The Black List Announces Feature Lab Participants & Mentors – Deadline

The Black List has finalized the names of the six authors who will be part of their 2022 Feature Lab, participating in a hybrid workshop that will include virtual sessions culminating in an in-person weekend intensive in Los Angeles.

Each writer will develop a screenplay through peer groups and individual sessions with working professional screenwriting mentors, including Kiwi Smith (Naturally blond), David Rabinowitz (Black Klansman), Jonathan Stokes (El Gringo), Natalie Krinsky (The Broken Hearts gallery), Phil Hay (The invitation), Guinevere Turner (american psycho), Michael Mitnik (The current war) and Scott Myers of Go Into The Story.

The Black List has also selected a grantee for the first-ever Black List Musical Film Fellowship. The Fellow is mentored by professional screenwriters with experience in the music world.

The participants of the Feature Lab 2022 and their projects are:


A young intern at a leading Silicon Valley technology company competes for a full-time position. She decides to take extreme measures when another programmer threatens her chances.

Yeon Jin Lee is a Korean-American writer of suspense thrillers centered on women in tech. Yeon Jin is informed by her experience navigating between worlds including first- and later-generation American dynamics, Asian and American identities, female identity in male-dominated environments, and technical and artistic figures in Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

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THE QUIET WAY by Justin Geldpayer

Hired by an orphan to avenge the murders of her parents, a silent bounty hunter is drawn into a mystery of white supremacists and land grab conspiracies, only to face the toughest question – can the strong, quiet guy learn how to communicate?

Justin Geldzahlener is a Virginia-based writer and filmmaker based in New York City who currently works as a consultant for HBO successor. He recently wrote, directed and produced his first feature film, a horror/cringe comedy entitled glue trapand would love to get paid to do the next film.

THE SKY WE LOOK AT by Ali Imran Zaidi

On an overnight train through the rural Pacific Northwest, a newlywed couple returning home to hostile families find themselves on a bloody balancing act of choosing sides in order to survive.

Ali Imran Zaidi is an LA-based thriller, sci-fi, crime and alternate history writer and Florida refugee who has lived on three continents. A 2022 grantee in the Riz Ahmeds Fund Artist Fellowship sponsored by Amazon and Netflix, he is currently writing an original narrative audio series with Hillman Grad Productions, co-producing and starring Janina Gavankar and Hasan Minhaj.

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WHITE TOOTH by Cody Pearce

A pregnant great white shark makes a perilous journey across the ocean to give birth to a child, while an expectant mother pays off her shark gambling debts. Jaw meets Unpolished gems.

Cody Pearce is an LA-based screenwriter specializing in genre features, primarily horror, sci-fi, and action/adventure. He has worked as a park ranger, online educational content producer and currently works at Nickelodeon Animation Studios.

Forty-eight paces by Amy Huckabay

Callie, the black sheep of her family, shows up at her father’s wedding ready to try a relationship with him. Things get complicated when she meets up with a mysterious guy in the bathroom, only to find out he’s her stepbrother-to-be Nate.

Amy Huckabay is a writer, director, comedian, and trained actress who realized she was funny and hasn’t looked back since. She has made it her mission to tell women’s stories in which the characters don’t necessarily have to be likeable, they just have to be real.


Based on true events, a dysfunctional Armenian family flees the Lebanese Civil War to open a chain of successful fried chicken restaurants in Los Angeles, only to see ambition, greed and generational trauma tear the family apart, leading to betrayal, revenge and murder .

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Nadia Osman has recently written animated episodes for Netflix and other literary work for BET, and writes and performs with the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles, where her work has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, Bustle and more. The Chicken Murders was a finalist for Script Pipeline this year during its pilot and web series Depressed was a Vimeo Staff Pick, praised by Vulture and placed by Sundance Labs and AFF.

The Musical Film Fellow 2022 and his project are:

NOTE TE OLVIDES by Nerris Nevarez Nassiri

When a shy, withdrawn Chicana brings her boisterous dying grandmother back to her ancestral Mexican village, they both get more than they bargained for as they both embark on offbeat romances that uncover long-held secrets.

Nerris Nevarez-Nassiri is a first-generation Mexican MENA filmmaker and musician and a proud UCLA Film & TV graduate. His mixed-race upbringing compels him to write coming-of-age and fish-out-of-water musical films.

Submissions for Feature Lab 2023 are now open, with more details on The Black List’s website.

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