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2023 Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship at the Sundance Film Festival


The Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship is an annual program designed to encourage and identify new talent in the field of independent cinema by awarding one screenwriter each year with an all-expenses paid trip to the Sundance Film Festival and an opportunity to meet with producer Cassian Elwes (MUDBOUND, Lee Daniels' THE BUTLER, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB). 

Unrepresented feature writers with an independent sensibility who have made less than $5,000 in aggregate in their film or television writing careers will be able to opt into consideration via the Black List website until November 13, 2022. At that time, the Black List will choose ten screenplays imbued with an independent spirit by unrepresented screenwriters, which will be sent on to Mr. Elwes for his consideration. Up to two fellowship recipients will be selected by Mr. Elwes by calendar year's end.

Evaluations purchased before midnight on October 13, 2022 will be guaranteed consideration. The Black List recommends—but does not require—that writers obtain at least one script evaluation for their hosted scripts, as the data from script evaluations inform the process by which the short list of writers is determined for this opportunity.

Though the Sundance 2023 Film Festival will take place both in person and online January 19-29, 2023, whether this year's Fellowship recipient(s) can travel to Park City, UT will depend on current CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. If COVID-19 continues to disrupt general travel and Festival schedules, then the Fellowship recipient(s) will receive a pass to the modified 2023 Sundance Film Festival and a stipend of $2,500. Additional events and meetings will be hosted with Mr. Elwes via Zoom. Fellowship finalists will be informed about the viability of traveling to Park City once they are selected. 

Check out our FAQ for more information on how to obtain hosting and evaluations at no cost, and for more details on the 2023 Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship.