After last night’s Golden Globes and the success of countless new and diverse voices in the past year, the annual BITCH LIST has never appeared more timely. In its fourth year, the List works to highlight unproduced feature and television screenplays that pass the Bechdel test. The Bechdel Test is used to determine if a story by requiring three simple criteria: it has to have at least two women in it, who talk to each other, about something besides a man. There are plenty of feminist stories and television shows that fail the test, but it has proven a solid jumping off point when looking for complex, female-driven stories.
This year’s selection takes things a step further. In addition to showing the industry some of the best scripts available with a female protagonist, it also highlights stories with a diverse cast. The List also took time to remind its readers of the on-going fight to save Standing Rock.
Many of this year’s featured writers are looking for representation, but the list also shows management companies stepping up their rosters with these talented new voices, including Echo Lake and Brillstein Entertainment.
Several of the writers that made it onto the list this year are also Launch Pad alums, including: Megan Bacharach, Jenny Deiker, Caitlin McCarthy, Kaitlin Fontana, Dani Bailes, and Alex Freedman.
See the complete Bitch List below.
by Sereena Shamsi
Format/Genre: Film/Dark Comedy
Logline: A British Indian girl being forced into an arranged marriage is suddenly trapped inside the body of a suicidal Irish DJ, and must fight to get her life back before the clock runs out.
by Ceda Xiong
Format/Genre: TV/Horror Comedy
Logline:An imbalance in the supernatural energy of Boyle Heights makes everyone nervous except for Lupe Gonzalez (15) who just wants to rock out at her fifteenth birthday. But when puberty strikes, it’s not just periods and boobs she has to worry about; Lupe also has a set of powers that have been secretly shared by all generations of her family. After her crush, Rodrigo, gets evicted by creepy New Yorkers (with some powers of their own), Lupe begins to uncover the mystical underground of East L.A.
THE SALT FLATS
by Shaz Bennett
Logline: Suspended cop Lucinda “Lucy” Waters, an Indigenous woman, finds a beaten, bloody young girl in the middle of the desolate Bonneville Salt Flat on the border of Nevada/Utah. In the Flats, secretive, closed communities collide. The Salt Flats are home to Daredevil speed racers; Goshute Indians; down on their luck Gamblers; a private military base used to test bombs and chemical weapons; a polygamist offshoot of the Mormon church called the Levitical Brotherhood. Lucy has ties to all these communities and can gain access to all their secrets, because their secrets are hers too. In unraveling what happened to this girl, Lucy is forced to face her past in order to save the lost girl.
Reps: Dave Brown, Echo Lake Entertainment
RED ROAD RASTAS
by Amy Banks
Logline: When Ruby Killed Skunk and her group of Native American “Aunties” find they are no longer revered by their tribe, they set out to reclaim their mojo on an adventure of a lifetime in Jamaica where they find friends, kine bud, and the secret to getting irie.
by Kathy Yamamoto
Logline: When an ambitious millennial running an illegal green card matchmaking ring falls in love with her latest client, she’ll have to choose between her next large paycheck and her newfound love.
*Leads are Armenian, Asian-American and Latina.
by Thomas Reyes
Logline: Vera Mistri, an ambitious Indian-American journalist, is forced to take a job at a reality TV production company and discovers that her skills producing highbrow broadcast news don’t translate to the pranking, naked dating, Honey Boo Boo world of reality TV.
Reps: Stan Spry at Cartel Management
ONE WOMAN SHOW
by Shakina Nayfack & Howard Emanuel
Logline: An unruly cabaret singer attempting to crowd-fund gender reassignment surgery must contend with her boyhood past, a conflicted ex-lover, and a circle of nearly-famous friends all trying to navigate life’s transitions in this Sex and the City meets Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Logline: A bi-racial (Black and Caucasian) young woman leaves her dead-end town in Mississippi for the brighter lights of Los Angeles, but soon finds herself homeless and losing all will to gain a foothold in society. A chance encounter leaves her straddling two worlds at once while secretly living out of a storage unit.
Reps: Jessica Jordan, Manager
by Jerrica Long
Logline: After her breakup goes viral, a twenty-something Black Woman uses her investigative skills from dating both sexes to help men and women find out if their partner is cheating, while she attempts to pick up the pieces of her life. Filled with funny, real-life adventures, the show explores the uncharted territory of dating, in a time when Drake lyrics have come to define relationship goals.
101 WAYS TO BE A BETTER PERSON
by Megan Bacharach
Logline: The story centers on a twenty-something woman with sociopathic tendencies who commits to blindly following a list of self-improvement initiatives as a promise to her late mother–the only person she ever cared about and the only person who believed her to be capable of good.
*Open races for all characters
NASA @ NIGHT
by Maggie Mae Fish
Logline: Nobody wants to run the Night Shift at NASA. But when Sarah Harris–an unbridled optimist–takes the position, she sets out to turn this dead end job into the launching pad for her dream career, even if everyone at NASA thinks her team is a joke. The team is 50% Women of Color.
