Euroscript is run as a cooperative, and by working writers who all juggle a number of projects related to the industry. As anyone who has been on one of our courses, or received Script Feedback from us knows, we are dedicated to helping writers write, across all stages of experience. When I told the Board in 2010 that I was co-founding the UnderWire Festival with Gemma Mitchell, and asked for Euroscript’s support, the full team of Directors agreed without hesitation. UnderWire’s goal, to support female filmmaking talent, is something Euroscript respects and believes is a point of urgency for the industry. It is imperative that screenplays reflect all varieties of experience and viewpoints and unfortunately the rather depressing statistic that only 15% of feature films are written by women, shows that we are a long way from seeing a cross-section of society reflected on our screens. Therefore the opportunity to support female talent working in the short film form, where writers are able to experiment and perfect their craft before moving into feature screenplays, has been a brilliant experience for Euroscript to be involved with.
As the festival has grown in scale, Euroscript have made sure to lend increasing support, and delivered 2014’s Comedy Writers’ training day in collaboration with LOCO, with Charles Harris and Paul Bassett Davies running sessions as part of the day’s events. In addition to providing a year’s worth of access to our training courses to each year’s Best Screenwriting award winner, we also love to be at the festival each year to meet new writers through the Script Clinic. Those who have met us there will have received feedback from myself, Paul Gallagher, Theresa Boden and Naz Sadoughi among others. It is exceptionally thrilling to meet the new voices coming into the industry, and the diversity and skill of UnderWire writers is incredibly encouraging.
In 2013 we had the massively enjoyable task of selecting an unproduced short film script that would win a table-read by acting students from the Central School of Speech and Drama. We were extremely impressed that winning script “Wings” was Catherine Wignall’s first script, and it has been a pleasure to keep in touch with her as she applies to film school and works on bigger screenplay projects.
Through the judging process we’ve had to make some difficult decisions over the past few years. The standard is really high, and on more than one occasion, things have become extremely close to call. Just to recall Susan Everett’s astonishing “Mother Mine” in 2010 and Francesca Fowler’s gripping “Pitfall” still leaves an impression of admiration and excitement, and it has been brilliant to see both of them, and other nominees and winners at various networking and industry events over the years.
Screenwriting is a peculiar craft all of its own. Short film, also requires particularly skilful handling. By acknowledging and rewarding female screenwriting talent in short film, UnderWire is accomplishing a rare and important mission – discovering unheard voices, and amplifying them. We can’t wait to see this year’s submissions!
Submission deadline is 31st July.
THE ONLY PLACE TO TALK ABOUT THE CRAFT OF SCRIPTWRITING.