The business of growing talent

Vincent Schilling

Indigenous screenwriters are encouraged to submit their scripts for consideration and possible placement into the television and film industry

In a trifecta partnership between IllumiNative, The Black List and the Sundance Institute, Indigenous screenwriters interested in submitting their screenplays for possible placement into the TV and film industry can submit to the team’s newest incarnation ‘The Indigenous List.’

Screenwriters and filmmakers interested in submitting their work can navigate to The Blacklist website where they can register and submit up until a deadline of September 27th.

The Black List tweeted Monday: “Calling all Indigenous film + TV writers! We've partnered with @_IllumiNatives and @sundanceorg to create the Indigenous List, highlighting the very best in Indigenous storytelling! Check out the FAQ + mark the September 27 deadline on your calendar today.”

On the Black List website, the organization states the following:

The Black List has partnered with IllumiNative and the Sundance Institute for the inaugural Indigenous List. The Indigenous List will feature film and television scripts authored by Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native film artists working in the U.S.

Filmmakers and content creators are invited to submit a script for consideration by uploading it to The Black List website during the summer of 2020. Submissions will be accepted until September 27, 2020. Feature film, one-hour, and half-hour original pilot submissions will be considered for this opportunity (no web series, please.) Scripts from any genre are eligible for this partnership.

Writers selected for the Indigenous List will be notified of their placement in Fall 2020, with a public announcement to follow.

Leah Salgado, deputy director at IllumiNative, who is Pascua Yaqui, said the Black List was originally started by Franklin Leanord as a way for Black writers and content creators to assert their voice and place in the film industry.

“They've worked to champion marginalized voices in film and TV. And we started talking to them earlier this year about Indigenous representation,” said Salgado. “ So this partnership really came through that committed shared goal and creating space. And for us, from an IllumiNative perspective.”

Salgado said The Blacklist is a prominent force in the industry because of the work they do to help get scripts to a better place to include a reading of contributor’s scripts by an industry professional and follow-up feedback.

The Black List Website

“They're in the business of growing talent,” said Salgado. “How do we create partnerships with different high-level organizations that bring that knowledge, right? We have a really great group of Native writers and directors. But part of what we have to ensure is that there's diversity and that we're represented every level of Hollywood. And that means that we have to continue to grow our talent pool.”

Crystal Echo Hawk, Pawnee, the CEO of IllumiNative told the film industry-oriented news site Deadline, “IllumiNative is honored to partner with the Black List and the Sundance Institute to create this opportunity to showcase and amplify Indigenous stories and creative talent. Our research has shown that 78% of Americans want to learn more about Native peoples and 78% want to see more accurate and contemporary Native representation in Hollywood … “These are big numbers that signal both significant market demand and demand for real equity and inclusion of Native peoples and stories. In this new, powerful moment that this country is confronted with, people from diverse backgrounds are demanding racial justice and equity. It is imperative that we center Native, Black and Brown voices.”

Franklin Leonard, CEO and founder of The Black List told Deadline, “The Black List is humbled to join the Sundance Institute and Illuminatives — folks who have long been doing the work to counteract that failure — to create the Indigenous List. It will be the first of many, and the beginning of an ongoing commitment.”


For details visit The Blacklist submission page at https://blcklst.com/help/category/52.

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Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling is Akwesasne Mohawk and a film industry certified movie reviewer. He is on Twitter @VinceSchilling and Instagram @VinceSchilling.

Email: vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com


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