22 Jan 2022

New comedy screenwriters sought for Screen Ireland’s spotlight scheme

Applications are encouraged from aspiring comedy writers

Extra Ordinary

Will Forte and Maeve Higgins in Extra Ordinary, directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman

Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland has announced that applications are now open for the television comedy round of Spotlight, Screen Ireland’s 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.

Désirée Finnegan, chief executive of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, said: “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. 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 ten 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.

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

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

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