The Black List has selected six aspiring screenwriters to participate in its inaugural lab, the company announced on Wednesday. The lab will take place in Las Vegas and is being hosted at Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s Las Vegas Downtown Project.
Six fellows — Jan Arnold, Minhal Baig, Robin D. Fox, Gia Gordon, Nick Malik, Casey Scharf — will participate in a week-long workship with five mentors – Brian Koppleman (“Rounders”), Jenny Lumet (“Rachel Getting Married”), Scott Myers, Billy Ray (“The Hunger Games”) and Kiwi Smith (“Legally Blonde”).
The mentors will work with those authors on improving their best writing sample and prepare them for a potential career as a screenwriter.
Several of the aspiring screenwriters are authors first, hailing from cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Here are the Black List’s biographies of the respective participants:
Jan Arnold – Born and bred in South Central and passionate about cinema, music, and Los Angeles culture, Arnold is the author of “Afronell,” the story of a teenage musician from South Central juggling conflicting identities while struggling to create a band during the emergence of the punk rock scene in late 70s Los Angeles.
Minhal Baig - A Chicago native and graduate of Yale University, Baig is the author of “Bury My Heart,” a dark thriller in the vein of “Drive” and “Fight Club” that chronicles the descent of a detached advertising executive into a world of profound moral ambiguity.
Robin D. Fox – Recently signed by Caliber Media Company via the Black List website, Fox is the author of “The Bright and Hollow Sky,” which follows two boys, alone in different parts of the country, who struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of brutality and loss.
Gia Gordon – A Cultural Anthropology and Film graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Gordon currently lives in Los Angeles and produces promotional films for mission-driven organizations. Her script follows an American Peace Corps teacher who joins the resistance against Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
Nick Malik – A Philadelphia native, 2013 Nicholl Fellowship Semifinalist, and graduate of New York University, Malik is a father of two. His dramedy, “Year of the Woodcock!,” follows “a delusional cripple who blackmails his estranged brother into finding him a date for the biggest night of his life.”
Casey Scharf - A native of South Florida and graduate of the University of Virginia currently living in Studio City, Scharf adapted his own recently published Huffington Post article on the Julian Petroleum scandal into the script “Julian Thieves.”