By Jeremy Blacklow, Director of Entertainment Media GLAAD.org | July 19, 2021
In January 2019, GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, in partnership with The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, announced the creation of The GLAAD List, a curated list of the most promising unmade LGBTQ-inclusive scripts in Hollywood that have been hosted on blcklst.com or were included on the 2018 year-end annual Black List, which was unveiled at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. The GLAAD List’s second edition was announced the following year, at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
After facing the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, GLAAD and The Black List are thrilled to announce plans for the third edition of GLAAD List in July 2021. Both organizations are issuing a call for submissions for LGBTQ+ inclusive scripts from the industry. Filmmakers and content creators are invited to submit a script for consideration by uploading it to The Black List website during the months of July, August, and September. Submissions will be accepted beginning July 20th, 2021, and until September 20, 2021. Feature film and original pilot submissions will be considered for this opportunity.
In order to advance efforts to discover underrepresented LGBTQ inclusive storytellers, this year GLAAD and The Black List have formed The GLAAD List “Founder’s Circle,” a team of production companies, studios, and streaming services that are instrumental in driving cultural change and amplifying voices from marginalized communities. Members of the inaugural GLAAD List “Founder’s Circle” are: Berlanti Productions, Hello Sunshine, MGM/Orion Pictures, Netflix, Ryan Murphy Productions, and Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, all of which have also made charitable donations to support The GLAAD List and host submission and evaluation fee waivers on The Black List website. Representatives from these organizations will participate in the reading of film and episodic shortlist selections and provide input on which scripts are most promising and most inclusive. Executives from each company will meet one-on-one with at least 10 GLAAD List finalists this fall and will have the opportunity to offer a script deal to one, or any number of, GLAAD List feature or pilot writers.
Writers in the LGBTQ+ community and those who are writing LGBTQ+ inclusive scripts are invited to submit their feature scripts for consideration in the 2021 GLAAD List. As a result of our generous Founder’s Circle members, GLAAD and The Black List are pleased to offer the option for a fee waiver via The Black List website. Fee waivers (for two free months of hosting and two free evaluations) are available for writers to be selected by GLAAD until August 3, 2021 – if you wish to be considered for a fee waiver, please visit blcklst.com/GLAAD and complete the process from there. When applying for a fee waiver, please select “No Script Required” from the dropdown menu to be considered and not charged. If you are seeking a fee waiver, please do not upload your script until you are contacted by GLAAD and/or The Black List so that you are not charged. No late applications for fee waivers will be considered. For more answers to FAQs, please head HERE.
The Black List is proud to partner with GLAAD, Berlanti Productions, Hello Sunshine, MGM/Orion Pictures, Netflix, Ryan Murphy Productions, and Village Roadshow Entertainment Group on this incredible opportunity for LGBTQ writers!
“At a time when Hollywood is hearing the calls to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in meaningful ways, The GLAAD List provides Hollywood with new talent who leverage the power of storytelling to grow acceptance and understanding of LGBTQ people,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “The genesis of this initiative was to create greater pathways of opportunity for marginalized voices who have not historically had pathways into the Hollywood ecosphere. And there are no greater partners to align with than The Black List and our Founder’s Circle members.”
“GLAAD is thrilled to be partnering this year with so many of Hollywood’s most prolific creators of LGBTQ-inclusive content,” said Jeremy Blacklow, GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Media. “This third edition of The GLAAD List is certain to be the most exciting yet as we set off with our Founder’s Circle partners to discover and amplify new voices.”
“We’re thrilled to be joined in this important work by so many of the production companies whose work I’ve admired for as long as they’ve been doing it,” said Franklin Leonard, the founder of The Black List. “It’s been an honor and a joy to work with GLAAD on an initiative that in two short years already has films in post and pre-production despite the pandemic. They’re the first of many, many more.”
At least six scripts (30%) from the first two years of The GLAAD List have been optioned and are in some stage of production currently, including most recently, the news about Orion Pictures’ acquisition and production plans around Billy Porter’s directorial debut, the film WHAT IF?
Harry Tarre’s QUEEN, which explores the life of the first transgender prom queen, Corey Rae, is set to be produced by Red Crown Productions with Rae herself onboard as one of the producers.
THE ENCLOSED, featured on the very first GLAAD List and written by a Black List Lab alum, Chris Basler, recently wrapped production in Dublin – Annabelle Wallis and Raffey Cassidy star in the film, which was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Floria Sigismondi.
Unlike The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, The GLAAD List is not voted upon via a survey; rather, it is curated by GLAAD based on a pool of the highest-rated scripts provided by The Black List which feature lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) characters. A script may remain active on The Black List and The GLAAD List up until the first frame has been shot during production.
Scripts, provided by The Black List, were evaluated by GLAAD using the following criteria:
1. Fair, accurate and inclusive LGBTQ representation
2. Boldness and originality of the content
3. Potential impact of the media project
4. Overall quality of the written project
5. Passes the Vito Russo Test*
GLAAD’s selected scripts represent the most promising stories from the pool provided.
To pass the Vito Russo Test, the following must be true:
- The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).
- That character must not be solely or predominantly defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity (i.e. the character is comprised of the same sort of unique character traits commonly used to differentiate straight/non-transgender characters from one another).
- The LGBTQ character must be tied into the plot in such a way that their removal would have a significant effect. Meaning they are not there to simply provide colorful commentary, paint urban authenticity, or (perhaps most commonly) set up a punchline. The character should matter.
GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
About The Black List:
The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, was founded in 2005. Since then, at least 440 Black List scripts have been produced, grossing over $30 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 nearly 80,000 screenplays and teleplays and provided more than 130,000 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.
Currently, the Black List hosts over 5,500 scripts by approximately 3,700 writer members. These scripts are available for download by industry professionals ranging from agency assistants, to studio and network presidents, to A-list actors and directors.
The Black List’s first feature production, COME AS YOU ARE, debuted at SXSW in 2019 and is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes (98% Critics, 80% Audience). Its second feature, BREAKING NEWS IN YUBA COUNTY, directed by Oscar-nominated director Tate Taylor and starring Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, Wanda Sykes, and Juliette Lewis, was released in February 2021 by MGM Studios.
More information on the Black List is available at www.blcklst.com. For regular updates, join our mailing list or follow the Black List on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.