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Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education


New Writer Focus 2020-2021

Northern Ireland Screen is now seeking feature film and TV drama scripts to develop for its New Writer Focus scheme 2020-2021.

Who can apply?

Only Northern Ireland resident writers new to feature film and long-form drama are eligible to apply. For the avoidance of doubt “writers new to feature film and long-form drama” in this context means a writer without a writing credit on a produced feature film or long-form drama.

This is a script development call; a producer and director are not essential at this stage.

What are we looking for?

  1. Compelling stories with a unique or fresh perspective.
  2. Ambitious authored voices.
  3. Stories with strong character journeys
  4. A range of art-house and commercial stories
  5. Feature film projects only
  6. Projects need not be limited by budget or genre.

What will scheme involve?

New Writer Focus will have 2 major components to the 8 month development scheme:

  • Writers Room
  • Individual project and writer development

How many projects will be selected?

Up to 4 scripts will be chosen for development between August 2020 and April 2021

The selected writers will be eligible to apply for an individual writer award.

Will the scheme involve production?


However, Northern Ireland Screen intends to fund one first feature each year.

**Projects from the New Writer Focus scheme will be eligible for this production funding. Accordingly, if you wish for your project to be considered for production it must be achievable within the constraints of a budget of circa £350,000.**

Please note: Northern Ireland Screen reserves the right to choose to fund or not fund productions at its sole discretion.

How to Apply:

You can apply with a first draft of the feature script you wish to develop through the scheme.

Applying with a first draft of the script you wish to develop

You must include:

  1. The first draft of the script you wish to develop.
    (Screenplays must be in a standard industry script format in Courier 12 point font.)
  2. A document containing:
  • A logline
  • 1 paragraph synopsis of the story
  • A 1 page story outline in Courier 12 point font

You can access our online application system here. Should you require an application form in an alternate format, please contact Ursula Devine, Development Executive at [email protected]. Please note, if this is your first time using this system, you will be prompted to create a profile. Once registered, the system will retain your information for any future applications.

Deadline for receipt: 6pm, Thursday 28th May 2020

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