By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

THE BLACK LIST AND WOMEN IN FILM LOS ANGELES LAUNCH INAUGURAL FEATURE FILM LAB FOR FEMALE WRITERS AND ANNOUNCE SECOND-ANNUAL EPISODIC TV LAB

(Los Angeles, CA, July 17, 2017) – The Black List and Women In Film (WIF), LA announced today that they will again partner on an episodic TV lab for women writers, now in its second year, and will join forces for a newly inaugurated Film Feature Lab for women screenwriters. The Black List/Women In Film Episodic Lab will take place on regular weekday nights over four weeks in October 2017. The Black List/Women In Film Feature Labwill be a one week residency in February 2018. Both Labs will take place in Los Angeles.

“In the inaugural year of the Black List/WIF Episodic Lab, we learned just how vital programs like these are — for emerging female writers and for those looking for talent. With our expanded program, we are excited to discover a new crop of writers and help guide them to the next stage of their careers,” said Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director, WIF.

“We’re incredibly excited to expand our work with Women In Film to include feature screenwriters. It’s important for organizations like the Black List to hold space for all women in the film and television industry. To that end, I must give special credit to Megan Halpern, who has really made this happen,” said Franklin Leonard, Founder and CEO of The Black List.

“The numbers speak for themselves. As of the latest studies, only 29% of working TV writers are women and less than 12% of top grossing films are written by women. The screenwriting world is a long way from anything remotely resembling real gender inclusion” said Megan Halpern, the Black List’s Director of Events. “We’re enormously excited to support a talented, up and coming group of new women writers.”

The Black List and WIF will select six female writers to participate in this first Feature Lab. The lab, a weeklong residential program, will consist of one-on-one mentoring with established screenwriters and peer workshopping sessions. Additionally, participants will attend a series of events and screenings that will further expose them to the realities of a life as a professional screenwriter.

The Episodic Lab will select six to eight female writers and run for four weeks starting in October, emphasizing both craft and professional development, in order to equip participants with the knowledge on how to build and sustain their careers, through programs on script development, pitching, a mock writer’s room and round tables with established writers and industry executives.

All Lab participants will be hosted by the Black List website for free following the Labs and have their final scripts read by a variety of agencies, studios and networks, to be announced at a later date.

The 2017 Feature and Episodic Labs are supported by go90. “In storytelling, one size does not fit all, so we at go90 give a voice to the next generation of talent and content creators to bring fresh perspectives to our passionate fans,” said Ivana Kirkbride, Chief Content Officer, go90. “Partnering with Black List and WIF is a valuable opportunity to invest in the female creators of tomorrow, supporting them as they master their craft and drive the future of entertainment,”
said another go90 spokesperson.

The Black List, WIF and go90 are also pleased to announce a new fellowship in support of developing scripts in the young adult genre. The submission process also begins today and runs until November 26, 2017. As part of the Verizon go90 Fellowship, go90 will grant $15K to two screenwriters — one feature and one episodic pilots — as they work to develop a new young adult project over a six-month period. At the end, each writer will present their work to go90 and address how the grant was used to develop the projects. go90 will then have the opportunity to purchase the project.

Participants for both the Episodic and Feature Labs and the go90 Fellowship will be selected through script submissions to the Black List. Additionally, WIF members can submit applications for the Episodic and Feature Labs through WIF. Applications for both Labs and the Fellowship are open as of July 17, 2017 atwww.blcklst.com or www.wif.org.

About The Black List
The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, was founded in 2005. Since then, more than 319 Black List scripts have been produced, grossing over $26 billion in box office worldwide. Black List movies have won 51 Academy Awards from 264 nominations, including four of the last nine Best Picture Oscars and ten of the last twenty Best Screenplay Oscars. In October of 2012, the Black List launched a unique online community where screenwriters make their work available to readers, buyers and employers. Since its inception, it has hosted more than 40,000 screenplays and teleplays and provided more than 65,000 script evaluations. As a direct result of introductions made on the Black List, dozens of writers have found representation at major talent agencies and management companies, as well as sold or optioned their screenplays. In only three years, a half dozen films have been produced from scripts introduced on the website including Golden Globe nominated NIGHTINGALE, starring Dave Oyelowo. Currently, the Black List hosts over 2,600 scripts for consideration by over 3,500 film industry professionals ranging from agency assistants, to studio and network presidents, to A-list actors and directors. More information on the Black List is available atwww.blcklst.com.

