7 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
14 emerging TV writers selected for Screen Ireland's flagship screenwriting scheme
28 Apr 2022 : Nathan Griffin
Screen Ireland Spotlight scheme.
Out of a record-breaking 300 applications, 14 successful writers have been selected for Screen Ireland’s mentored writing development scheme.

Spotlight is Screen Ireland’s flagship writing talent development scheme, which is aimed at discovering and developing original and underrepresented new voices.

The TV comedy round of the scheme, 11 writing teams - comprising 14 new and emerging screenwriters - will develop a bible and pilot episode screenplay for a 30 minute TV comedy or comedy-drama series.

The successful Spotlight projects and writers include Cabaret Cartel by Tania Notaro; Old Goose by Martin Angolo and Gerard Staunton; Stepping Out by Arianne Hutch; The Importance of Eyebrows by Darren McMahon; Paper by Diandra Xavier; C'mere to Me by Robert O'Sullivan; Waking Ireland by Melissa Nolan and Melanie Phillips; I'm the Boss by Lee-Loi Chieng; Good-Bi by Eleanor Rogers; The King of Tory Island by Shannon Welby; and Scouting For Boys by Allie O'Rourke and Matthew Tallon.

“We are delighted to congratulate the 11 successful writing teams selected for the TV Comedy round of Spotlight this year,” said Chief Executive of Screen Ireland, Désirée Finnegan. “We look forward to seeing the results from this year’s Spotlight writers, and are delighted to support them as they develop their craft alongside fostering connections with Irish and international industry.”

This year, the Spotlight Scheme has partnered with the newly established National Talent Academy for Film and Television, who will facilitate the structured development programme for the new screenwriters, 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, Extra Ordinary writer/director team Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, Barunka O’Shaughnessy (Motherland, Hunderby) David P. Davis (Industry, Electric Dreams, Doctor Who), Michael Zam (Feud: Bette and Joan), comedy producer Ana Garanito (In The Long Run), Motherland and This Way Up producer Clelia Mountford ,and The Dry writer and producer Nancy Harris.

The Spotlight Scheme was established in 2018 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. This round received over 300 applications, a significant increase on the 2020 scheme’s total of 195 applications.

“We are delighted to welcome this year’s Spotlight writers in TV Comedy, and to congratulate the finalists on what has been an incredibly competitive and difficult selection process,” said Screen Ireland’s Development Manager, Eimear Markey. “Out of 300 extremely strong applications, these 11 projects represent some of the funniest, freshest and most innovative voices from across Ireland. I would also like to thank our fantastic external consultants Tara Flynn, Pauline McLynn and Stephen Bradley, as well as Jennifer Smyth and Jade Murphy.”

Due to the high standard of applications this year, Screen Ireland will release a shortlist of projects that were not selected as finalists but came highly commended by the judging panel. This shortlist will also be accompanied by further details on the Spotlight: TV Comedy finalists, the first stage in connecting the projects to relevant producers, agents and industry professionals over the next six months.

To find out more about the previous year’s Spotlight 2020/2021 participants and projects that have been developed with the support of Screen Ireland, visit their digital showcase – here.

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