BBC Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen are currently inviting applications from script writers for TV dramas. The groups will select two scripts for production, each with a budget of £150,000. They will be produced by a local production company and broadcast at Primetime on BBC One Northern Ireland in 2012. The deadline for scripts is February 14th, 2011.
A release form BBC Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen states that the groups are seeking: “Fresh, character-driven stories that portray contemporary Northern Ireland.” Applicants are also asked to suggest a TV drama within the constraints of a limited budget. Initially four scripts will be selected for development. From this, two successful scripts will be selected for production, each with a budget of £150,000 and these will be produced by a local production company and broadcast at primetime on BBC One Northern Ireland in 2012.
Stephen Wright, executive producer, BBC Northern Ireland commented on the competition, saying: "BBC Northern Ireland Drama has a reputation for providing audiences with great award-winning network drama – ‘Five Minutes Of Heaven’ and ‘Occupation’. Now, there is a unique opportunity to provide local audiences with the best new work from our local writers. We are delighted to be working on this initiative with Northern Ireland Screen and look forward to receiving entries. Hopefully, this will be the start of something new and exciting as we discover original writing talent."
Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, echoed Stephen’s point saying: "Our idea for Primetime was born out of our commitment to develop a dynamic and vibrant screen industry in Northern Ireland and we were delighted that BBC Northern Ireland recognised its potential and came on board. We look forward to working with them to unearth some gifted new writers and bring their talents to the screen."
Writers are asked to submit a completed first draft script for an hour-long TV drama, synopsis and a covering letter letting the groups know about any writing experience you have had to date to. Entries can be sent to Ursula Devine, Development Co-ordinator, 3rd Floor, Alfred House, 21 Alfred Street, Belfast BT2 8ED between now and Monday, February 14th at 5pm. The scheme is only open to Northern Ireland resident writers who have not had an original piece broadcast on TV in the English language.
More details can be found on the Northern Ireland Screen website at www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk.