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Selected Irish writers named for Screen Skills Ireland's LA Writers' Room Placements and Mentorship 2019
10 Oct 2019 : Nathan Griffin
Dathai Keane, Mary McGuckian and Nick Kelly.
Screen Skills Ireland has announced that the writers for the LA Writers’ Room placements have been chosen.

The aim of the placements is to provide Irish writers with an opportunity to experience a U.S. TV Writers’ Room.

Taking place from 19th – 26th October, the writers will participate in real ongoing writers’ rooms based in Los Angeles.

The selected writers are:

  • Award-winning writer and director Nick Kelly (Shoe, The Drummer And The Keeper). Shoe was nominated for an Oscar and The Drummer And The Keeper has won 18 festival awards. Nick also runs an independent writers room in Dublin, The Story Works, and has a feature film in development.
  • IFTA-winning writer and director for TV and film, Dathaí Keane (An Klondike, Finky). Dathaí has developed two docu-drama series sold internationally to Netflix and Amazon Prime (The Irish Mob, Easter 1916) and has experience as an editor. He has a number of films and TV drama series in development.
  • Award-winning writer Mary McGuckian, who has worked extensively in independent film (The Price of Desire, The Girl from Mogadishu). Mary has also enjoyed a successful career in theatre (The Midnight Court, Words Upon the Windowpane, The Bridge of San Luis Rey) and she is currently developing episodic content focused on the female gaze.

The writers’ rooms include Supergirl, a superhero series from DC Comics with showrunners Jessica Queller (Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl) and Robert Rovner (Private Practice, Crossing Jordan); and S.W.A.T, a crime drama series on the CBS network with showrunners Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Timeless) and Aaron Rashon Thomas (The Get Down, Sleepy Hollow).

As part of the placements, the writers will attend mentorship meetings throughout the week, which include writer/producer Javier Grillo-Marxauch (Lost, Dark Crystal Age Of Resistance, Cowboy Bebop); and showrunner Mike Royce (One Day At A Time, Everybody Loves Raymond, Men Of A Certain Age, Enlisted) at Sony Studios.

Speaking about the placements, Des Doyle, Director and organiser said:

“These placements offer Irish writers a unique opportunity see the processes inside U.S. writers’ rooms first hand, and meet the talented writers and showrunners behind successful U.S. TV shows. This exploration of the process of storytelling for TV will be valuable to the writers as they take forward their own projects.”

Gráinne Bennett, Skills Development Executive, Screen Skills Ireland said:

“Following the success of last year’s placements, we are delighted to offer three more talented Irish writers an insight into U.S. writers’ rooms. We hope the guidance they receive from experienced industry writers and showrunners will benefit them as they take the new step in their exciting careers.”




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