IllumiNative, Sundance Institute and The Black List Collaborate For Inaugural Indigenous Screenwriting List


LOS ANGELES, June 25, 2020 — The Black List today announced a collaboration with IllumiNative and Sundance Institute to create The Indigenous List, highlighting the very best Indigenous screenwriters from both feature films and television.
Filmmakers and content creators are invited to submit a script for consideration by uploading it to The Black List website. Submissions will be accepted until September 27, 2020. (Evaluation purchase deadline: August 27, 2020) Submissions are now open for this partnership via Eligible writers should be Indigenous film artists working within the United States.

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 question: 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.

“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,” said N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), director, Sundance Institute's Indigenous Program. “This opportunity allows us to elevate voices and stories that can enrich our culture at this urgent moment.”

“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.”

“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 follows Black List partnerships 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.

For more information, please contact Kate Hagen (

About The Black List

The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives' favorite unproduced screenplays, was founded in 2005. Since then, more than 400 Black List scripts have been produced, grossing over $29 billion in box office worldwide. Black List movies have won 54 Academy Awards from 267 nominations, including four of the last twelve Best Picture Oscars and eleven of the last 28 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 70,000 screenplays and teleplays and provided more than 120,000 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. Several films have been produced from scripts showcased on the website including Golden Globe nominated NIGHTINGALE, starring David Oyelowo, and Amazon’s HONEY BOY, written by Shia Lebeouf.

Currently, the Black List hosts over 3,000 by nearly 2,700 writer members, available for download by industry professionals ranging from agency assistants, to studio and network presidents, to A-list actors and directors.

About IllumiNative

IllumiNative is a Native-led nonprofit, launched to increase the visibility of Native peoples in American society. IllumiNative challenges negative narratives, stories, and stereotypes about Native peoples. We provide tools for Native advocates and allies including youth, community and tribal leaders, activists, and professionals across critical sectors — to develop and advocate for accurate and contemporary representations and voices of Native peoples.

About Sundance Institute

Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Co//ab, a digital community platform, brings artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as The Farewell, Late Night, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Eighth Grade, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, RBG, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Top of the Lake, Winter's Bone, Dear White People, Little Miss Sunshine, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, State of the Union, Indecent, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.