Reps: Wenzel Entertainment
by Katherine Ruppe
Logline: After the bones of her radical Blackfeet mother are discovered on the reservation where she was raised, intrepid big-city detective Riley Running Wolf reluctantly returns to her rugged Montana home town to work as a deputy for her sheriff father. While fighting tough crimes in the new wild West, she battles the FBI, greedy oil interests, and Blackfeet militants to untangle the conspiracy of her mother’s murder.
Reps: Jeffrey Thal, Ensemble Entertainment
by Laura E. Davis
Logline: At a time when disease no longer exists and suicide is compulsory at age 60, an agent for the government’s Sustainability Program must determine if she can facilitate the death of a beloved client after the agent’s world is upturned.
by Alix Joyce
Logline: Anne McGregor, a mortician with a bloody past, has given up on love until the day a charismatic conman waltzes into her funeral parlor.
by Angela Waldrop Gilbert
Logline: Socially anxious and plain, Marcelle hadn’t planned to ever leave the family maple farm in rural southern Quebec. When finances and her father’s health put the property at risk of being sold, she turns to black market food supplying in order to make ends meet–and then some. Breaking Bad with maple syrup.
by Brandi Sperry
Logline: When her reclusive sister turns to occult methods in a desperate attempt to save their failing vineyard from a devastating drought, a woman must try to save her family from the mysterious force that begins threatening the lives of all who set foot there.
THE WILD HUNT
by Vanessa Yardley
Logline: A farm girl and her BFF must defend their sleepy English village when it‘s attacked by a horde of supernatural hunters.
by CC Campbell
Logline: Johnny Cash called it The Greatest Story Never Told: Three musicians, two of them pioneering women, embark on an odyssey through a dark, Southern Gothic world grappling to keep marriages, themselves and the music that changed a nation alive. Two of the first professional female musicians charge through a maze of dark figures and mysterious towns, often on motorcycles and brandishing guns, all the time singing for a living and sometimes, for their lives.
by Jenny Deiker
Logline: When a psychiatrist returns to visit her Alma Mater, a prestigious boarding school in Wales, a student’s violent suicide prompts her to stay and support the staff and students. As her connection with a grieving student begins to blur the lines between reality/fiction, she begins to realize that this may have all happened once before. Think Pretty Little Liars meets Shutter Island.
Reps: Tom Carter, Artillery Creative / Noah Jones, Gersh
THE GOBLIN CHILD
by Shoshana Rosenbaum
Logline: A woman adjusting to motherhood must confront a terrifying presence in the woods connected to–or summoned by–the lonely little boy next door.
by Caitlin McCarthy
Logline: The true story of the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol), seen as a medical miracle to help women with pregnancy issues and one of the first cash cows for pharmaceutical companies – but which was, in fact, a toxic, carcinogenic drug and one of the biggest medical disasters in history, affecting millions of people worldwide.
Reps: Barry Krost Management
by Kaitlin Fontana
Logline: When a veteran, old school music critic loses her job, she is forced to take a new one with the sort of magazine she’s always despised: an online blog.
Reps: Brandon Stein, Brillstein Entertainment Partners
by Caitlin Schneiderhan
Logline: A re-imagining of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as four warring crime families.
by Lyn Stephenson-Ivers and Allen Ivers
Logline: Along the lines of a female drive DEXTER set in the beauty industry, KILLERS follows ambitious marketing exec SOPHIE, who finds her job, her sick brother, and her life in jeopardy when a manipulative psychopath uncovers her secret life as a serial killer.
by Dani Bailes
Logline: After discovering her mother’s extensive correspondence with a notorious serial killer, Violet Bryce finds herself entangled in family secrets when a similar murder occurs in her own backyard.
Reps: Zadoc Angell & Chelsea Benson, Echo Lake Entertainment
HIGH SCHOOL HELLIONS
by Nate Myers
Format/Genre: Feature/Action Comedy
Logline: At a boarding school for genius, juvenile delinquents, a student creates a new drug called Bliss. But when it goes horribly awry, our leading lady and her two best friends have to fight their way to freedom.
by Gabriel Klein
Format/Genre: TV/Animated Comedy
Logline: Jane and her teenage son break into an old R&D lab at the tech company she co-founded with her estranged childhood friends to finish their time machine. Once completed the time machine’s existence causes a paradox wherein all six of the diverse friends who worked on the invention are trapped in a continuous loop predestined to be a part of world history. Now they flash through time interacting with famous figures and guiding their paths, while flashbacks illustrate their own past together and the friendships worth reuniting.
by Alex Freedman
Logline: Following the suicide of her father, an attorney is forced to return to her distant brother and family law firm in New York.
by Mike Sorce & Matthew Kic
Logline: Buried secrets come to light after a tragic car accident disrupts the lives of several employees of a small town animal kill shelter. Six Feet Under meets The Affair.
by Joe Brukner
Logline: When the stubborn and self-reliant April Johnson is diagnosed with acute kidney failure, she returns home to South Dakota to con her estranged family into giving her a kidney.
Emily J | Staff Writer