DuSable Productions, an independent film company, has announced today it will begin accepting applications for its screenwriting competition, seeking emerging writers from diverse backgrounds; applications will be accepted until March 25th through WithoutABox. The winning writer will be commissioned to develop a screenplay adaptation of the non-fiction book “The DuSable Panthers: The Greatest, Blackest, Saddest Team from the Meanest Street in Chicago” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ira Berkow.
The film, set in 1950’s Chicago (against the Civil Rights Movement and pending Brown vs Board of Education decision), tells the story of The DuSable Panthers: the nation's first black basketball team with a black coach to compete in the championship game of a state tournament against a predominantly-white team. Referred to as “The Wonder Five,” their spectacular skill and immense poise carried them through the season and into the record books, forever changing the game of basketball.
The competition, launched in response to the findings of the most recent Hollywood Writers Report (commissioned by the Writers Guild of America, West and released in 2014), actively seeks those who historically have a harder time getting their foot in the door in Hollywood. With minorities accounting for less than 5% of all employed film writers (while women account for less than 15%), “we want to do whatever we can to help close that gap and this story inherently gives voice to the underdog,” say producers Shana Landsburg, Suzanne McCafferty, Sovonto Green, and Emery King.
The competition is open to all non-union writers, age 18 and older who meet the diversity criteria. All applications must be submitted through the online portal, Without A Box, and will require a resume, a writing sample, and a brief explanation of how their background has impacted them as a writer.
For details on eligibility and prizes, as well as more information about The DuSable Panthers, please visit www.dusableproductions.com.