Speaker Franklin Leonard

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Franklin Leonard

Founder and CEO

Black List

Franklin Leonard is a film and television producer, cultural commentator, 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, and screenwriter labs. More than 400 scripts from the annual Black List survey have been produced as feature films earning 250 Academy Award nominations and 50 wins including four of the last fourteen Best Pictures and twelve of the last twenty six screenwriting Oscars. Franklin has worked in feature film development at Universal Pictures and the production companies of Will Smith, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, and Leonardo DiCaprio. He has been a juror at the Sundance, Toronto, and Mumbai Film Festivals, and one of Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Under 35, Black Enterprise magazine’s “40 Emerging Leaders for Our Future,” and Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” He was the recipient of the 2019 Writers Guild of America, East (WGAe) Evelyn Burkey award for elevating the honor and dignity of screenwriters. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, an advisor for the 2022 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Exhibition "In America", and a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). His TED talk - How I Accidentally Changed the Way Movies Get Made - has been viewed more than 1.6 million times. 

Speaking on: Window into the ‘Feature’: the new strategies for releasing films

At the Banff Media Festival, we met with Netflix and took a ride up Sulphur Mountain on the gondola. That’s where we made the pitch.
- Naveen Prasad, EVP and GM, Elevation Pictures

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