About Women In Film
Women In Film advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries – to achieve parity and transform culture. Founded in 1973, Women In Film is a non-profit organization that focuses on advocacy and education. Programs include: ReFrame, a partnership with Sundance Institute; Trailblazing Women, a partnership with TCM;  the WIF/Blacklist Episodic and Feature labs;  an annual Financing Intensive; a speaker & screening series;  a production training program; mentoring, scholarships, film finishing funds and the Legacy Series, preserving the history of women in entertainment. For more information, visit www.wif.org.

About go90
go90 is a free, digital entertainment platform that makes it easy to discover and view content from the most beloved networks, distributors, creators, audiences and brands in online entertainment. Available on the web, iOS and Android, go90 brings together and delivers premier entertainment experiences across every screen. go90 is part of the Verizon Communications family of companies. Anyone with a smartphone can download go90 for free via the App Store or Google Play. Start watching now on go90.com.

For further information on submissions, email
support@blcklst.com

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“The sad and painful truth is that pretty much everyone in this town knew who Harvey was. I have had long talks with my most liberal friends. Did we know he was a rapist? We didn’t. But did we know that for decades he has been offering actresses big careers in exchange for sexual favors? Yes, we did — and make no mistake, that is its own kind of rape. And did we all — or did any of us — refuse to do business with him on moral grounds? No. We ALL STAYED IN BUSINESS WITH HIM. I have never done business with Harvey but I can tell you with certainty that I would have — because I was recently approached by a film festival he sponsors. They asked me to submit my short film for their consideration and I did it without thinking twice. I am a dyed-in-the-wool feminist and a vocal one at that. So why didn’t I think twice? Because this entire town is built on the ugly principals that Harvey takes to an horrific extreme. If I didn’t work with people whose behavior I find reprehensible, I wouldn’t have a career.”
~ Showrunner Krista Vernoff

From AMPAS president John Bailey:

Dear Fellow Academy Members,

Danish director Carl Dreyer’s 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is not only one of the visual landmarks of the silent era, but is a deeply disturbing portrait of a young woman’s persecution in the face of the male judges and priests of the ruling order. The actress Maria Falconetti gave one of the most profoundly affecting performances in the history of cinema as the Maid of Orleans.

Since the decision of the Academy’s Board of Governors on Saturday October 14 to expel producer Harvey Weinstein from its membership, I have been haunted not only by the recurring image of Falconetti and the sad arc of her career (dying in Argentina in 1946, reputedly from a crash diet) but of Joan’s refusal to submit to an auto de fe recantation of her beliefs.

Recent public testimonies by some of filmdom’s most recognized women regarding sexual intimidation, predation, and physical force is, clearly, a turning point in the film industry—and hopefully in our country, where what happens in the world of movies becomes a marker of societal Zeitgeist. Their decision to stand up against a powerful, abusive male not only parallels the cinema courage of Falconetti’s Joan but gives all women courage to speak up.

After Saturday’s Board of Governors meeting, the Academy issued a passionately worded statement, expressing not only our concern about harassment in the film industry, but our intention to be a strong voice in changing the culture of sexual exploitation in the movie business, already common well before the founding of the Academy 90 years ago. It is up to all of us Academy members to more clearly define for ourselves the parameters of proper conduct, of sexual equality, and respect for our fellow artists throughout our industry. The Academy cannot, and will not, be an inquisitorial court, but we can be part of a larger initiative to define standards of behavior, and to support the vulnerable women and men who may be at personal and career risk because of violations of ethical standards by their peers.

Yours,
John