In November, six Irish writers will have their work showcased at The Belfast Media Festival. We’re delighted to reveal the writers shortlisted for the 2016 Northern Ireland Comedy Writers Event are:
- KAREN QUINN ‘BAKERSVILLE’
- DAVE KINGHAN ‘MOVING FORWARD’
- ANDREW PARKHILL ‘CHIEFTANS’
- JANINE COBAIN ‘STEPS’
- MATTHEW McDEVITT ‘LOCK IN’
- JAMES GRANLEESE ‘APARTMENTALISED’
Deciding on the final six scripts was extremely difficult. We had a very large number of entries and the overall quality was incredibly high. Three experienced judges came on board to help us. Assessing the scripts was a real challenge but we finally found our six. We hope people really enjoy seeing them staged at the Belfast Media Festival.
The six shortlisted writers will now be teamed with mentors who will help them adapt their work for the live reading. We’ll be staging abridged versions of the scripts. We can’t wait to start the casting process and bring the scripts to life.
Industry interest is expected to be high. The project and event are funded by the HETV Levy. The BBC Writers Room, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Comedy are already involved and we are anticipating support from Northern Ireland Screen. The Belfast Comedy Writers group has also been incredibly supportive of the event, encouraging local writers to get involved. Members of the BCW will be helping throughout, as will the BBC Academy.
Apart from the staged readings, Grand Scheme Media and Creative Skillset will be staging two related training events for Irish writers. Mark and Graham will be in Belfast on the 7th and 8th of October running a free to attend two day session on Creating Comedy for the Screen.
Then Drama expert Philip Shelley will host a two day training programme on the art of Script Editing and Developing TV Drama on November 15th and 16th.
We look forward to working with the writers, running our training sessions and seeing the shortlisted scripts on stage. We have a very busy couple of months ahead and would like to thank all our partners for helping get this fantastic project off the ground.