Third Annual Purple List Selected by Expert Industry Panel, Including IFP Labs’ Amy Dotson, cinematographer Chris Manley and actor Peter Dinklage

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New York’s University’s Graduate Film Program has announced the selections for the 2014 Purple List, a short list of the best feature screenplays generated from within the NYU Graduate Film community. Submissions from NYU graduate film students and recent alumni are evaluated by a panel of industry judges, which this year included IFP Lab’s Amy Dotson, cinematographer Chris Manley (Mad Men) and actors Jennifer Beals (The L Word) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones). Only three scripts were selected this year for the list, including Daisy, Arkansas, by Brett Wagner & Dagny Looper; Gordon by Laura Moss; and Yomeddine by Abu Bakr Shawky.

Inspired by the Hollywood Black List, the NYU Purple List was established in 2012 by NYU Graduate Film students Shandor Garrison and Ash Bhalla. The winning screenplays will be showcased at a staged reading of excerpts hosted by filmmaker and film professor Alexandre Rockwell on April 9 at Tisch School of the Arts. Invitees include the Purple List judges, potential investors, and Spike Lee.

“The catalyst for the concept was Robert Warren of Warren International, who pointed out that we have the talent and stories the industry desires, and asked us what we were going to do to take these stories out of school and into the real world. We answered with the Purple List,” said Bhalla

Since its inception, the NYU Purple List has been an effective tool in drawing attention to the Tisch Graduate Film Program’s young talent and helping first time feature directors in getting their work produced. In the first two years of the Purple List six of the thirteen projects have wrapped principal photography, with a seventh, Pamela Romanowsky’s The Adderall Diaries (Purple List 2013) starting to shoot next month.

Purple List films premiered two consecutive years at Sundance: Shaka King’s Newlyweeds, premiered at Sundance in 2013 and was picked up and distributed nationwide by Phase 4 films. Desiree Akhavan’s film, Appropriate Behavior, made its debut at Sundance 2014 to rave reviews.

Another 2013 Purple Lister, Josef Wladyka, received a $90,000 grant from the San Francisco Film Society for his debut feature, Manos Sucias, which wrapped in Colombia last summer. Co-written by cinematographer Alan Blanco, Manos Sucias is a film in which a desperate fisherman and a naive young man embark on a dangerous journey trafficking drugs up the Pacific coast of Colombia. The film will have its international debut at the Tribeca Film Festival. Wladyka credits the Purple List for lending Manos Sucias the visibility and credibility that any first-time feature film and filmmaker needs.

“Alan and I are forever grateful for being included on the Purple List. The list brought attention not only to the project, and helped make it possible, but it also brought attention to us as young filmmakers, where it can be hard to find a way in to the industry, especially when we have stories to tell in difficult locations or outside the mainstream,” Wladyka said.

NYU is the only film program in the country that enables students to produce feature length films as part of their degree work. John Tintori, Chair of the Graduate Film Program at NYU, has been a strong supporter of the Purple List since its inception.

“Some of the world’s best filmmakers have been trained at NYU,” said Tintori.” The Purple List identifies the next wave of these incredibly talented storytellers and positions them to join the ranks of the feature filmmakers who have emerged from NYU for decades and continue to wow the industry and audiences with auteur-driven films like Life of Pi, Appropriate Behavior, Wolf of Wall Street and Fort Tilden.”

In addition to Beals, Manley, Dotson and Dinklage, this year’s judges included the following: Akil Gibbon; Alysse Bezahler; Andrij Parekh, Cinematographer; Craig Kestel; David Frankel; David Laffey; Frank Wuliger; Heather Reynolds; James Suskin; Jeff Apple; Jeffrey Silver, Fourth Floor Productions; Lawrence Mattis, Circle of Confusion; Lisa Robinson; Lucy Stille, The Paradigm Agency; Michael Barlow; Michael Lerner; Naomi Foner; Rachel Chanoff; Sally Ware; Sophie Goodhart; Steven A. Jones and Todd Graff. The 2014 NYU Purple List is available here.

About the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television

The Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at NYU Tisch School of the Arts is among the most selective film and television directing programs in the world, and counts among its alumni Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Joel Cohen, Woody Allen, Tamara Jenkins, Cary Fukunaga and Amy Heckerling, among many others. For more information, visit


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