. “Disney is thrilled to partner with the Black List to uncover the next generation of creative and talented writers who will create the classic stories of tomorrow.”

The Walt Disney Studios’ Feature Writers Program is a one-year residency program housed in Disney’s live-action production group that provides up-and-coming feature writers with development and mentorship opportunities.

“We’re overjoyed to bring Disney on as a studio collaborator, enabling us to create even more opportunities for talented screenwriters. It’s why the Black List was founded in 2005 and why we launched the online platform in 2012,” said founder Franklin Leonard. “It’s particularly exciting to be working with the live-action production team at Disney, who have been longtime friends, colleagues, and supporters of the Black List.”

The Black List set up a similar writer development partnership with Warner Bros. last year.