Congratulations are in order for Sloan grantees Gillian Weeks and Ian Shorr, who each had scripts on The Black List in 2022. (Both tell World War II-era stories, and we’ll be reporting on the science behind Weeks’s project in the coming weeks.) Since receiving a Sloan grant at USC in 2007, Shorr has graced the list several times, and his 2017 spec script INFINITE was produced in 2021 by Paramount.
The Black List is the result of an annual survey asking film executives to vote for their favorite unproduced screenplays of the year. Begun informally by Franklin Leonard in 2005, its publication has grown to become an eagerly anticipated occasion for the industry. The Black List has a strong track record of being early to identify scripts that would go on to become acclaimed films. (THE IMITATION GAME (2014) topped the 2011 list, similarly ARRIVAL (2016) appeared on the 2012 edition.) As a result, inclusion on the list has become a meaningful asset in getting a project produced, and in bolstering the careers of countless screenwriters. Read about the projects by Sloan grantees included this year below, and access the 18th edition of the list in its entirety here.
THE HOUSE IN THE CROOKED FOREST by Ian Shorr
Logline: A mother and her young son fleeing Nazi-occupied Poland are forced to take shelter from a blizzard in an isolated manor, where they discover the Nazis may be the least of their worries.
OH THE HUMANITY by Gillian Weeks
Logline: A dark comedy about the Hindenburg Disaster; or, the mostly true story about one of the biggest fuckups in history, the assholes who tried to cover it up, and the female gossip reporter who made some Nazis very angry.
The list is just one of The Black List’s annual activities, which include a roster of labs and partnerships created to support diversecommunities of writers. For example, writers applying to The Annual Black List Lab with a narrative script rooted in science can opt in to qualify for the Sloan Foundation Fellowship. If selected, the artist benefits from additional opportunities throughout the year beyond the lab. Read about the latest Black List Sloan Fellow below, and stay tuned for updates on all these projects.
WHITE TOOTH by Cody Pearce
Logline: A pregnant great white shark makes a perilous journey across the ocean to give birth, while an expectant mother uses shark-fishing to pay off her gambling debt.