Diversity in Film Conversation with Black List Founder & CEO Franklin Leonard '00


Friday, October 30, 2020, 10:00am to 11:00am



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Harvard OCS & the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College are excited to co-host a career conversation with Franklin Leonard '00, founder and CEO of the Black List. With over 1.5 million views, Franklin's TED talk describes how he accidentally changed how movies get made and poses "How does Hollywood choose what stories get told on-screen? Too often, it's groupthink informed by a narrow set of ideas about what sells at the box office." Hear how Franklin and the Black List challenge assumptions about what works in film and amplify diverse stories and storytellers. All students who have creative aspirations are welcome to attend!

Franklin Leonard is a film producer, cultural commentator, professor, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of the Black List, the company that celebrates and supports great screenwriting and the writers who do it via film production, its annual survey of best unproduced screenplays, online marketplace, live staged script readings, screenwriter labs, and film culture publications. He has been a juror at the Sundance, Toronto, Guanajuato, and Mumbai Film Festivals and for the PEN Center Literary Awards. He was also a delegate and speaker at the White House’s 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. He was awarded the 2019 Writers Guild of America, East Evelyn Burkey award for elevating the honor and dignity of screenwriters. He is an occasional commentator for the BBC and MSNBC on matters of culture, politics, and race, an associate professor at the American Film institute, a trustee of PEN America, an advisor to Glitch, Inc., and a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the Associates Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). His TED talk was viewed more than one million times in its first two months of release.

As a part of the Harvard Office of Career Services (OCS) Diversity Beyond Harvard series, this program will address diversity, inclusion, and belonging in entertainment.

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