Cinereach and The Black List today are announcing a new collaboration to help independent writer-directors get their films made. This program will allow blcklst.com users to opt-in for their feature script submissions to be considered for review by Cinereach, the powerhouse nonprofit production company and financier behind recent indies like “Sorry to Bother You,” “Beach Rats,” and “The Florida Project.”
The Black List, started by Franklin Leonard in 2005, is best known for its annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, 440 of which have gone on to be produced, raking in $28 billion in box office worldwide along with 262 Academy Awards nominations. In 2012, the Black List launched an online community where screenwriters could create professional profiles, share scripts and pay to have those scripts professionally evaluated. Today the site currently hosts over 3,500 scripts, which are available to the over 5,000 film industry professionals — ranging from agency assistants to studio presidents — who use the site to find new talent and material.
“The collaboration with Cinereach is available to anybody who has an actively hosted screenplay on the site,” said Kate Hagen, Director of Community at the Black List, in an interview with IndieWire. “You can do it at any time. Folks who already have scripts on the website can opt-in, or folks who have just uploaded a script can do it as soon as it’s on the site.”
The Black List has a number of partnerships throughout Hollywood that are aimed at helping its writers get their screenplays produced or find representation. According to Hagen, the collaboration with the nonprofit Cinereach is unique because it is geared more toward the writer-director looking to go a more independent filmmaking route.
“So many of the partnerships that we do on the website are very screenwriter-only focused,” said Hagen. “This opens up the scope to include folks who might want to direct or produce their own work. It’s a really interesting opportunity to find funding and additional support from Cinereach.”
A philanthropic organization, Cinereach helps filmmakers who may face creative, financial or systemic obstacles to realizing ambitious visions by offering adaptive development, financing, production, and other support models that align with the unique vision of each supported filmmaker. In its first 12 years, Cinereach has supported over 200 films including ”The Witch,” “Diary of a Teenage Girl,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” along with filmmakers like Young Jean Lee, Barry Jenkins, and Terence Nance. At Sundance later this month, seven Cinereach backed projects, like Joe Talbot’s “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” will make its debut.
“Franklin and his team at The Black List share a kindred passion for emerging voices and untold stories,” wrote Elliott Whitton, Cinereach’s Head of Development. “We’re excited to work together in supporting remarkable works of cinema and bringing these vital and fresh perspectives to the screen.”
In addition to allowing its users to bypass the Cinereach submission portal process, the Black List will also be expediting the review process for selected projects by sharing a short-list of writers/projects with Cinereach for additional consideration.
“We have the ability to sufficiently evaluate large volumes, and then, we can hand the best stuff over to our collaborators,” said Leonard about the 10-15 scripts the Black List will be sending Cinereach. “We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get your work to Cinereach, and vice versa, to help Cinereach find the stuff that they are most likely to want to work with.”
Leonard highlights that the way scripts are evaluated is highly democratic, may it be through its evaluation services or scripts that are receiving positive feedback from industry professionals who use the Black List.
“The other thing I would add is we give away a ton of hosting, and free evaluations,” said Leonard. “If, for example, the $100 that it costs to host a script for a month, and get your script evaluated is onerous, we highly recommend following us on social media or our blog, Go Into the Story, because we try to make opportunities available in case the $100 that you may need to spend on that first evaluation is too much.”
Submissions for the Cinereach-Black List collaboration will be collected for a three month period, from January 9, 2019 to April 9, 2019, after which the Black List will submit its short list to Cinereach.