Martin Katz, TIFF and the Black List launch writing prize

Martin Katz

Canadian producer Martin Katz, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Black List founder Franklin Leonard have announced a new writing fellowship aimed at Canadian screenwriters.

The Martin Katz/TIFF Canadian Independent Screenwriting Fellowship will select one Canadian writer for an all-expense-paid trip to TIFF this fall, during which they will have the opportunity to meet and receive mentorship from Katz.

In order to be considered, scripts need to be, or have been, live on the Black List website for a minimum of one week during the submission period. The Black List is a membership-based peer-review and recommendation website that allows screenplay writers to upload scripts and purchase professional script reviews.

Writers must have lifetime (scriptwriting) earnings not exceeding $25,000 and be currently living in Canada. The deadline for consideration is July 23 and writers must opt into the submission call on the website.

Six feature-length screenplays, “imbued with an independent spirit,” will be selected by the Black List and sent to Katz for review. The winning script will be selected in August.

Katz, a frequent David Cronenberg collaborator with producing credits including 2014′s Maps to the Stars, 2012′s Cosmopolis and 2011′s A Dangerous Method to his name, is also the chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and the president of Toronto-based Prospero Pictures.

Of the fellowship, Katz said in an email statement to Playback that he’s keen to extend the benefits of being on the Black List further to Canadians.

“The Blacklist has been a haven for undiscovered writers for over a decade, and it’s time to amp up its focus on Canadians,” he said.