“I grew up in Columbus, Georgia,” Black List founder Franklin Leonard said Thursday of the new effort to amplify unproduced scripts. “My father grew up in Columbus, Georgia. His parents grew up in Columbus, Georgia.”
“This one’s personal for me, so it’s appropriate that it’s our first such partnership,” Leonard added. In conjunction with DEI consultancy firm Collective Moxie and the sprawling 700-acre Trilith Studios, the Black List has chosen 10 screenwriters and their scripts (see the full Georgia List below).
“After more than two decades in the industry, it’s clear to me that the access issues that exist for folks in Georgia and places like it are formidable, and that there’s a wide variety of incredible talent there and elsewhere that the industry would benefit from tremendously if it did something substantive to go looking for that talent where it is,” Leonard stated today. “This is one attempt to do that. I look forward to many more arriving in the coming years.”
Now in its 18th year, the 2023 Black List will be released on Dec. 11 – so stay tuned Hollywood.
Back to the Georgia List, supporting partners include 3Arts, FIFTH SEASON (previously known as Endeavor Content), Content Talent South, the Alliance Theater, and Art Farm at Serenbe.
“The Georgia List aligns perfectly with our focus as a Studio as we transition from being one of nation’s top movie studios, providing world-class stages and top tier crews, to an entire ecosystem nurturing the creation and production of top-tier content from Georgia creators,” Trilith President & CEO Frank Patterson said Thursday of the new collaboration. “We are so energized by the diversity of writers and stories in this inaugural Georgia List,” Collective Moxie founder Julie Ann Crommett noted as well. “The breadth and depth of talent with ties to Georgia only illuminates the level of storytelling prowess that has always existed here and demonstrates how talent is equally distributed but visibility and opportunity is not. We are excited to see where these writers and stories go.”
The 2023 Georgia List screenwriters and their scripts include:
BORN ON A SUNDAY by Daniel Chong
Logline: 1983. A disturbed Veteran and an aging Sheriff clash in their efforts to dispatch their own brands of justice in the brutal murder of a young girl while tensions rise in the decaying Appalachian town.
Daniel Chong is a Korean-American screenwriter represented by James Engle and Abigail Palmer of Navigation Media Group. He writes dark, grounded character-driven stories with socially conscious themes. He was raised in a small town in the Deep South after emigrating from Korea at the age of 5, where he has worked at a mental hospital, a poultry processing plant, a wildlife management area, and a shooting range, among many other odd jobs.
LIFE IN WARTIME by Tim Drain
Logline: A young girl and her father collaborate and clash while trying to keep their family together in 1960’s Okinawa.
Tim Drain was born in Texas and raised in Georgia. He first came to California as a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton. After seeing the movie LOOPER at a local theater he decided to move up the 5 to Los Angeles to pursue a life in screenwriting, writing scripts that focus on the value of individual morality within warped institutions.
BIRDSONG by Jennifer Dunn
Logline: After years of abusing Oxy to reject her disruptive supernatural powers, a young Appalachian witch must defy her family’s scam faith healing ministry to embrace her bloodline’s demanding destiny.
Jennifer Dunn grew up in rural North Georgia between a cemetery and a trailer park. A participant of the CineStory TV Writing Fellowship in 2020, the New York Women in Film Writer’s Lab in 2021 and the Sundance Episodic Intensive in 2022, Jennifer writes about how she grew up, with frequent topics including hillbilly shenanigans, dope, generational trauma and the way things are vs. the way they should be.
NO PLACE LIKE… by Angel Hilson
Logline: A successful journalist, seeking reconciliation with her estranged mother, unwittingly awakens a lurking horror upon her return home, and is compelled to confront her past to save her family.
Born and raised in Milwaukee WI, and based in Atlanta GA, Angel Hilson creates drama and horror to expose the ills of racism, elevate consciousness and heal trauma. She is a 2023 Stowe Story Labs Feature Campus Alumni. Collectively, her screenplays have earned placements in over 30 film festivals, including the Atlanta Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival.
BLEEDING KANSAS by Justina Ireland
Logline: In an 1800s America where the Founding Fathers were vampires, a Black woman created for violence must contend with the actions of her past while searching for her kidnapped daughter across an unruly frontier.
Justina Ireland is an Army veteran and a New York Times bestselling author. She was most recently a Story Editor on “Something is Killing the Children” and a Staff Writer on “The Fall of the House of Usher” for Netflix. She is repped by Robert Lazar of Marathon Management and Will Watkins at CAA.
TOXIC by Nick May
Logline: An anthology series about toxic masculinity and power in America.
Nick May is a screenwriter and on-set legal technical advisor based in Atlanta, whose credits include BLACKLIGHT (2022), starring Liam Neeson. Before transitioning to writing, Nick investigated civil rights abuses in state prisons and mental health facilities in the South as an attorney for the Civil Rights Division in the US Department of Justice during the Obama administration.
SUPPRESSING BUNDY by Kenneth Perkins
Logline: In a future where microchip technology makes ‘getting away with murder’ a thing of the past, a closeted wanna-be serial killer resists the urge to kill beautiful women. However, everything changes when he wins a work raffle for the newest model of a female android.
Kenneth Perkins was born in Augusta, Georgia in 1982. He wrote his first script in 2005 while on active duty with the US Marine Corps. Nowadays, Kenneth is a high school Spanish teacher and an award-winning indie filmmaker hoping to sell or shoot his first feature soon.
GRIEF PARTY by Cat Rhinehart
Logline: Struggling with the prolonged and painful death of her father, a Millennial without direction clings to a support group of eccentric women while letting her other relationships suffer.
Raised Southern Baptist in Atlanta, Georgia, Cat studied film production at Brooklyn College. She wrote, directed, shot, and edited the award-winning documentary, WHAT’S EATING RALPHIE MAY? and wrote and directed the romantic comedy, BRAND NEW OLD LOVE, starring Arturo Castro and Aya Cash. Her dark comedy script, GRIEF PARTY, was accepted into the 2023 Black List x WIF Feature Residency.
BUT SOME OF US ARE BRAVE by Jainaba Seckan
Logline: Inspired by true events in 1976, daring students and a spirited professor at a conservative Black women’s college take the school’s Board of Trustees hostage and demand a Black woman president for the first time in its nearly 100-year history.
Jainaba Seckan is a Gambian-American screenwriter whose feature screenplay BUT SOME OF US ARE BRAVE was selected for the 2023 Black List Annual Lab. In addition to writing, Jainaba is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioner with experience in higher education, tech, and entertainment. She is a proud graduate of Spelman College.
FREEDOM FORT by Clint Williams
Logline: Runaway slaves occupying an abandoned British Fort following the War of 1812 must repel invading American troops to remain free. Based on historic events.
Clint Williams is a former newspaper reporter who writes smart action features with heroes whose knees creak. Freedom Fort won the Final Draft Big Break historical/period category and was a grand prize winner of the Write/LA script contest. He is represented by Eric C. Jones of Tobias Literary Management.