Issue date: 
Tuesday, 19 January 2021

The Black List and the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) are excited to announce the joint creation of a new fund and script development workshop, the Black List New Zealand Project (BLNZP).

This is a one-off fund, designed to foster the creative relationship between writers and producers and stimulate international opportunities for New Zealand feature films. Additionally, the NZFC hopes to cast a wide net for New Zealand screenwriting talent and connect with projects at various stages of development.

Annabelle Sheehan, CEO of the NZFC said, “The New Zealand Film Commission aims to build great screen relationships between New Zealand writers and producers, amplify the voices of people who have been underrepresented, and find audiences for those voices. We are proud to be able to draw from the Black List’s global screen expertise and the widely acknowledged excellence that drives their platform. The two organisations’ shared values in promoting inclusivity, make this a natural partnership. I would also like to thank Franklin and his team for recognising the exceptional pool of filmmaking talent we have here in New Zealand, and working with us to place our filmmakers front and centre through this opportunity.”

BLNZP will support the development of six quality, unique and exciting New Zealand feature film scripts, with the potential to attract the US and global market. The six selected projects will take part in a professional development workshop and mentorship series with the Black List and receive up to NZ$25,000 in NZFC development financing to complete the next draft of their script.

"New Zealand has been the envy of the world over the last year for many reasons and even longer as the birthplace and home of many of the world's most beloved film storytellers: Merata Mita, Sir Peter Jackson, Dame Jane Campion, and friend of the Black List, Taika Waititi,” said Black List Founder Franklin Leonard. “We're overjoyed to work with the New Zealand Film Commission to find and support the names that will be added to this list in the near future and even more excited to read and watch the stories that result from this collaboration."

Beginning today, New Zealand writers or writer producer teams will be able to opt into consideration here, up until the submission deadline of 1pm 19 March (NZ time). The Black List will review all scripts submitted to the BLNZP and compile a shortlist of 20 scripts based on the assessment criteria outlined in the NZFC guidelines. A panel consisting of NZFC staff and a Black List representative (the BLNZP Panel) will then select six successful projects from the shortlist. The final participants will be notified no later than 4 May, 2021 and the workshop program will commence on 31 May.

Additional information about the opportunity is available on the Black List website and the New Zealand Film Commission website.



The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives' favorite unproduced screenplays, was founded in 2005. Since then, more than 400 Black List scripts have been produced, grossing over $29 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 more than 70,000 screenplays and teleplays and provided more than 120,000 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 4,000 by nearly 2,700 writer members, 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. 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, will be released on February 12, 2021 through MGM’s relaunched American International Pictures label.

More information on the Black List is available at For regular updates, join our mailing list or follow the Black List on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Last updated: 
Monday, 1 March 2021