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What's the deal with the Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship?


In 2016, The Black List and Cassian Elwes will expand the Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship that they've 

sponsored in each of the past three years. They will bring TWO unrepresented screenwriters with lifetime writing earnings not exceeding $5,000 with a screenplay of indie sensibility to the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, all expenses paid.

Writers may opt in their feature scripts until November 5, 2016. Evaluations purchased through October 5, 2016, will be considered in the final decision.

For more information, check out our FAQ.

Because our finalists are determined by examining all data about opted in scripts for site partnerships, we strongly advise purchasing at least one evaluation. In the event that the purchase of a single evaluation is cost prohibitive, please follow us on social media and the Black List blog where opportunities for free and discounted evaluations appear from time to time.

More About the Fellowship
In 2014 and 2015, Elwes brought only one writer to the festival. In 2014, it was Matthew Hickman, a former Santa Monica UPS store retail employee selected on the basis of his script AN ELEGY FOR EVELYN FRANCIS now represented by WME and Writ Large. In 2015, it was Boston based screenwriter Mike Harden, whose script, A GOOD MAN, has been optioned by Mutressa Movies after an introduction by Elwes himself.
2016, however, saw Elwes bring two writers to the festival – New York City’s Kristina Zacharias and Altanta’s Terrell Garrett – after being unable to decide between the two exceptional candidates presented by the Black List. 2017 will see at least two Cassian Elwes Fellows enjoying the festival at his invitation.
Said Elwes on the occasion of the partnership’s fourth year and expansion, “Last year we brought two writers because we loved both their scripts and couldn't decide between them. That experience was so wonderful for all of us that it makes total sense to formalize this and now bring two writers every year. I can't wait to read the finalists scripts and find this year's fellows. I'm so grateful to the Black List for this opportunity.”
Added Leonard, “When Cassian told me he wanted to bring two writers to the festival last year, I was a bit in awe, both of his generosity and the quality of the material we had unearthed for this opportunity. Obviously in the year since, the Black List has had a number of success stories that make me confident we can repeat the feat this year. I look forward to seeing the best of the submissions via the website and spending time with these writers at one of my personal annual highlights: Sundance.”
For this year’s fellowship, writers with scripts on the Black List or who have had scripts on the site since its launch will be able to opt into consideration for the opportunity until November 5, 2016, at which time a short list of writers will be shared with Elwes who will decide on two writers to make the trip.
The Black List is also partnered with Elwes, Christine Vachon, Lynette Howell, Women in Film, Vimeo, Indiegogo, and Twitter to present the Horizon Award, which will bring two young female directors to the 2017 Sundance Film Festival all expenses paid.

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