The NYU Tisch Graduate Film Department today announced the 2015 “Purple List,” a selection of the most promising production-ready screenplays generated from the NYU Graduate Film community.

Pamela Romanowsky's The Adderall Diaries, above, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was recently picked up for release by A24, was a 2013 Purple List selection.

The NYU Tisch Graduate Film Department today announced the 2015 “Purple List,” a selection of the most promising production-ready screenplays generated from the NYU Graduate Film community. Modeled on Franklin Leonard’s Hollywood Blacklist, the Purple List was chosen by 40 industry judges from screenplays submitted by NYU graduate film students and recent alumni.

Five scripts were selected this year for the list, including Backstage, by Shandor Garrison; D-Day by Tamika R. Guishard; Dead Pigs by Cathy Yan; The Place Behind Her Eyes by Vika Evdokimenko; The Salt of the Earth by Margherita Arco; and The Third Wife, by Ash Mayfair. This year’s Purple List judges included producers Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, (Beasts of the Southern Wild); writer-director Karyn Kusama (The Invitation); and writer Mark Heyman (The Skeleton Twins, Black Swan, The Wrestler).

The NYU Purple List was established in 2012 by 2015 winner Garrison and Ash Bhalla while they were both students in the Grad Film department. Since then, Purple List winners have earned a reputation for showcasing new, unique scripts by a diverse range of filmmakers that have enjoyed extraordinary subsequent success in getting into production.

Former Purple List winners include Beijing-born Chloé Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015), which won a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance; Gabrielle Demeestere’s Yosemite (2015), which received the inaugural ‘Tangerine Entertainment Juice Fund Award’ for best female directing at Slamdance; Shaka King’s Newlyweeds (2013), which was screened at Sundance and earned King the “Someone To Watch” award at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards; Joseph Wladyka’s Manos Sucias, which won Wladyka the Best Director Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014; and Pamela Romanowsky’s adaptation of Steven Elliot memoir The Adderall Diaries, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was recently picked up for release by A24.

“My first opportunity to present a scene was at the Purple List event, and it provided momentum, valuable feedback, and a confirmation that the thrill of making films is all about the chance to connect with an audience,” says Romanowsky.

“The Purple 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.

Winners will be officially announced tonight at an event at NYU Tisch, during which Purple Listers offer staged readings of excerpts from their screenplays. On view will be a vision of future cinema: of the six selections, which feature stories set in Southeast Asia, Central Europe, and the US, five are penned by women of various ethnic backgrounds. Invitees include the Purple List judges, potential investors, and Blacklist founder Leonard.

“NYU Grad Film celebrates and cultivates diversity in every sense of the word,” said John Tintori, Associate Arts Professor at NYU Tisch. “Students from around the world learn how to make films that matter to them, and make them well. The Purple List is a perfect embodiment of the training. These are well crafted screenplays, and stories that you haven't heard before.”

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 www.tisch.nyu.edu.

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