Producer Cassian Elwes and Black List founder Franklin Leonard have created the Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship. They will send one writer who doesn’t have an agent and hasn’t made more than $,5000 from scribbling to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. They’ll cover the trip’s cost, and Elwes will mentor the scribe. The portal of entry is Leonard’s Black List. Writers with scripts on the service since October 15, 2012, can opt into consideration. They’ll tally a shortlist after December 1 and pick a winner. The plan is to make this an annual deal.
Since leaving his post as WMA indie film head, Elwes has become a prolific producer, and this year’s film crop includes Dallas Buyers Club, All Is Lost, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. “Behind every great independent film is a great writer,” Elwes said. “While it’s been my honor to work with some of the greatest filmmakers ever, I have never lost sight of the fact the words were as important as the images. I love what the Black List is about, and I’ve been privileged to work on a number of films that have appeared on it. My hope is that Franklin and I will find the next wave of new voices that are the lifeblood of independent cinema.”