BAFTA, in conjunction with writing group Rocliffe, has put a call out for scripts from emerging comedy writers. The goal is to find work that can be showcased to television executives at two major international television festivals.
The BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, which has now been running for a few years, is open to British, UK-based comedy screenwriters who have not yet had a television series commissioned - although they may have broadcast writing credits.
The successful entries will be selected by an industry jury of comedy professionals from the UK and US. The judges for this year have not yet been announced, but last year's panel included Jennifer Saunders, Chris Addison, Vicki Pepperdine, Andrew Newman, Damon Beesley, John Morton, Kevin Cecil, Mark Freeland and Shane Allen.
For the first time, the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum will take place at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival (GEITF) in August, as well as for a third consecutive year at the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) in October.
The prize package in full is...
- Your work performed by professional actors at the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum showcase at the GEITF or the NYTVF. Audience members across the festivals will include representatives from BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Sky, Comedy Central, Sky, FOX, FX, VH1, MTV, IFC and major independent production companies.
- Feedback during the event from top TV industry guests - gaining vital tips and encouragement.
- One-to-one development mentoring sessions by top UK and US comedy commissioners and independent production companies.
- Pitch training.
- Travel and accommodation for the festival for which you are selected, with a festival pass.
- One-to-one meetings with top UK talent agents.
- Bespoke industry networking opportunities.
The writers who took part in last year's showcase received a very positive reception to their work. Writing partners Matthew Barry and Kayleigh Llewellyn say: "Winning BAFTA Rocliffe New York 2012 was akin to being awarded a Golden Ticket into the industry. It was the launching pad we needed to bring our project to the attention of the top comedy commissioners. Since returning from New York our script, Grey, has been optioned by Company Pictures and is currently in development with the BBC for a BBC One primetime series. We are also developing a second project with Objective Productions and have signed with a top literary agent. All of these opportunities were afforded to us because of BAFTA Rocliffe."
Meanwhile Sarah Courtauld has been hired as a writer on new BBC Three sketch project The Kerry Howard Show and has won a Hasbro Studios development deal with a children's TV concept, Buckle and Swash.
Jury Chair Andrew Newman says: "We encourage any budding comedy writer, whatever their background, to apply. Participants will continue the legacy of the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum which, for over 13 years now, has helped launch the careers of new writing talent."
Director of the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, Louise Benson adds: "The TV Festival is constantly seeking ways to identify and support new talent so I'm very proud to be partnering with BAFTA and Rocliffe. The scheme will join a suite of opportunities we provide for stars of the future and I can't wait to see the finalists' work in Edinburgh!"
The closing date for entries for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum is the 22nd May 2013.
Applicants must submit a ten page extract from their sitcom or sketch show for consideration. Each script will be considered for both events, albeit different writers may be selected for each event.
It should be noted that this is not a free contest to enter. It costs £40 to enter a hard copy of your script (posted or hand delivered) or £50 to enter via email (apparently it costs more to enter via email because they have to print your script several times).
Full application details and terms and conditions can be found at bafta.org