The Black List, NRDC, and The Redford Center Announce 2021 Climate Storytelling Fellowship

The Black List is excited to announce that it has partnered with NRDC’s (Natural Resources Defense Council) Rewrite the Future program and The Redford Center to launch their first-ever Climate Storytelling Fellowship, which aims to encourage more varied climate stories that reflect the reality of the climate crisis and solutions.  

The Fellowship will award three recipients $10,000 each, connect them with industry professionals, and provide creative support for their original feature screenplay or pilot script that helps change the climate narrative. At the conclusion of the Fellowship, revised scripts will be hosted on the Black List website and may be reviewed for development by prominent studios, agencies and/or production companies including Hyperobject Industries, Madica Productions, Participant, UTA and WME. Writers will retain all rights to their scripts.

”We are thrilled to partner with NRDC and The Redford Center to encourage the development of compelling screenplays that offer a new perspective on an issue that impacts all of us – the climate crisis,” said Franklin Leonard, founder and CEO of the Black List.

During a three-month revision period, the Black List and NRDC will also pair each fellowship recipient with a professional screenwriting mentor with an interest in climate storytelling; a climate story consultant from NRDC’s Rewrite the Future program to advise on effective approaches to climate storytelling; and if applicable, an NRDC expert to advise on climate issues highlighted in the script. Screenwriting mentors include Sarah Treem (THE AFFAIR, HOUSE OF CARDS, IN TREATMENT) and Scott Z. Burns (AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, CONTAGION, EXTRAPOLATIONS).

“Stories have the power to shift our culture, shape public will, and drive action. We need stories that reflect our climate reality and rise to the urgency of the crisis,” said Daniel Hinerfeld, Director of Content Partnerships at NRDC. “Climate solutions impact every aspect of our lives, meaning there are endless ‘ways in’ for creative storytelling. We’re excited to work with writers to help expand the definition of climate storytelling and help bring about the change we need to solve this crisis.”

“This unique and impactful fellowship is an opportunity to bring climate storytelling into the mainstream conversation, which is paramount." added Jill Tidman, Executive Director of The Redford Center. “We must empower individuals to see themselves as part of the solution. This fellowship program allows us to offer global audiences stories that lead people toward hope and personal resonance, and provide a sense of efficacy."

Beginning today, writers will be able to apply for the Fellowship Program via the Black List website—the applications will close on August 25, 2021. In order to apply for the fellowship, the script must include climate in the story in a meaningful way that involves major character(s), events and plot or subplot(s). A further definition of climate storytelling is detailed on the Black List website. The three fellowship recipients will be announced no later than September 21, 2021.

Additionally, the Black List, NRDC, and The Redford Center will give away one free script evaluation to each of the first 50 writers who apply to the program with a previously unevaluated script.

More information about the fellowship is available on the Black List 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 5,000 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, was released in February 2021 by MGM’s American International Pictures.

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.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

Co-founded in 2005 by Robert Redford and his son James Redford, The Redford Center leverages the power of storytelling to galvanize environmental justice and regeneration.  Our cross-cutting programs support environmental storytellers and invest in impact-driven narrative strategies.  By changing the conversations around environmentalism, we aim to engage a much broader and more diverse population to mobilize a just transition.

Over the years, The Redford Center has produced three award-winning feature documentaries and over 30 short films, supported 35 documentary projects with grants and other services, and dispersed more than $8 million to dozens of fiscally sponsored film and media projects. Collectively, our original productions have engaged millions of viewers across all 50 states and 45+ countries, inspiring hope and generating demand for a world where human and planetary health are fundamental values driving action. Our impact campaigns have halted the construction of hundreds of dirty coal plants, reconnected the Colorado River to the Sea of Cortez, and helped accelerate the clean energy revolution in America. The majority of our diverse film portfolio is made by or about women leading the movement, and our growing network of 400+ environmentally engaged storytellers increasingly represent Black, Indigenous, People of Color and LBGTQ+ communities. These are communities historically underrepresented in media and who are often among those leading progress on the ground and enacting the solutions needed to safeguard humanity and our planet.

The Redford Center believes in stories that move, and the power of hope, to create a world in equitable balance. Find our stories at

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