Los Angeles, CA – May 7, 2019. CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment), the powerhouse non-profit launching writing careers through its premier CAPE New Writers Fellowship, in partnership with The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays, today announced The CAPE List, a curated list of the 12 most promising unmade film scripts centering Asian Pacific characters and experiences.
The 12 scripts on The CAPE List represent a diverse array of stories – one for each month of the year in celebration of #AsianAllYear – that scratch the surface of the plethora of Asian Pacific Islander stories. CAPE wants to see studios making more films in which diversity is baked in and cannot be removed without adversely affecting the story. Cultural specificity highlights our universal commonalities and enhances our connection to each other. Diversity starts on the page and these scripts are promising contributions to the future of inclusive filmmaking.
“The Black List has been a tremendous partner of our CAPE New Writers Fellowship for the past few years,” said CAPE Executive Director Michelle K. Sugihara. “We are thrilled to elevate our partnership with this special collaboration to join our two communities.”
“It’s been a joy to amplify the visibility of CAPE’s New Writers Fellowship over the last few years,” said Franklin Leonard the Founder and CEO of The Black List. “It was only natural that we expand our relationship by working with them to promote even more writers doing exceptional work, similar to what we did earlier this year with GLAAD and the GLAAD list.”
CAPE curated The CAPE List from a pool of the highly-rated scripts provided by The Black List and scripts sourced from the CAPE community. A script may remain active on The Black List and The CAPE List up until principal photography begins.
CAPE evaluated the scripts based on:
1) Overall quality of the written project
2) The film’s protagonist is identifiably of Asian and/or Pacific Islander heritage
3) Authentic, accurate and inclusive Asian and/or Pacific Islander representation
4) Removing the character’s heritage (ethnicity/background) would significantly alter or affect the story.
5) Passes the CAPE Test
*To pass the CAPE Test the following must be true:
- The lead or at least two characters are of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage
- Who are identified as being of Asian or Pacific Islander descent
- At least one character has a narrative arc distinct from helping or revolving around the main character.
SCRIPT LOGLINES: (in alphabetical order)
COWBOYS VERSUS INDIANS by Christopher T. VanDijk & Ambarish Manepalli – On the verge of losing the girl he’s always loved, Raj must fly home to win her back. Using his friends and a football tradition to challenge her fiancé, he thinks he has a plan. But when it all backfires he must learn that the best way to save his friendship may be the very thing he fears most.
GUNS AND SARIS by Tianna Majumdar-Langham and Chris Bessounian – They’ve been oppressed and brutalized at the bottom of India’s caste system for 3000 years, but now the “untouchable” women of India have found an unlikely source of hope – and she’s armed.
HALF ANGELS by Déjà Cresencia Bernhardt – A troubled veteran, working as a social worker, removes his ten-year old patient from her abusive home. When she escapes with a streetwise transgender girl, he must violate the ethical codes of his profession in order to search for and save them. Set in the paradise lost of what Hawai’i has become.
I’M NOT PHIL by Eugene Ramos – Filipino-American Ray Garcia pretends to be Asian Golden Boy Phil Aquino to win the affections of Rachael, a white co-ed who thinks all Asians look alike.
NO SKATEBOARDING by Jonathan Bird – A thirteen year-old hapa skateboarder flees a conservative father to live with his divorced Vietnamese mother in 1992 San Diego—the birthplace of modern street skating—where he’s both encouraged and cautioned by her fantastical worldview as he films a “sponsor me” video with a group of thrill-seeking friends.
NA WAHINE by Kimberly-Rose Wolter – Na Wahine is a female action-adventure feature set in Hawai’i circa 1793. After Numia’s home and parents are wiped out by a tyrannical chief, the teenager is sent on a journey to find Iwi, a forbidden woman and the only warrior strong enough to save Numia’s village. Leading a ragtag team of female warriors, Iwi and Numia set out to stop the power-hungry chief before he conquers the island.
THE DELIVERY MAN by Isaac Ho – Chinese restaurant-owner Liu Dai Yang’s eldest son is murdered while delivering a take-out order. Heartbroken, desperate and frantic, Liu searches for justice from an indifferent system that he’s only partially legally a part of and takes matters into his own hands — determined to seek justice or revenge, whichever comes first. Inspired by true events.
THE HARVEST by Doua Moua – A son returns home to help his ailing and traditional Hmong father, only to set off a chain of events that affects the lives of his entire family.
THE MONKEY KING by Galen Tong – In this period action adventure set in early 20th Century China, a young hustler and entrepreneur must disguise himself as a famous character from the Peking opera, become a warrior, then secretly lead a rebellion against the foreign powers occupying and oppressing his country.
THE RINGMEN by Ryan Lee – Two Chinese-American founders of a Beijing-based college consulting company that uses unethical means to cheat their clients into American universities are forced to fight to save their company when the New York Times threatens to publish an expose.
THE SUN GHOST by Arun Croll – During World War II, a family imprisoned in a Japanese-American internment camp must stop an overprotective ghost from escalating the violence between the Japanese internees and their jailers.
THE TIGER’S CHILD by the Vang Brothers – During the largest paramilitary operation in the history of the CIA, a 12-year-old Hmong orphan enlists in Officer William Summers’ secret child army and becomes his deadliest sniper. Based on true events.
If you’re an entertainment-industry professional who is interested in reading any of these scripts, please check The Black List at blcklst.com, or contact CAPE at [email protected].
Founded in 1991, CAPE (the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) champions diversity by educating, connecting and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander artists and leaders in entertainment and media. Through their CAPE New Writers Fellowship (diversity starts on the page) and CAPE Leaders Fellowship (inclusion starts with the gatekeepers), CAPE creates systemic change in Hollywood from the writers’ room to the boardroom to the living room. IG: @cape_usa | FB: @cape | Twitter: @capeusa.
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About The Black List
The Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives' favorite unproduced screenplays, was founded in 2005. Since then, more than 440 Black List scripts have been produced, grossing over $28 billion in box office worldwide. Black List movies have won 53 Academy Awards from 262 nominations, including four of the last ten Best Picture Oscars and ten of the last twenty-two Best Screenplay Oscars.
In October of 2012, the Black List launched a unique online community where screenwriters make their work available to readers, buyers and employers. Since its inception, it has hosted more than 55,000 screenplays and teleplays and provided more than 100,000 script evaluations. As a direct result of introductions made on the Black List, dozens of writers have found representation at major talent agencies and management companies, as well as sold or optioned their screenplays. Currently, the Black List hosts over 3,500 scripts for consideration by over 5,000 film industry professionals ranging from agency assistants, to studio and network presidents, to A-list actors and directors. More information on the Black List is available at www.blcklst.com.