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Josh Hutcherson to Scour Black List Screenplays for Young Filmmakers

Actor-producer teams with Indigenous Media, which has pledged $100,000 to fund short films

“Hunger Games” actor Josh Hutcherson is teaming with startup studio Indigenous Media to find emerging filmmakers from young-adult screenplays on the Black List — with the promise that they could see their projects produced as feature-length movies.

Hutcherson, through his Turkeyfoot Productions banner, together with his mother, Michelle Hutcherson, will work with Indigenous Media founders Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia and Jake Avnet and the Black List to identify up to five screenplays (comedies, dramas or thrillers) featuring main characters in their late teens to late 20s. The Black List, founded in 2005, compiles Hollywood execs’ favorite unproduced screenplays.

Indigenous Media has committed $100,000 to fund shorts based on the selected screenplays, one of which Hutcherson will direct. Subsequently, Indigenous Media will potentially finance and produce feature-length films based on those shorts. Scripts on the Black List website between now and Jan. 17 will be eligible for consideration.

“Jon and Rodrigo are among the few traditional filmmakers who have already demonstrated that it is possible for Hollywood to successfully create great premium content for emerging platforms, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to partner with them,” Hutcherson said in a statement.

Indigenous Media was formed last year by Jon Avnet (“Black Swan,” “Justified”) together with his son Jake Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia (“Big Love”), with backing from U.K. broadcaster ITV and advertising giant WPP. The trio previously founded digital studio WIGS, which operated one of the first YouTube-funded channels.

Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Jake Avnet, Josh Hutcherson and Michelle Hutcherson will serve as mentors to the YA filmmakers as well as producers on the projects.

Indigenous Media said the partnership with the Hutchersons will be the first of four incubators it plans to launch, each focused on a specific genre and led by a prominent brand or personality who actively participates in selecting scripts and serves as a producer.

“Great content always begins with the script, which is why we are working with the Hutchersons and the Black List to seek out strong storytellers who connect with young millennials for our first incubator,” said Jon Avnet. Added Garcia, “Our goal is help young filmmakers move rapidly from page to screen with the production of shorts based on their scripts.”

The Black List currently hosts 2,700 scripts from 3,500 industry professionals. Since its inception, the company claims, more than 300 scripts have been produced as feature films that have grossed a total of over $25 billion at the box office worldwide. “Having collaborated with Jon, Rodrigo and Jake on a WIGS project, we knew we wanted to work with them again,” said Franklin Leonard, founder and CEO of the Black List.

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