Olivia Colman’s South of the River and Sister have announced the return of their Screenshot competition that seeks out emerging comedy writer-performers.

Funded by South of the River and Sister, the scheme provides successful applicants with the opportunity to develop their original idea from stage to screen.

Longlisted candidates will be invited to present their projects to a judging panel including Olivia Colman and industry experts including BBC Head of Comedy Tanya Qureshi and Sky Commissioning Editor Tilusha Ghelani (Bloods, Funny Woman, Breeders) and representatives from South of the River and Sister.  Further judges will be confirmed shortly.

At least one candidate will receive a script commission to work with either or both development teams at South of the River and Sister to advance and hone their project for the small screen.

Five shortlisted candidates will also receive a contribution towards the development or budget of their next live theatrical show.

The inaugural SCREENSHOT received over 600 entrants in 2021. These were whittled down to the 13 finalists who performed at a live showcase where  Jenna Al-Ansari fought off stiff competition with her one woman show Protect and Survive. Al-Ansari, runners up Dawn Sievewright and Brennan Reece, and a number of other finalists are all currently in active development on a number of projects with SOTR and SISTER.

SCREENSHOT 2023 is open to applications from UK-based comedy writer-performers who have not previously had an original project produced for television, film or streaming service. Applicants interested in developing that project for screen will be invited to provide a 5-minute video showcasing their project, together with a written personal statement.

South of the River/Olivia Colman – ‘We love nothing more than discovering new voices.  And we are passionate about live storytelling – it’s where most of us started!  To be able to combine those is a joy, and the last final was extraordinary – hilarious and career-affirming for performers and judges alike. We have adored working with and supporting the amazing and varied talent we discovered then.  And we are delighted to be supporting a fresh batch of brilliant writer-performers – and giving our finalists the opportunity to let rip in front of the best in the business.’

SISTER Joint Creative Director of Scripted and Exec Producer Naomi de Pear says:  ‘Sister has seen great success in bringing writer-performer led shows such as This is Going to Hurt, Flowers and The Bisexual to the screen, and we know from last time that this scheme can be a brilliant outlet for the incredible talent that this country’s live comedy and theatre scene produces.”

Tanya Qureshi and Tilusha Ghelani say  – “We are delighted to be returning to the judging panel for this brilliant competition.  We had a ball last time – it was a hilarious and heart-warming day of live performance and new talent.  We can’t wait to see what treasures this year’s competition unearths”

Applications are now open and must be received by 11th April 2023. To enter and for full application criteria please view our website: www.southoftheriverpictures.com/screenshot

Olivia Colman Photo Credit – Dillon Bryden


Jon Creamer

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