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New Zealand Writers Foundation UK Scholarship

Announcement of the British Council New Zealand/New Zealand Writers Foundation UK Scholarship

An exciting new scholarship created by the British Council New Zealand and the New Zealand Writers Foundation gives two local scriptwriters or developers the opportunity to spend six to eight weeks with two of the world's most successful film and television production companies: the UK's Working Title and Box TV.

Working Title is the UK's most successful film production company, responsible for producing Bridget Jones's Diary, Billy Elliot, Notting Hill, Fargo, Elizabeth and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Earlier this year The Observer commented that Working Title co-chairmen New Zealander Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner were the most powerful London-based film producers in history. No one in the British film industry has an international hit-making track record that comes close. Bevan believes the critical moment in the life cycle of a film is getting the script right. "Everyone thinks the big moment is when a film starts shooting but if you get the script right, then you get the cast right, you get the right people to produce it and shooting is just a process."

Box TV is one of the UK's most innovative and ambitious independent production companies, delivering high-impact and original projects that have both international and mass-market appeal. In its first two years it has produced over eight projects and is developing further projects with most of the top writers in the UK. Headed and founded by award-winning producer, Gub Neal, formerly head of drama at both Channel 4 and Granada Television, the Box TV staff include former commissioning editors and business affairs executives who between them have been responsible for some of the UK's most successful and significant dramas of the past decade, including Band of Gold, Queer as Folk, Moll Flanders and Shackleton. Neal established Box TV to create an environment in which some of Britain's top creative talents could work and produce television programmes of the highest calibre, quality and vision for markets around the world. The British Council New Zealand/New Zealand Writers Foundation UK Scholarship offers two exciting development opportunities for a period of approximately six to eight weeks in early 2003. The first is a place within Working Title's script development team, and the second is a place in the development arm of Box TV. The Scholarship was created to encourage professional and creative development in feature film and television scriptwriting and to encourage further opportunities for the recipient through an environment of cultural exchange.

Each recipient will be awarded a travel scholarship to the UK to the value of $7,500. The deadline for applications is Thursday 21 November.

British Council New Zealand promotes the sharing of knowledge and information, creating opportunities for, and contributing to, the development of people and organisations at all levels. Their work covers many activities, but focuses particularly on education and training, the arts and science, with the overall aim of building lasting relationships between the UK and New Zealand.

The New Zealand Writers Foundation is a joint project of the NZ Writers Guild and the NZ Film Commission that provides and promotes professional training, development and resources for New Zealand screenwriters. It has been established to foster excellence in storytelling through the creation of outstanding scripts.

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