The Black List Announces Feature Lab Participants & Mentors – Deadline

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

Each writer will workshop one screenplay through peer groups and one-on-one sessions with working professional screenwriting mentors, including Kiwi Smith (Legally Blonde), David Rabinowitz (Blackkklansman), Jonathan Stokes (El Gringo), Natalie Krinsky (The Broken Hearts Gallery), Phil Hay (The Invitation), Guinevere Turner (American Psycho), Michael Mitnick (The Current War), and Scott Myers of Go Into The Story.

The Black List has also selected a fellow for the first-ever Black List Musical Film Fellowship. The Fellow will receive mentorship from professional screenwriting mentors with expertise in the musical world.

The 2022 Feature Lab participants and their projects are:


A young female intern at a top Silicon Valley tech company vies for the full-time job offer. She decides to take extreme measures when another female 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 of navigating between worlds, including first and later-generation American dynamics, Asian and American identities, female identity in male-dominated environments, and technical and artistic personalities in Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

THE QUIET KIND by Justin Geldzahler

Hired by an orphan to avenge her parents’ murders, a taciturn bounty hunter barrels into a mystery of white supremacists and land grab conspiracies only to face the most difficult question — can the strong silent type learn how to communicate?

Justin Geldzahler is a writer and filmmaker from Virginia based in New York City currently working as a consultant on HBO’s Succession. He recently wrote, directed, and produced his first feature, a horror/cringe comedy called Glue Trap, and would love to be paid to make the next film.

THE SKY WE LOOK UPON by Ali Imran Zaidi

On an overnight train through the rural Pacific Northwest, a newlywed couple returning home to feuding families is trapped in a bloody high-wire conflict — where they must choose a side to survive.

Ali Imran Zaidi is an LA-based writer of thrillers, sci-fi, crime and alt-history, and a Florida escapee who’s lived on three continents. A 2022 fellow in Riz Ahmed’s Pillars Fund Artist Fellowship sponsored by Amazon and Netflix, he’s currently writing an original narrative audio series alongside Hillman Grad Productions, with Janina Gavankar and Hasan Minhaj attached to co-produce and star.

WHITE TOOTH by Cody Pearce

A pregnant great white shark makes a perilous journey across the ocean to give birth, while an expectant mother uses shark-fishing to pay off her gambling debt. Jaws meets Uncut Gems.

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


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

Amy Huckabay is a writer, director, comedian, and trained dramatic actress who realized she was funny and hasn’t looked back since. She’s dedicated to telling female-focused stories where the characters don’t necessarily have to be likable, 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 rotisserie chicken restaurants in Los Angeles, only to see ambition, greed, and generational trauma tear the family apart, leading to betrayal, revenge, and murder.

Nadia Osman recently wrote animated episodes slated for Netflix and additional literary work for BET, as well as writes and performs at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles where her work was featured in Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, and more. The Chicken Murders was a Script Pipeline finalist this year, while her pilot and web series Depressed was a Vimeo Staff Pick, praised by Vulture, and placed at Sundance Labs and AFF.

The 2022 Musical Film Fellow and his project are:

NO TE OLVIDES by Nerris Nevarez-Nassiri

When a timid closeted Chicana takes her rambunctious dying grandmother back to their ancestral Mexican village, they both get more than they bargained for when they each start unusual romances that will reveal long-held secrets.

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

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

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