LOS ANGELES, CA (June 26, 2014) – This morning, producer Martin Katz (Cosmopolis, Hotel Rwanda), the Toronto International Film Festival, and Black List founder Franklin Leonard jointly announced the creation of the Martin Katz/TIFF Canadian Independent Screenwriting Fellowship, wherein one unrepresented writer with lifetime earnings not exceeding $25,000(CAD) with a screenplay of indie sensibility will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and mentorship from Katz himself. Writers with scripts on the Black List or who have had scripts on the site since the October 15, 2012 launch will be able to opt into consideration for the opportunity until July 23. After this deadline, a shortlist of writers will be shared with Katz who will select one writer to make the trip.

Said Katz, Chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, “The Black List has been the authority on the best unproduced screenplays for the last decade. We are excited to enter this new partnership with the Black List and TIFF and look forward to the opportunity to discover new Canadian talent.”

“We’re excited to open another atypical door to the industry in partnership with Martin and TIFF,” said Black List founder Franklin Leonard. “For me personally, the Toronto International Film Festival has been a highlight of the year each year for almost a decade. I’m especially looking forward to sharing the experience with an up-and-coming Canadian writer.”

“Canada has a strong tradition of penning unique stories,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “The fellowship offers an emerging writer a rare and priceless opportunity in his or her career.”

Martin Katz

Martin Katz is the president and founder of Prospero Pictures, a film and television production company with over twenty years’ experience in the structuring, financing, and producing of international co- productions. Prospero has initiated or financed co-productions that span the globe, with partners in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, and the United States. Prospero’s long-term collaboration with celebrated director David Cronenberg includes the forthcoming Maps to the Stars starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, and Robert Pattinson, representing Katz’s fourth production with Cronenberg. Katz is Executive Producer of the award-winning television series Spectacle: Elvis Costello With..., a coproduction with David Furnish and Elton John’s Rocket Pictures, which features some of the most renowned musicians in the world in conversation and performance with Costello, including Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Elton John, Norah Jones, James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Lou Reed, and Sting, among others. Martin Katz also holds degrees in law from the University of Toronto and the Université de Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and is Chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

The Black List

The Black List is an online community where moviemakers find scripts to make and writers to write them and screenwriters find moviemakers to make their scripts and employ them. Google for screenplays, if you will.

Begun in 2005 as an annual survey of several dozen executives favorite unproduced screenplays, the Black List has grown to survey over 500 executives each year (virtually 100% of Hollywood’s studio system’s executive corps.) Over 250 Black List scripts have been produced into films grossing over $20 billion in worldwide box office. Black List scripts have won 30 Academy Awards – including three of the last six Best Pictures (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and Argo) and seven of the last fourteen screenwriting awards (June, Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, The Descendants, Argo, And Django Unchained) – from almost 200 nominations.

In October 2012, the Black List launched an online database of every screenplay circulating Hollywood and all those submitted by English language screenwriters from around the world. Since its launch, it has hosted more than 14,000 screenplays and completed more than 19,000 script evaluations. Dozens of writers have found representation at major agencies and management companies or sold/optioned their scripts as a direct result of introductions made via the site. The first completed film born of a Black List website introduction, Nightingale starring David Oyelowo, premiered this week at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

At any given moment, more than 2,900 screenplays are actively hosted for perusal by over 2,400 film industry professionals ranging from agency assistants to studio chairs.