NRDC, The Black List, The Redford Center, and The CAA Foundation Announce 2022 NRDC Climate Storytelling Fellowship

LOS ANGELES — The Black List is thrilled to announce that it has once again partnered with NRDC’s (Natural Resources Defense Council) Rewrite the Future program, The Redford Center, and The CAA Foundation to launch a second iteration of the NRDC Climate Storytelling Fellowship.  

The Fellowship will grant $20,000 each to three writers whose feature screenplay or pilot script reflects the climate crisis in a compelling, realistic and thoughtful way. Writers are encouraged to submit work that depicts solutions or a more just and equitable future, helping expand our climate narrative beyond disaster and apocalypse. The Fellowship defines a climate story as one that engages with climate change in a meaningful way through events, actions, character, emotions, plot, and/or setting. 

The Fellowship will also connect the three writers with industry professionals who will provide creative feedback and support. 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. 

Writers can opt in for the 2022 NRDC Climate Storytelling Fellowship via the Black List website starting today. Applications will close on November 30, 2022. In addition to the $60,000 total Fellowship grant, NRDC will also cover one month of hosting and one evaluation fee for the first 400 submissions on the Black List website. An additional explanation of the Fellowship’s climate storytelling parameters is detailed on the Black List website. The three fellowship recipients will be announced no later than February 15, 2023.

The Fellowship is part of NRDC’s Rewrite the Future program which helps Hollywood tell stories about climate change and environmental justice in entertainment film & TV.

“The science is clear about the absolutely urgent need for climate solutions, and an important part of that process is transforming how we think and tell stories about climate around the world,” said Black List founder Franklin Leonard. “We’re overjoyed to be part of that work with the NRDC, The Redford Center, and the CAA Foundation. Even more so that it means granting substantial financial and mentorship support for writers doing work in that direction.”

“The climate crisis is vast and overwhelming, but good storytelling can help us make sense of it, process our anxieties and fears and, most importantly, imagine a better future,” said Katy Jacobs, Entertainment Partnership Director at NRDC. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with The Black List, The Redford Center and CAA Foundation to support writers in telling compelling stories that reflect the challenges and solutions of our climate reality and inspire audiences to demand action.”

“Mainstream media has a massive, and essential, role to play in solving the climate crisis. Every script, every storyline, every character, every prop, every line of dialogue, can be an onramp for viewers into the climate conversation, a way for people to feel less isolated and alone, and an opportunity to inspire engagement,” said Jill Tidman, Executive Director of The Redford Center. “As an environmental storytelling organization focused on solutions, we know that mainstreaming the climate conversation is one of the biggest levers we can pull to ignite the public and political will to act. This is the aspiration of Climate Storytelling Fellowship, which The Redford Center is honored to continue to support alongside our colleagues at NRDC, The Black List, and the CAA Foundation.”

“We recognize that the entertainment industry has a unique role to play in addressing the climate crisis,” said CAA Foundation executive Adam Umhoefer. “Climate storytelling is a compelling method to spark meaningful action and envision a livable future on our planet.  It is vitally important to provide resources to creatives who are doing this work.”

The inaugural 2021 Climate Storytelling Fellowship granted $15,000 each to Elise H. Greven (SILENT SPRING), Jonathan Brebner (THE DEMON), and Ellie Bambach Morello (AMERICAN REFUGEES). As part of the grant, these writers also received mentorship from Sarah Treem (THE AFFAIR, HOUSE OF CARDS, IN TREATMENT), Scott Z. Burns (AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, CONTAGION, EXTRAPOLATIONS), and Naren Shankar (THE EXPANSE) on how to approach climate storytelling in a way that is both entertaining and impactful.

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 uses the power of storytelling to galvanize environmental justice and regeneration. Its cross-cutting programs support environmental storytellers and invest in impact-driven narrative strategies. By amplifying and changing the conversations around environmentalism, The Redford Center aims to engage a much broader and more diverse population in the movement. It has produced three award-winning feature documentaries and 30+ short films, supported more than 100 film and media projects with grants and other services, inspired 500 student films, and dispersed more than $10 million to fiscally sponsored projects. Redford Center film impact campaigns have halted the construction of dirty coal plants, reconnected the Colorado River to the Sea of Cortez, and helped accelerate the clean energy revolution in America. To learn more, visit or follow The Redford Center on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.

The CAA Foundation activates the power and reach of the entertainment, media, and sports industries to create systemic social change for a more equitable and optimistic future.  Its efforts are focused on public education, workforce development, civic engagement, and in times of critical need, mobilizing into action through crisis relief.  Since its launch in 1995, the CAA Foundation has served as the heart of the agency, investing in our communities and helping our clients achieve their humanitarian goals.

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