The Black List is partnering with IllumiNative and Sundance Institute for its latest collaboration: The Indigenous List. The inaugural list highlights the very best Indigenous screenwriters from both feature films and television — and submissions are open starting today.
Filmmakers and content creators are invited to submit a script for consideration by uploading it to The Black List. Submissions are open today and will be accepted until September 27 with an evaluation purchase deadline of August 27.
The Native-led nonprofit Illuminative launched to increase the visibility of Native peoples in American society. They challenge negative narratives, stories, and stereotypes about Native peoples and provide tools to develop an accurate representation of voices of Native peoples.
“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,” said Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee). “These are big numbers that signal both significant market demand and a 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. The Indigenous List is an opportunity to showcase and uplift the incredible depth of creative talent and diversity of stories that exists in Indian Country.”
N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), Director, Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program, said of the partnership: “We’re excited to work with The Black List and IllumiNative to introduce The Indigenous List, which I believe mirrors the industry’s need for Indigenous stories told by Indigenous artists and filmmakers. This opportunity allows us to elevate voices and stories that can enrich our culture at this urgent moment.”
The requirements for the 2020 Indigenous List are below:
- Indigenous film artists working in the U.S. are eligible to submit scripts to this partnership
- Any kind of story is eligible and will be considered
- Feature film scripts, half-hour scripts and one-hour episodic scripts will be considered for this partnership – no webseries, please
- All levels of experience considered for submitting writers
- Scripts submitted should be as free from attachments as possible
- Submitting writers should be prepared to answer the following:
- What is your Tribal Nation/First Nation?
- Please describe how your Native culture has supported your ideas and process as a screenwriter?
Writers selected for the Indigenous List will be notified of their placement in Fall 2020, with a public announcement to follow.
“Hollywood and film industries worldwide are long overdue in supporting the rich narrative tradition in Indigenous communities around the world. 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,” said Franklin Leonard, founder and CEO of the Black List.”
The Indigenous List continues the Black List’s initiatives to amplify and champion historically marginalized voices in film and TV. They have previously partnered with GLAAD, CAPE, Latinx organizations, and organizations for people with disabilities to identify and celebrate great screenplays and writers from communities traditionally underrepresented in front of and behind the camera.