The Black List has unveiled the names of the six writers chosen for its Las Vegas Screenwriters Lab, which, it's nice to see, are a diverse group as far as ethnicity, gender, geography and age, as well as experience.
Black List founder Franklin Leonard has said one of the goals of the site and its programs is to open Hollywood's doors wider to voices that have historically been shut out. So presumably as more of these programs launch, it'll mean not only new writers, but a wider variety of films for audiences to choose from.
Lab participants will spend a week in intensive workshops with writing mentors Brian Koppelman (Ocean's 13), Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married), Scott Myers (Go Into The Story, Screenwriting Master Class), Billy Ray (The Hunger Games), and Kiwi Smith (Legally Blonde, The House Bunny). The Lab is hosted by Tony Hsieh's Las Vegas Downtown Project.
The writers and their projects are:
Jan Arnold – Born and bred in South Central and passionate about cinema, music, and Los Angeles culture, Arnold is the author of AFRONELL, the story of a teenage musician from South Central juggling conflicting identities while struggling to create a band during the emergence of the punk rock scene in late 70s Los Angeles.
Minhal Baig – A Chicago native and graduate of Yale University, Baig is the author of BURY MY HEART, a dark thriller in the vein of DRIVE and FIGHT CLUB that chronicles the descent of a detached advertising executive into a world of profound moral ambiguity.
Robin D. Fox – Recently signed by Caliber Media Company via the Black List website, Fox is the author of THE BRIGHT AND HOLLOW SKY, which follows two boys, alone in different parts of the country, who struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of brutality and loss.
Gia Gordon – A Cultural Anthropology and Film graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Gordon currently lives in Los Angeles and produces promotional films for mission-driven organizations. Her script follows an American Peace Corps teacher who joins the resistance against Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
Nick Malik – A Philadelphia native, 2013 Nicholl Fellowship Semifinalist, and graduate of New York University, Malik is a father of two. His dramedy, YEAR OF THE WOODCOCK!, follows “a delusional cripple who blackmails his estranged brother into finding him a date for the biggest night of his life.”
Casey Scharf – A native of South Florida and graduate of the University of Virginia currently living in Studio City, Scharf adapted his own recently published Huffington Post article on the Julian Petroleum scandal into the script JULIAN THIEVES.
Find more on the program at The Black List website HERE.