“Women writers account for less than 14% of all drama and comedy currently written for prime time TV”*figures released as part of the Writers Guild of Great Britain Equality Writes research in May 2018.
New company Thousand Films today launches a TV script initiative for women writers to bridge the huge gap in the industry by connecting talent with established producers.
Supported by Sid Gentle Films Ltd, the production company behind Golden Globe winning Killing Eve and ITV smash hit The Durrells founded by BAFTA award-winning drama producer Sally Woodward Gentle, Thousand Films has been set up to connect new writers with producers. The initiative is also supported by the National Film and Television School and the Edinburgh TV Festival.
Current industry figures show that only 14% of prime-time dramas and 11% of comedy is being written by women. The Thousand Films competition will offer women writers over the age of 16 in the UK and Ireland, who are currently unrepresented by an agency, the chance to submit a pilot script in either drama or comedy.
Shortlisted scripts will be judged by a panel of industry experts and writers will be introduced to the industry at the Edinburgh TV Festival in August 2019. The prize package also includes delegate passes, accommodation and travel to the Festival. Thousand Films will make offers to option shortlisted scripts and will support the writers with training, mentoring and tailored development plans to introduce them to the rigours of writing professionally, and to help progress their scripts and nurture their talent. After the Thousand Films training programme Sid Gentle Films Ltd will work with a selection of the writers on their original ideas or on other projects on the Sid Gentle development slate.
“The television industry is rightly setting a course to correct the under representation of women writers. Sid Gentle wants to take action in addressing this and our mission is to not only kick-start the careers of talented writers, but to add fresh voices to the industry at large. We hope this competition helps to unearth the incredible talent that we know is out there.”Sally Woodward Gentle, Executive Producer and Founder of Sid Gentle Films Ltd