Cassian Elwes and the Black List will send an aspiring screenwriter to the Sundance Film Festival under a new fellowship endowed in Elwes’ name, the Black List announced on Tuesday.
Elwes also will mentor the lucky writer.
An agent turned producer, financier and sales agent, Elwes is a unique force in the independent film world who is involved in a number of films each year, including this year’s awards contenders “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Lee Daniels’ the Butler” and “All Is Lost.”
To be eligible for the fellowship, the screenwriter cannot be represented by an agency or manager and must have earned less than $5,000 from writing in his or her career.
The writer also must have penned scripts that landed on Franklin Leonard’s annual list of Hollywood’s favorite unproduced screenplays or have uploaded a script to the site since it launched a new service last October.
Screenwriters who pay a fee can upload scripts to the site for review by members of the entertainment industry.
“Just two weeks ago, we celebrated the website’s first birthday, and it’s difficult imagine a better way to continue the celebration,” Leonard said in a statement. “At this point, I’ve lost track of how many great independent films Cassian is responsible for over the last two decades. His contribution of money and time in alliance with our work is an honor and yet another reason to be hopeful about the state of American independent cinema.
The Black List and Elwes plan to award this fellowship annually.
“Behind every great independent film is a great writer,” Elwes said in a statement. “I love what the Black List is about, and I’ve been privileged to work on a number of films that have appeared on it. My hope is that Franklin and I will find the next wave of new voices that are the lifeblood of independent cinema.”