Launching exciting new TV drama writer development programme

Press Release – Script to Screen


8 March 2018

Script to Screen Te Tari Tuhi Kupu a Whakaahua launches a brand new pilot programme to further develop distinctive writing talent in television drama. EPISODIC LAB AOTEAROA is the first programme of its kind in New Zealand.

“Globally, this century has seen an explosion of television storytelling. In New Zealand we have diverse talent coming through in the web sphere and the question is, where next? The Episodic Lab will increase the number of New Zealand writers – and the types of writers – creating longer form work that reaches the screen” says Script to Screen’s Executive Director Esther Cahill-Chiaroni.

“NZ On Air is supporting the Episodic Lab initiative as a way to encourage writers with fresh ideas that add to the range of television storytelling options. Better options for development was a key theme that came through the industry drama day we hosted last year,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“We hope to see great New Zealand
stories come through this initiative that win platform and financing support.” Writers and/or teams with a track record will compete for 8 places in the pilot Episodic Lab, where they will workshop their concepts with experienced television writer advisors from New Zealand, Australia and beyond. The programme starts with five immersive days working on story after which participants go on to receive follow up mentoring and support, including introductions to the executives of episodic television platforms, production houses and funders.

NZ streaming service Lightbox, announced earlier this year, their commitment to invest in local content and continued support of homegrown talent. Lightbox Head of Content Charlotte Hill commented, “As fellow lovers of TV storytelling, Lightbox is delighted to play a part in cultivating the next generation of New Zealand writing talent and fostering the important growth of NZ voices on screen. We are proud to support the inaugural Episodic Lab and applaud Script to Screen for developing this groundbreaking initiative.”

Script to Screen is a charitable trust with a strong track record providing high quality talent development for screenwriters, directors and producers. Esteemed international and local Episodic Lab advisors will be announced over the coming months. Applications will be open from late March until the end of April, and the five-day lab takes place in Auckland July 23-27. The EPIDOSIC LAB AOTEAROA is made possible thanks to generous support from NZ On Air, Lightbox, the New Zealand Film Commission and Images and Sound.

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