BAFTA seeks new writers of Children’s Film and Television for industry showcase

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), in partnership with Rocliffe, and supported by The London Book Fair, is calling for scripts from emerging writers of children’s media, for a chance to present their work to influential members of the film and television industries. Applications are now open at http://bit.ly/Rocliffe15.

The activity, which is taking place for a second year, is a special iteration of the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, a long-running initiative which aims to give a platform to undiscovered screenwriters and help them to develop their careers.

Three successful writers will have extracts from their scripts performed by professional actors, and gain feedback from attending experts, at a showcase event at BAFTA’s headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London, on Saturday 12 September. One of the writers, will also receive an expenses-paid trip and full delegate pass to the MIP Junior international children’s programming market in Cannes in October, where they will receive extensive industry introductions and networking opportunities, organised by The London Book Fair.

British-based screenwriters are invited to submit scripts with a focus on content for children and families across a range of forms including feature film, single drama, mini-series, sitcom, comedy-drama and animation. The final deadline for submissions is Monday 27 July.

Entries will be assessed by an industry jury of writers, commissioners, agents, producers and development executives from companies including Andlyn Agency, BBC, Boom Kids, Heyday Films, ITV, Kindle Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Turner Broadcasting, Walker Books Group and Zodiak Kids Studios.

This year, the details of shortlisted entrants endorsed by more than four jurors will be published in the BAFTA Rocliffe Forum List, a new spotlight for screenwriting talent.

In 2014, Alison Down was selected to attend MIP Junior after her script Dai The Voice was showcased at BAFTA. While in Cannes she met with Disney and Australian broadcaster ABC, and has since signed with literary agency Kitson Press Associates, participated in CBBC New Voices workshops, and received script requests for her next project. Alison Down said of her experience at MIP Junior: “It gave me more insight into how the industry works and how important it is to steadily build supportive creative relationships … I very nearly didn’t enter BAFTA Rocliffe. I’m incredibly glad I did.”

The two other writers who took part in the 2014 event have also seen their careers progress. Amanda Duke’s entry, After Oil, was optioned by Blacklisted Films within weeks 2 Press Release (cont.) of the BAFTA Rocliffe showcase. Duke is now developing an original drama with ITV Studios, reached the latter stages of CBBC’s New Voices initiative and, through her agent at Sheil Land Associates, is sending out a new television script. John Hickman, who entered with his script The Things, Episode 1: ‘Off The Rails’ has since signed with David Higham Associates: “The BAFTA Rocliffe competition has been a real catalyst in my writing career,” said Hickman.

Helen Blakeman, BAFTA-winning screenwriter (Dustbin Baby) and member of the BAFTA Children’s Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting emerging writers for children’s media – bringing fresh ideas and creativity to an already vibrant industry. The UK has a proud history of children’s TV and film, both live-action and animation, which is celebrated around the world. We look forward to discovering some new and exciting writing voices – giving them a platform on which to shine and the support to develop their talent even further.”

Farah Abushwesha, Founder of Rocliffe, said: “I’m so proud of this strand, which opened this initiative to even more opportunities for new writers in the world of screenwriting – the inventiveness and energy in the scripts are truly inspiring. I can’t wait to see what new voices we will uncover.”

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, said of their collaboration with the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum: “The connected creative industries of books and broadcast come together at The London Book Fair, so naturally we are proud to partner again with BAFTA on this fantastic initiative in its second year, supporting emergent writers in children’s film and television. The success stories of all the 2014 finalists, and in particular that of Alison Down whom we introduced to MIP Junior in Cannes, show the benefit and necessity of these platforms to uncover new, otherwise hidden gems in the field of children’s entertainment. We look forward to reading the submissions!”

Applicants must submit a ten page extract and be available on Saturday 12 September for the showcase event at BAFTA, and from Saturday 3 to Sunday 4 October to attend MIP Junior in Cannes, France. For full application details, and terms and conditions, go to: http://bit.ly/Rocliffe15.

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:

Daisy Jestico at Kindred
Tel: 020 7010 0834
Email: daisy.jestico@kindredagency.com

Hollie Rendall at Kindred
Tel: 020 7010 0829
Email: hollie.rendall@kindredagency.com

About BAFTA
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – featuring workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes – in the UK, USA and Asia; it offers unique access to the world’s most inspiring talent and connects with a global audience of all ages and backgrounds. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. To access the best creative minds in film, television and games production, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more, visit www.bafta.org.

About Rocliffe
Rocliffe created a series of events, notably the New Writing Forums, now held at BAFTA and renamed the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum. It has a popular blog Farah’s Rocliffe Notes which is being published as a book in 2014. With its inception in 2000 by founding member Farah Abushwesha and a team of dedicated volunteers including award winning director Susan Jacobson and casting directors Laura Dickens CDG, Catherine Willis and Kahleen Crawford. The format of the New Writing Forum is truly original – following a public script call-out in the months before the event, three diverse pieces are selected from the hundreds received and performed live by professional actors in front of a live audience. The pieces are framed by especially composed music by new composers from Air Edel and digital art. The event showcases undiscovered talent – a must attend for agents and talent scouts alike; development focused discussions generated by the readings; exposure to and advice from experienced industry members; feedback from an audience and an invaluable method to test out new concepts and material. Given the often isolating nature of the industry, the forums create the ideal environment for networking as well as unknown writers the chance to get their work seen and heard. Past featured writers include James Dormer, Jack Thorne, Josh Appignanesi and Claire Wilson.

About The London Book Fair (LBF) The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every Spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, this landmark event is an opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. LBF brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. LBF 2015, the 44th Fair, will take place from Tuesday 14-Thursday 16 April 2015, Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the second year, with the book fair as the pivotal three day event within a five day programme. London Book and Screen Week will open with LBF’s Publishing for Digital Minds Conference on Monday 13 April, the day before LBF opens. Mexico is Market Focus country in 2015, following Korea in 2014.

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