5 July 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
New screenwriters wanted for TV Comedy round of Screen Irelandís Spotlight Scheme
09 Dec 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Conleth Hill in Graham Norton's Holding.
Screen Ireland has announce applications are now open for the TV comedy round of Spotlight, Screen Irelandís flagship screenwriting talent scheme aimed at discovering and developing fresh and exciting new voices.

The 2022 Spotlight scheme will be run in smaller, themed rounds across specific creative disciplines, genres and formats. The first round for the scheme will focus on TV comedy.

Applications are encouraged from aspiring comedy writers with a demonstrable background and/or interest in comedy (stand-up, radio, short film, literature, and digital content) and a strong idea to develop as a TV pilot. The scheme is intended as an opportunity for new writers to develop a project with guidance and mentorship from leading industry figures at the start of their writing careers.

“A key objective in Screen Ireland’s new strategic plan, Building For A Creative Future, is the support and development of new and emerging creative talent, emphasising voices that represent the full diversity of modern Irish cultural life,” said Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland. “We are delighted to launch this new iteration of Spotlight, and to discover the next generation of Irish comedy screenwriters with the scheme.”

Up to 10 participants will be selected to develop a bible and pilot episode for a 30-minute TV comedy or comedy-drama series. Successful applicants will work with script editors and industry mentors for the duration of the programme. Funding awards of €10,000 for an individual or €12,000 for teams of two or more writers will be available.

Partnering with the newly established National Talent Academy for Film and Television, the new writers will take part in a structured programme, including a series of virtual webinars and masterclasses, as well as an industry networking event. Mentors and contributors on the programme will include screenwriters and producers of ITV’s Holding, Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Karen Cogan, and Extra Ordinary writer/director team Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Eimear Markey, Development Executive for Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, added: “The continued goal of the Spotlight scheme is to discover and empower a wide variety of new and aspiring screenwriters with original, authentic voices. We are delighted to open applications for this TV comedy round. Our goal is to find the freshest and funniest ideas with an emphasis on voices that are currently underrepresented.”

The deadline for submissions to Spotlight 2022: TV Comedy will be at 1pm on Monday, 10th of January, 2022.

Screen Ireland has stated that it is committed to developing projects, which are inclusive and representative of modern Ireland. As such, the organisation strongly encourages and is actively seeking applications from a diverse range of voices, particularly those from minority ethnic groups currently underrepresented in the screen industry in Ireland.

Please note, this scheme is targeted to new, emerging, and underrepresented voices with early stage comedy career backgrounds and a demonstrable ambition to work as a comedy writer. Screen Ireland strongly encourage submissions from applicants who have never applied to the organisation before and have no previous credits as a feature or television screenwriter.

You can find the full guidelines on the Spotlight New Writing Scheme and how to apply here.

Over Ä4.6m allocated by Creative Europe to Irish screen industry in 2021
Director Gary Lennon discusses Irish documentary Castro's Spies; currently on limited release in IFI
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