MGM And Black List Launch Two-Year Feature Film Script Writing Partnership To Discover Underrepresented Voices

Continuing its effort to bolster stories from historically underrepresented communities, The Black List is teaming with MGM to launch a two-year feature film script writing partnership to discover new voices. The initiative is committed to identifying new writers who want to tell original stories with universal appeal for the big screen. The Black List founder Franklin Leonard revealed the news on CNBC on Thursday.

Every six months over the next two years, The Black List will deliver a shortlist of new feature film writing candidates to MGM for consideration. MGM will then look to select one writer from each six-month cycle to receive a two-step Guild minimum blind script deal and the opportunity to work with the iconic studio. The first opt-in period for the partnership begins today and will close February 23, 2021.

“Franklin Leonard has dedicated his career to advancing great storytelling and championing underrepresented voices through The Black List and we are grateful for the tremendous work he has, and continues to do, on behalf of writers,” said said MGM Motion Picture Group Chairman Michael DeLuca and President Pamela Abdy in a joint statement. “This partnership enables us to deliver on a key principle at the studio by supporting and elevating new voices whose stories deserve to be told.”

Leonard added, “It’s one thing to say you’re supporting and elevating new voices whose stories deserve to be told. It’s quite another to match those statements with a substantive commitment to look beyond tradition means of sourcing talent to find those voices. We’re honored to partner with Mike and Pam – whose taste speaks for itself at this point – to help them do exactly that. The best part: We’re going to, and selfishly, I’m just excited to one day watch the movies that come from these exceptional writers.”

Read the partnership requirements below.

  • Entrant must host a full-length feature screenplay on for at least one week during the submission period – December 3, 2020 through February 23, 2021.
  • Entrant must be the sole and exclusive author of the screenplay submitted for consideration.
  • Film and television earnings since January 1, 2021 cannot exceed $500K (USD)
  • The script must be wholly original to you and not based, in whole or in part, on any other fiction or nonfiction material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced
  • You must be the sole owner of all rights in and to the script and have the sole right and authority to sell, transfer, grant, assign and convey such rights. The script must not in any way infringe upon the copyright of any person or entity or, to the best of your knowledge in the exercise of reasonable prudence, constitute libel, defamation or invasion of privacy or any other rights of any third party
  • You must be legally eligible to work in the United States and at least 21 years of age and not a minor in your state of residence at time of submission.
  • Writers must affirmatively agree to the Submission Agreement and Submission Requirements for a given opportunity. These documents will be available on
  • Writers retain all rights to the scripts under consideration for the opportunity, though our partners are free to negotiate for those rights separately if they so wish. The Black List retains no rights to writers’ work save the right to share the scripts a writer makes available with its industry professional members
  • If requested, the entrant must submit the following, which are also governed by the submission requirements and agreement:
    • A one-page biography/personal statement
    • Contact and other personal information
    • Signed originals of the Submission Agreement


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