BAFTA Announces Call for Scripts from Emerging Comedy Screenwriters

BAFTA Announces Call for Scripts from Emerging Comedy Screenwriters

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and Rocliffe today announced a call for scripts from emerging comedy screenwriters for two BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase events. The successful writers will showcase their work for some of the biggest names in the UK and US television industry at two major international television festivals: in August the BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase returns to the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival (GEITF) for a second year; in October it will return to the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) for a fourth consecutive year.

Applications are open at 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. In 2013 the jury included Jennifer Saunders, Jessica Hynes, Caryn Mandabach, Andrew Newman, Margot Gavan Duffy, Jill Offman, Saskia Schuster, Matt King, Kevin Cecil and Kenton Allen.

BAFTA, with its branches in New York and in Scotland, and Rocliffe, are offering this opportunity in partnership with British Airways, GEITF and the NYTVF, and the chosen writers will receive:

• A BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase featuring professional actors performing their work in front of an industry audience at 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 television industry guests - gaining vital tips and encouragement. The 2013 NYTVF/BAFTA New York event was chaired by Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation);
• One-to-one development mentoring sessions by top UK and US comedy commissioners and independent production companies;
• A GEITF festival pass and/or a New York Television Festival 'Official Artist' pass;
• Pitch and networking training;
• Travel and accommodation for the festival for which they are selected;
• One-to-one meetings with top UK talent agents;
• Bespoke industry networking opportunities.

Last year's winning writers have built on their BAFTA Rocliffe success to develop their careers in the industry. Examples include writing pair Tony Cooke and Brona C. Titley whose script Nannies was showcased in New York in 2013 and has since been optioned by a UK production company. Cooke and Titley have also gained a development deal with VH1 for a reality TV show called Teen Time Machine and have been commissioned by BBC Comedy to write an original sitcom script for radio called Killer in Kristina. Brona C. Titley described the BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase experience as feeling "a bit like winning The Comedy lottery."

Writing pair Andrea Hubert and Ryan Cull, whose script, The Sickness, was showcased in Edinburgh last year, were offered a BBC development deal. They are currently working on a new sitcom as part of a development deal with Objective Productions. Hubert and Cull said: "Winning the BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase was instrumental in the development of our writing career; we've Gone from being aspirational writers to professional working ones. It has given us more opportunities and the chance to meet key industry contacts. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and we recommend it to anyone interested in comedy writing."

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