Writer of Children’s Media wins prize at Special BAFTA Showcase

Writer of Children’s Media wins prize at Special BAFTA Showcase

 Winning screenwriter, Javid Rezai, to receive trip to MIP Junior in Cannes, supported by The London Book Fair

Following compelling performances of new scripts by three screenwriters at the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Showcase for Children’s Media on Saturday (23 September), Javid Rezai was chosen to attend MIP Junior, supported by The London Book Fair.

All three children’s media screenwriters who were chosen to take part in the public showcase; Maggie Bowler, Rachel Murrell and Javid Rezai, saw extracts from their unpublished scripts performed live by professional actors at BAFTA headquarters.

After the showcase, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), in partnership with Rocliffe, and supported by The London Book Fair, chose Javid Rezai to attend the influential MIP Junior Conference. This will include a full delegate pass to the MIP Junior international children’s programming market in Cannes in October, where he will be given extensive industry introductions and networking opportunities, organised by The London Book Fair.

All three showcased screenwriters will receive a delegate pass from the LBF/BAFTA/Rocliffe partner The Children’s Media Conference, allowing them to attend their acclaimed annual conference which takes place in Sheffield each summer.

Helen Blakeman, Chair of the BAFTA Children’s Committee said: “Every year we’re incredibly impressed by the quality of storytelling we discover through this initiative, which bodes very well for the future of children’s media. It’s such a pleasure to support all three writers to raise their profile and gain valuable industry insights, and we congratulate Javid on his additional opportunity.”

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, said: “This is the fourth consecutive year we have teamed up with our partners at BAFTA and Rocliffe to recognise fresh and talented screenwriters and their work. We have all been extremely impressed by the work of these three bright writers, particularly Javid’s highly imaginative showcase which tells the story of three 13 year-old misfits trying to balance school life with saving the world from monsters. We look forward to taking him with us to MIP Junior where he will be introduced to a range of influential individuals from across the children’s programming industry.”

The showcase is a special iteration of the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition, a long-running initiative which aims to give a platform to undiscovered screenwriters and help them to develop their careers. This is the fourth year that BAFTA and Rocliffe have worked with The London Book Fair to support writers for children.

This year’s showcase was chaired by Farah Abushwesha, founder of Rocliffe, and featured Sarah Fell and Tobi Wilson, Executive Producer and a senior writer respectively on Cartoon Network’s BAFTA-winning UK animated series The Amazing World of Gumball, who provided feedback on the three winning scripts, as well as sharing insights into their own working process. The finalists also received a full year’s access to BAFTA events and workshops, industry introductions and a bespoke career planning and profile building session to provide support in navigating the industry.

Farah Abushwesha, Founder of Rocliffe, said: “It is so wonderful to see the imagination and talent in the work submitted by the BAFTA Rocliffe entrants. To know that these three projects are selected through a blind selection process is very exciting for writers especially as it gives them a level playing field. The opportunities afforded to these writers is a testament to the talent of their words.”

For more information about the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Competition, visit: http://www.bafta.org/supporting-talent/rocliffe

Biographies and project synopses:

Javid Rezai – Shallows

Synopsis: Three 13 year-old misfits try to balance school life with saving the world from monsters.

Javid Rezai is a British-Iranian-Italian screenwriter and director. After graduating from Goldsmiths University in 2013 and receiving a Vogue Certificate from Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design, Javid became Fashion and Editorial Assistant at British Esquire. In 2016, he made the short British drama Another Life which premiered at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Madrid. In 2017 his second short film, the Iranian-British coming of age Pegah, was screened at the prestigious 65th annual Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

Maggie Bowler – Klepto and the Barnsley Mummies

Synopsis: An impulsive girl steals a ring from a mummy and unwittingly triggers an ancient curse, drawn back into a world of magic and sacrifice.

Maggie Bowler started out as a film editor. Maggie fell in love with documentary and worked in television as a freelance editor for many years before returning to her roots in drama. She completed a diploma in script development at the National Film and Television School before freelancing as a reader for companies in Brighton and London, most recently for the BBC’s Writers Room. A script editing workshop encouraged Maggie to start writing herself and her first screenplay was developed on an NFTS course before she began work on a spec television series.

Rachel Murrell – Upside Down

Synopsis: Megan auditions for an afterschool circus skills class to learn trapeze, but another student is determined to stop her.

Rachel Murrell is a scriptwriter specializing in preschool animation. Her credits include Little Princess, What’s the Big Idea? and Bob the Builder. Her work has been nominated for an award at the British Academy Children’s Awards and an International Emmy Kids’ Award.

Upside Down emerged from Rachel’s passion for contemporary circus, research at the National Centre for Circus Arts in Hackney, and interviews with practitioners of inclusive circus. Learning circus is all about emotional resilience, taking risks and building trust and so is the perfect setting for stories about teenagers’ lives.

Before becoming a writer, Rachel worked in drama development for Picture Palace Films and Red Rooster Television.







  • Ends –


For further information please contact Daniel Freeman or Edwina Boyd-Gibbins at Midas Public Relations on 0207 361 7860

edwina.boyd-gibbins@midaspr.co.uk / daniel.freeman@midaspr.co.uk



Notes to editors:



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, it is a unique 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 2018, the 47th Fair, will take place from 10 – 12 April 2018, Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the third year, with the book fair as the pivotal three-day event within a seven-day programme. For further information, please visit: www.londonbookfair.co.uk



The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit www.bafta.org/guru. For more, visit www.bafta.org.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *