Wellcome Trust, BFI launch new screenwriting prize
by Naman Ramachandran
18/06/2012 - The Wellcome Trust has launched a new annual screenwriting prize, in association with the BFI Film Fund. The Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Prize aims to encourage high-quality feature films inspired by biology and medicine, from genetics and infectious diseases to consciousness and mental health.
Judges will include representatives from the BFI and Film4 and will shortlist 5-10 entrants. The winner gets a £20 000 cash prize to develop their idea to first draft, and will receive support from the Wellcome Trust to connect them with world-leading scientists and to help identify commercial partners and producers. The BFI will arrange access to professional development executives to help them develop their screenplay.
Lizzie Francke, Senior Development and Production Executive, BFI Film Fund, says, “Science in film is by no means restricted to science fiction or science-inspired biopics. We want to hear from screenwriters with bold, innovative projects that draw inspiration from science and medicine to tell stories that challenge and entertain audiences.”
Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, says, “Science and medicine have inspired some of the most memorable, and often challenging, films in the history of cinema, from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Inception to Blade Runner and Memento. These are films that question what it is to be human or even just to be ‘normal’, that express the hopes and fears of society towards scientific progress.”