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Move Over Sundance Labs; Franklin Leonard’s Blacklist Have their first 6 Fellows for 2013

It might not cure the cancer that has attacked Hollywood, but a sparkling new initiative by Franklin Leonard’s Blacklist might help bring some much needed originality back to the screenplay form. Announced last July, the Black List (which, every December proposes a best of list for the best unproduced screenplays of the past calender year) decided to perhaps one up the hundreds of screenplay competitions that exist out there and in their own way, do what the Sundance Labs do best; support future voices.

The week-long (September 30-October 5th) intensive workshop includes mentorship from the likes of Brian Koppelman, Jenny Lumet, Scott Myers, Billy Ray, and Kiwi Smith and I imagine will get tons of handed notes and suggestions on how to survive the shark infested waters of the industry. Here’s the first batch of six and don’t be surprised if we one day see one of these get a greenlit.

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.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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