The finalists from our recent drama script competition run in partnership with C21 Media and Entertainment One (eOne) have been revealed.
The competition was set up as part of Creative England’s television drama venture, a UK based fund aimed at supporting new and original UK voices and creating compelling television content for international markets. It invited screenwriters to submit scripts for one-hour drama pilots and find out if they have what it takes to create the next big primetime hit.
Over 200 entries were submitted from which eight finalists have been selected to pitch their story ideas to a panel of international drama specialists at the C21 International Drama Summit due to take place in early December. Winners will receive £10,000 worth of development funding, industry assistance in taking their idea to series and exclusive access to the writers’ room of a current television series.
Caroline Norbury, CEO of Creative England, said:
“It was fantastic to see so many entries of such a huge calibre, across a wide range of really interesting subjects and genres. “Creative England is dedicated to harnessing the most exciting creative talent by giving them the investment, opportunities and introductions they need to find success. Working with eOne and C21 on this competition was the perfect chance to help discover new scriptwriters with brilliant original stories and ideas that I have no doubt will capture the imagination of audiences across the globe.”
Carrie Stein, executive VP global production at eOne Television, said:
“We are pleased with the wide level of interest, having received scripts from talented writers across the globe. The quality of the submissions was incredibly impressive and every one of the eight selected scripts is bold and distinct. I am excited by the material from all of our finalists and it will be very tough to select only one winner.”
David Jenkinson, C21’s editor-in-chief & managing director, said:
“We have more than 200 entries to the competition, from all corners of the world. It has been fantastic to see just how many amazing undiscovered writers there are out there. The future of drama is about finding new talent. This partnership with eOne and Creative England has done just that.”
C21 Drama Script Competition UK Finalists
‘A Place Called Home’
By Naida Redgrave
What could possibly drive a British-born Muslim to terrorism? At what point in life does a person disassociate themselves from society, and what causes the turning point? What are the repercussions on those closest to them? And what makes a human behave inhumanely?
Set in present-day London, A Place Called Home explores the many complex avenues surrounding the issue of ‘home-grown’ terrorism by following the stories of three second-generation Muslims with very different lives that have lead down separate paths.
When one man is missing and suspected of joining jihadist militants abroad, three former classmates find their lives intertwine once again, as they realise that to understand the present, they must look to the past for clues.
By Shirley Lixenberg
A man dressed in fetish gear plummets to the bottom of the ocean, anchored by chains, his hands locked in golden handcuffs. This is Steve, our 39-year-old protagonist. How did he get here? Seven years ago, he quit a lucrative job in advertising to write his great novel, forcing his stunning wife (Penelope) to give up her own dreams of becoming an artist to pay the bills. Fast-forward six years. Things are desperate; they’re about to lose their house. When no one wants Steve’s book and his agent drops him, he writes an erotic story about a kinky married couple – under his wife’s name.
Handcuffed, ‘Penelope’s’ online serialisation, becomes a sensation and Pen and Steve’s supposedly hot marriage becomes the subject of media scrutiny – Brangelina, Kimye, now Peeve. However, the truth is they barely ever have sex any more, a problem they address by attending sex counselling sessions. Meanwhile, they are researching darker worlds of fetishism for their book, which results, one night, in an accidental murder. As they struggle to contend with temptation, celebrity, family crises and a body in the freezer, we wonder: does anyone really know what goes on in a marriage?
By Ed Wiles
The true story of a freed American slave who becomes the most famous boxer in Georgian London but can never attain the nobility he craves.
By Frazer Flintham
A sociopolitical thriller about low-earning housesitter Freya Martin, who seeks shelter from her ex in the shoes of a wealthy client. Finding herself on the upper rungs of the London elite, she soon discovers she’s also part of a family that runs its criminal underworld – and the shoes Freya has filled are those of a missing woman. The only one positioned inside the family, Freya must help the authorities to bring them down, save the missing woman and, ultimately, herself.
By Angela Berliner,
Matryoshka is an hour-long drama about a girl raised by criminals who becomes a secret agent hell-bent on revenge. It is a decades-long story of retribution and recovery – The Count of Monte Cristo in the world of spies, cops and criminals that unfolds along three separate timelines. Each timeline focuses on three different people. The first is a strange little girl growing up in a bunker with criminals.
The second is an enigmatic teenage girl who, after escaping a serial killer, decides she wants to catch him, vigilante-style. And finally we meet a brilliant and beautiful secret agent on a mission of vengeance. Soon it becomes clear these girls and woman are all the same person. By telling the story through seemingly separate narratives, complete with distinct unreliable memories, a mystery and tension is formed around the girl, teenager, and woman who would become known in spy circles as Code Name: Matryoshka.
‘123 Kings Road’
By Lucy Wadham & Rosie Miles,
A coming-of-age comedy set in London’s Chelsea in 1977, the series takes a darkly funny look at the sketchy moral universe many viewers will recognise with a mixture of horror and affection. When flamboyant ad executive, Peter Blythe, is sacked for bleeding the company dry, he goes off “to find some money,” leaving his five daughters to look after their mother – a fading society beauty for whom the answer to all life’s vexations is to ‘go and have a lie down.’
The family home is at number 123 Kings Road. It’s a time when punk is at its zenith and the girls, aged between six and 18, are more concerned that David Soul could reach number one in the charts than in the disappearance of their father. Soon, however, they must survive on dwindling supplies of toast and cereal and face a rising tide of unpaid bills, school fees and social workers. Either they must find a solution or be split up and farmed out to uncool relatives. Things start to look up when ’mad’ Uncle Godfrey, recently treated with shock therapy for his messiah complex, shows up on the doorstep and a police surveillance detail sets up outside.
By Adam Ciancio,
It’s 1969, Charlie Ranger is one of the most respected detectives in Detroit. After the death of his partner he returns to work where he is partnered with Jeanie, a drug-addicted undercover agent who has infiltrated the anti-government movement Weather Underground. At the centre of this movement is a mysterious individual that Jeanie can only describe as ‘This Man,’ a leader who has the ability to read people’s thoughts. Charlie’s only clue is the precinct’s sketch of him. Fast-forward to 2016 and Jeanie is now the mayor of Detroit and Charlie is a part-time grill cook and an alcoholic. One night after another failed suicide attempt, Charlie sees on TV an interview with two social media upstarts. Their website ‘www.thisman.org’ is taking the world by storm as people tell of their experiences of This Man infiltrating their dreams.
Grabbing the iPad given to him by his estranged daughters for his birthday, Charlie types in the website address to be met with the same police sketch from 1969 and the title ‘Ever Dream This Man.’ Charlie will do what he failed to do almost 40 years ago: uncover the truth of This Man.
By Shira Rosenzweig,
Two people – one man, one woman. They each have a name – he’s Roman, she’s Anna. They each have a home, a social circle, a job. Anna works in an office, Roman works as the top hitman for the toughest gangster in town. No one, not even people who know both of them, have the slightest idea that these two are actually one person, one mind controlling its two separate bodies the way other people control their two hands. Already struggling with an escalating identity crisis, a dangerous criminal underworld and an impossible romance, Anna and Roman hit their limit when a cabal of power-hungry billionaires, fixated on unraveling Anna and Roman’s unique dual existence, launches a manhunt after them.