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GLAAD and The Black List present: The GLAAD List

GLAAD and The Black List present: The GLAAD List – a second annual catalog of the most promising unmade LGBTQ-inclusive film scripts

List features scripts about Tennessee Williams, the bohemian ‘80s arts scene in NYC, and a family fighting for survival as the world might be ending,announced at 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Park City, Utah – 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 2020 GLAAD List, a second annual curated list of the most promising unmade LGBTQ-inclusive scripts in Hollywood that have been hosted on blcklst.com or were included on the 2019 year-end annual Black List.

The announcement was made on-the-ground at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival as part of GLAAD’s work to raise awareness for LGBTQ films and filmmakers. Other GLAAD events in Park City, Utah this week include a panel discussion entitled “Black, Queer and Unapologetic: The Shifting Lens of Storytelling in Hollywood” at the Filmmaker Lodge. 

The scripts on The GLAAD List represent the type of stories that GLAAD would like to see studios producing. With the proper attention, and with the collaboration of the right directors and actors, these scripts show tremendous promise and should one day become films that will both entertain audiences and change hearts and minds around the world.

See the full 2020 “GLAAD List” here:https://www.glaad.org/blog/glaad-and-black-list-announce-2020-glaad-list

“GLAAD is thrilled to present this incredible list of unmade LGBTQ-inclusive scripts to the entertainment industry at large for a second year in a row,” saidJeremy Blacklow, Director of Entertainment Media at GLAAD. “We have read a lot of scripts this past year, in order to settle on these final ten. The diversity and incredible range of storytelling seen on the pages of these screenplays prove that there are so many important LGBTQ stories that are just waiting to be told. To present this list during the Sundance Film Festival, which has been a surrogate home for incredible LGBTQ voices in film for so long, is especially significant.”

The Black List’s Kate Hagen says, “The Black List is honored to partner with GLAAD on The GLAAD List for the second consecutive year. Shining a spotlight on these incredible LGBTQ voices and stories allows us to highlight narratives that have too often been left out of traditional Hollywood storytelling, and being able to announce the list at the Sundance Film Festival, a longtime, inclusive home for diverse voices of all kinds, is a dream. We can’t wait to watch these writers continue developing their craft and cannot wait to see these stories onscreen one day!”

Methodology:

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.

LOGLINES OF SCRIPTS: (in alphabetical order)

  • BEFORE I CHANGE MY MIND – by Trevor Anderson & Fish Griwkowsky – At a small-town middle school in 1987, nobody can tell if new kid Misha is a boy or girl. Misha enters a clandestine relationship with the school bully, making increasingly dangerous choices to get popular.
  • COLORS OF AVA – by Wayne Mahon – Ava, a trans woman with a turbulent past and promising future, meets Jake, a reality TV producer who is ashamed of what he desires. Their love story isn’t an easy one, but it could be the most important story of their lives.
  • HIT ME HARDER – by Max Rissman –After fleeing from his abusive father who beat him savagely for being gay, an African American teenage boy begins taking Kung Fu lessons and becomes infatuated with his instructor, setting both of them on a destructive path as they prepare for an upcoming martial arts tournament.
  • IN THE CITY OF SHY HUNTERS – by Sam McConnell – A young man moves to 1980s Manhattan in search of a childhood friend at the explosion of a bohemian art scene and the onset of a decimating plague. There, he encounters fascist cops, Native American mysticism, and a love affair with a drag performance artist as the impact of the burgeoning disease pushes them toward revolutionary acts. 
  • JESSE IS A FRIEND – by Alyssa Lerner – Jesse loves Roxanne, Roxanne loves Evelyn, and Evelyn loves…boys, she thinks. Leave her alone, okay?? With this queer high school love triangle closing in on Jesse’s romantic chances, it’s time for her to prove that she’s more than just a friend.
  • LIKE FAMILY – by Brandi Sperry & Shauna Sperry – When what was once an annual girlfriends vacation becomes overrun with perfect couples, the last single woman standing must weather the new status quo or risk sabotaging long-time friendships—and her own chance for love.
  • MARGO & PERRY – by Becca Roth – When an aimless twentysomething stumbles upon a young girl who she believes to be the daughter she gave up for adoption as a teen, she becomes the girl’s babysitter, gaining the adoptive mother’s trust and concealing her own identity.
  • SISTER – by Azia Squire – Following her mother’s sudden passing, a queer black woman returns to her southern town to assist her estranged sister plan the funeral. Her trip takes a turn when sleep deprivation manifests visions of her deceased mother.
  • THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD – by Steve Desmond & Michael Sherman – A gay couple and their adopted daughter are terrorized by four strangers, who break into their cabin and claim that they’re here to stop the coming apocalypse by forcing the family to make an impossible choice – choose one of their own to sacrifice or watch as the world ends. Based on the Stoker Award winning best-selling novel by Paul Tremblay.
  • TRAPEZE OF THE FLESH – by Damon Santostefano – At the tipping point of his sanity and career, Tennessee Williams navigates his infamous collaboration with Marlon Brando, the tragic death of his long-time partner and his passion for art, drugs and Bourbon in Key West, 1960.    

If you’re an entertainment-industry professional who is interested in reading any of these scripts, please contact GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Media, Jeremy Blacklow.

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