So Here’s What Happened At Sundance 2020: GLAAD and The Black List Present “The GLAAD List”

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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. You can see the full 2020 “GLAAD List” here.

“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,” said Jeremy 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.

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.