Applications Invited for NRDC Climate Storytelling Fellowship 2022

Applications Invited for NRDC Climate Storytelling Fellowship 2022

Organization: The Black List

Apply By: 30 Oct 2022

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About the Organization:

Since 2005, each December, the Black List releases its annual list, a survey of the most liked unproduced screenplays of that year. The annual lists are aggregated using votes from film executives working in the film industry. The annual lists have included such Oscar winning films as JUNO, THE KING'S SPEECH and ARGO. At its heart the annual Black Lists are meant to shine a light on extraordinary screenwriting, some of which may have been overlooked more broadly.

2022 NRDC Climate Storytelling Fellowship

The Black List is thrilled to announce that it has once again partnered with NRDC’s (Natural Resources Defense Council) Rewrite the Future program, The Redford Center, and The CAA Foundation to launch a second iteration of the NRDC Climate Storytelling Fellowship. 

In addition, NRDC will connect each fellowship recipient with the following professionals for feedback and guidance on their scripts:

  • A credited professional screenwriter with an interest in climate storytelling
  • A climate story consultant from NRDC’s Rewrite the Future program to advise on effective approaches to climate storytelling that are entertaining and impactful
  • As applicable, one or more NRDC experts to advise on climate issues highlighted in the script.
  • After receiving these consultations, Fellows have six (6) months to complete a revision of their script. Revised scripts may be reviewed for development by prominent studios, agencies and/or production companies including Hyperobject Industries, Madica Productions, UTA and WME.
  • At the end of the Fellowship, each recipient will provide a designated representative of the NRDC with a revised version of their script along with a short reflection on how the grant has been used to advance their work and/or impacted their career.

What is a climate story?

  • The script can be in any genre but climate change and solutions must drive action and affect choices made by characters.
  • A climate story is one in which climate change affects characters, influences choices, and drives action.
  • A climate story acknowledges that we already live in a climate-altered world whether or not our house has burned up or been washed away in a flood.
  • They worry about climate change. We feel shame and grief about it. We talk about it with our partners and friends. People discuss whether it makes sense to have children, or wonder where the safest place is to live, or what they can possibly do to help.
  • Climate can be a central factor in motivating characters and driving plot. The story and genre options are limitless because climate can touch every aspect of life, from food, health, and relationships to justice, jobs, and national security.

Note: For TV pilot submissions, applicants who make the short list must also provide a long synopsis or treatment describing the primary story arcs and how the climate themes will be developed throughout the show.


The Program, hosted by the Black List, is subject to the following requirements:

1. The script can be any genre but climate change and solutions must be a main driver of the action and affect important choices made by characters.

2. The climate crisis intersects with a wide variety of topics so a successful climate script could incorporate impacts and/or solutions in many areas

  • Stories that personalize climate issues like environmental racism and climate injustice, climate disruption of food, water, public health, war/national security, natural disasters, corporate malfeasance, immigration, political scandal, conspicuous consumption, deforestation, wildlife and wilderness, pollution, sea-level rise, and other regional effects.
  • Stories that show the impacts of the climate crisis on people and communities, disproportionate effects on BIPOC frontline communities; personal impacts on relationships, emotions/psychology, romance, family planning, jobs, and career choices; facing the ethical dilemmas of a fossil fuel economy; becoming part of the solution through personal/community/political action, education, politics and journalism, activism, etc.
  • Stories that feature people discovering and engaging in climate solutions, including ³JUHHQ´ innovations in farming and food, public health, law and policy, energy, transportation, science and high-tech, business and finance, building and product design, waste management, circular economy, community-based innovation like greening neighborhoods, food justice, urban farms, etc.
  • Stories about thought and action leaders meeting the immense challenge of solving the crisis and transitioning to a just, equitable, decarbonized economy.
  • Stories that show alternative futures, beyond the cliches of climate disaster/dystopia.
  • Scripts that highlight a new perspective on the human relationship with the planet

Fellowship: The Fellowship will grant $20,000 each to three writers to support revision of a feature screenplay or pilot that engages with climate change in a meaningful way through events, actions, character, emotions, plot, and/or setting.

For more information please check the Link

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