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2023 CannesFilms Unlimited: Residency for Feature Films


The Black List is excited to partner with Canal+, Vivendi, the Festival de Cannes, the UniversitĂ© CĂ´te d'Azur and the City of Cannes to bring you the 2023 CannesFilms Unlimited Residency for Feature Films. Participants will develop a new, original European film, in accordance with the brief below, in English. The program will begin virtually and continue with a three-week immersive residential program in Cannes, while attending the 2023 Festival de Cannes. 

Only feature screenplays will be considered for this opportunity.


Opt-ins will be open on the Black List website starting Friday, July 29, 2022 and will close at midnight on Sunday, October 2, 2022. On Monday, October 3, 2022, up to 30 writers will be invited, based on the strength of their feature scripts as determined by the Black List, to submit the following additional application materials in order to be considered further: 

- Project Pitch (5 sentences)

- One-Page Project Synopsis

- One-Page Letter of Intention (outlining your artistic vision of the project and the reasons why you chose this subject)

- Personal Statement (on why you would be an ideal candidate for the Residency)

- Professional Resume/CV (including any produced film/TV credits)

- Mood board for your proposed project (optional)

These materials will be due by the finalists by 5:00PM PST on Monday, October 10, 2022.

In late October 2022, 18 writers and projects will be selected for the first round of the residency: a month-long online program during which they will meet with mentors and write a three-page treatment for their film, due in mid-November 2023.

In January 2023, each writer will pitch their film to a jury of industry professionals, including Canal+ and the Black List. From those 18 pitches, six writers will be selected to continue the online residency and attend the three-week-long residency in Cannes, France in May 2023. There they will outline their film and attend the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.


CANNESFILMS Unlimited is a writing residency aimed at developing the next generation of feature screenwriters and original content that is distinctly European in flavor. Candidates should reflect on the brief below and propose an original film relative to it in any genre. We are looking for strong and universal stories set in a European context; whether contemporary or historical, real or fictional. You might explore emblematic or little-known places, contemporary stories or revisited myths and legends. No matter your focus, Europe should be at the heart of your proposed project.

Please choose from one of the two following themes:

- Pure Suspense

- Everything Ends With a Song

Additional details are available on the CannesFilms Unlimited website. Writers may also choose to apply directly to CannesFilms Unlimited on the program website: https://talentunlimited.fr/en/cannesfilms-unlimited/.


Does my proposed project need to take place in Europe? 

Yes. Your proposed project absolutely needs to take place in Europe and with European characters.

What are the important deadlines and dates?

September 9, 2022 - Evaluations purchase deadline

October 2, 2022 - Submission deadline

October 3, 2022 - Short List writers notified

October 10, 2022 - Additional materials due from Short List writers

Late October 2022 - 18 writers selected and notified; Round One of the Residency commences

January 2023 - 18 writers pitch projects; 6 writers selected to enter Round Two of the Residency

February 2023 - Online Residency kick-off

May 2023 - Residency in Cannes (exact dates TBC)

June 2023 - Final Treatment and Pages Deadline

Do I have to develop a new idea in order to participate in the Residency?

Yes! You will pitch a new feature film idea and if selected, you will develop that idea in the Residency. Please do not submit a pitch or synopsis for the script that you are opting in with. That script will be the writing sample component of your submission, not the project you will work on in the Residency if selected.

Can my writing partner and I submit a script together?

No, unfortunately you must be the sole writer on your script. Co-written projects will not be admitted to the Residency.

Am I eligible if I have a producer attached to my project?

No, projects that have a producer attached are ineligible for the Residency.

Can I submit multiple scripts for consideration?

Yes, but be aware that since the opportunity is for participation in the program, the totality of a writer's submissions will be considered by the Black List in determining the Short List and only the writer's strongest script will be considered. That script will be your writing sample for the program.

Should I buy multiple evaluations to be considered for this opportunity?

Not at all. Certainly more data allows the Black List to make more confident decisions about the strength of the scripts on the site, but by no means is it necessary or recommended to buy up evaluations to improve your chances of being selected. However, we strongly encourage you to purchase at least one evaluation for consideration in this opportunity. 

My script was on the site a while ago, but I took it down to work on a rewrite. Does a script have to be live on the site to be considered?

To be considered for this program, a script need only be live on the site for a minimum of one week during the submission period. If your script has not been hosted during that submission period, we recommend reactivating the script for one week at some point during this submission period. You MUST host a script by September 25, 2022 at the latest in order to meet the one-week hosting minimum by October 2, 2022.

Can I submit a theatrical script or TV pilot for this opportunity?

No. This opportunity is only open to feature film screenplays.