How to shine a light on storytelling? Independent film is coming to 100 Autograph Collection Hotels

“When you find another organization that shares your values, it only makes sense to work together to further them” (Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO, The Black List).


How to shine a light on storytelling? Autograph Collection, Marriott’s exclusive portfolio of one-of-a-kind hotels, announced an unprecedented cultural program focusing on independent film. Launching in January 2017, this dynamic, experiential cultural program called the Independent Film Initiative will celebrate independent film. The initiative will be curated by respected names working at the forefront of independent cinema
including Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO of The Black List, and digital entertainment distributor, FilmBuff.

Program highlights will include film premieres, live performances, director talks, screenwriter residencies, a signature cocktail as well as Autograph Collection Hotels’ very own indie film channel for guests. Autograph Collection will create one-of-a-kind guest experiences in its global portfolio of more than 100 hotels.

“Independent filmmakers tell stories without the influence of a big studio – and our hotels both tell and inspire travel stories of their own in a truly unscripted way,” said Julius Robinson, Vice President & Global Lead, Autograph Collection Hotels.

The Independent Film Initiative will kick off during January 2017’s Sundance Film Festival with the launch of the Autograph Collection Hotels & The Black List Sundance Social Space (January 19 – 23, 2017). This will take shape as a vibrant networking hub at Autograph Collection’s Hotel Park City, where cutting-edge filmmakers will gather with Leonard and The Black List team. One of the week’s focal points will be the bestowal of Autograph Collection Hotel Residencies to five screenwriters shortlisted on the 2016 Annual Black List.


The Annual Black List is a comprehensive list of screenplays which is published once a year on The Black List website. Leonard has posted it every year, since 2008, to draw attention to scripts that are “best liked” in Hollywood yet are unproduced and require financing. The posting of the Annual Black List has consistently connected screenwriters to moviemakers. For example, four of the last eight Best Picture Oscars and nine of the last 18 screenplay Oscars have gone to Annual Black List scripts. Now, Autograph Collection Hotel Residencies will lend extra support to independent screenwriters affording them the luxury of researching and writing at an Autograph Collection hotel of their choice over the course of 2017.

Through January 2017, Autograph Collection Hotels will serve as settings for other Black List events. The 2017 Black List Screenwriter Labs – week long, intensive workshops where promising yet non-professional screenwriters gather and enjoy one-on-one sessions with established professionals – will be staged at select Autograph Collection properties. The brand will also co-sponsor the Black List Live staged script readings, productions that bring to life Black List scripts as talented actors animate them on stage.

Autograph Collection Hotels will also host The Black List Happy Hour. These convivial, global gatherings happen monthly so The Black List’s community of scriptwriters can meet and exchange ideas offline. To commemorate the first Happy Hour, The Black List, a signature cocktail, created by an Autograph Collection mixologist and Leonard, will debut and henceforth be featured on hotel bar menus.

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