NYU’s Black List-inspired Purple List of the most promising production-ready screenplays generated from Tisch’s graduate film students and recent alumni has announced its 2015 picks.
This year’s selections are 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 winners were selected by 40 industry judges including Beasts of the Southern Wild producers Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, writer Mark Heyman (The Skeleton Twins, Black Swan and The Wrestler).
Past Purple List selections have included Pamela Romanowsky‘s The Adderall Diaries, the James Franco film that recently had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by A24; Shaka King‘s Newlyweds, which was screened at Sundance and led to King winning the Someone to Watch Award at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards; Chloe Zhao‘s Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which won a grand jury prize nomination at Sundance; Manos Sucias, which earned writer Joseph Wladyka the best director award at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival; and Gabrielle Demeestere‘s Yosemite, which won the first Tangerine Entertainment Juice Fund award for best female directing at Slamdance.
“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,” Romanowsky said in a statement.
The NYU Purple List was established in 2012 by Garrison and Ash Bhalla. Winners will be officially announced at an event at Tisch Wednesday night that will feature staged readings of excerpts from Purple List-winning screenplays.
Synopses of this year’s winning screenplays follows.
BACKSTAGE by Shandor Garrison – drama
Synopsis: An ambitious young record promoter in the late 1990s becomes rich and successful perfecting the art of payola, until a criminal investigation leads his music label to betray him. Based on a true story.
D-DAY by Tamika R. Guishard – Coming of Age
Synopsis: When three foster siblings encounter PTSD, childhood cancer and community residuals, they learn that hustling out of the crack epidemic was only the beginning.
DEAD PIGS by Cathy Yan – Drama/Satire
Synopsis: While thousands of dead pigs mysteriously float down the Yangtze River, five people cross paths as they search for their place in a rapidly transforming modern China. Based on true events.
THE PLACE BEHIND HER EYES by Vika Evdokimenko – Sci-Fi
Synopsis: The human population has split into two subspecies. As a ‘Decelerant‘ 15-year-old Ayah is sent to slave for Simeon, a doctor living alone in the desert hinterland. But when her master defies convention and becomes her teacher, Ayah begins to question whether her inferiority is real.
THE SALT OF THE EARTH by Margherita Arco – Drama
Synopsis: When Zacharias’ brother stands to lose the farm that has defined the Meindl family for generations, Zacharias puts his life on hold to bail him out. Working together as a family proves to be more difficult than either could have imagined. Can they put their differences aside to save their tradition?
THE THIRD WIFE by Ash Mayfair – Drama
Synopsis: Rural Vietnam, late 19th century, May is given away in an arranged marriage at 14. Is she strong enough to find her identity in a household full of strangers? Inspired by a true story, this tale of lost love and hidden desire lets us see through the eyes of a girl forced to grow too quickly into a woman.