2017 WIF | Black List Episodic Lab Finalists

Sarah Beckett, “The Dam” — In 1931, a mysterious young woman from the Cook Islands cons her way into the heart and home of an American widow working on the Drumhellor Dam Project: a massive public works project that invites disaster, conflict, and murder.


Kristen Joy Bjorge, “Kingdom of Children” — 11-year old Grace Anderson is a genius, yet in some ways, she’s very small. Raised in an Evangelical Christian homeschool community, her perspective of the world is frighteningly narrow. Set in the greater Chicago suburbs during the late 1990’s and in present-day Washington DC, we follow Grace and her peers as they’re groomed for a modern-day religious and political crusade, a movement responsible for many of the most powerful conservative leaders and politicians of our time.


Juanita Cepero, “El Dorado” — In 1700s Cartagena, Colombia, a hunt for the pieces of the map to El Dorado breaks loose. A native nun, a Spanish lord and an African black-market dealer will have to work together in order to survive the brutal game and beat their rivals to the biggest treasure in the world.


Natalia Chown, “Good City” — 1951, Chicago. At the height of a dirty newspaper circulation war fuelled by headline-grabbing criminals, a fired reporter uncovers a deeper story of murder, sex, corruption, and the disturbing truth behind his downfall


Cat Dale, “Mt. Pleasant” — In 1880s Oklahoma, Native American children are mandated to attend the Mount Pleasant Indian School by the US Government; but when Lola’s brother does not return, she risks her life by leaving the reservation to find out what happened to him.


Nancy Duff, “Dead Drop: The Spies of Gilbert Hall” — After her father is kidnapped, fourteen-year-old Alexandra Sawyer follows his clues to the safety of Gilbert Hall, a highly guarded safe house for orphaned offspring of the CIA’s elite. Thrown into a world of international espionage, Alexandra must come to terms with the truth about her parents while training with her peers as a junior agent.


Sarah Eagen, “The Big Sleep” — A bored but brilliant anesthesiologist discovers that ending life is more thrilling than preventing death and fights to give patients what she deems the ‘best possible care.’


Tasha Henderson, “Crowned” — A beauty queen wannabe has to get in touch with her “Black side” in a quest to win the Miss Black Beauty Pageant, after losing the Miss Southern Texas Pageant to her white nemesis.


Kimberlea Kressal, “Everleigh” — Two sisters, masterful in the art of seduction and merciless in their pursuit of power, set out to radically change the world’s oldest profession. While suffragettes are chasing the vote and religious reformers are chasing away sin the Everleigh Sisters build a palace of pleasure and their success ignites a crusade for America’s soul.


Samantha Levenshus, “Company Town” — Set in 1894 in the company town of Pullman, the lives of three families intertwine in unexpected ways, confronting issues of racism, sexism, and the rights of government in the months leading up to the bloody railroad strike that defined the American Labor Movement.


Sabrina Sherif, “Chosen” — When Syb Jensen is proclaimed the “Chosen One”, she and best friend Georgie are ecstatic to take on demons plaguing their small town; but when the real Chosen One shows up, Syb and Georgie must choose between accepting their normality or choosing to be the heroines of their own story.


Christy Stevens McCann, “The Hill of Tara” — In Celtic Ireland, young Maeve is wed to a rebellious king in order to maintain a frail peace, resulting in a deep rift and a struggle for power between husband and wife.


Sarah Zucker, “The Sun Set” — Rival “Sewing Circles” of lesbian actresses, the free-spirited Sun Set and the prim A-Lines, clash over sexual jealousies and differences in propriety as they strive for professional advancement in the Golden Age of Hollywood.