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Tale of island life wins scriptwriting prize

Tale of island life wins scriptwriting prize

A feature film script set on an unnamed island in the Arctic has won film writer Colin Hodson the annual David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize.

His script Life on the Island follows KB, an elderly trapper on a bleak arctic island, as he struggles for the survival of his way of life against a community of scientists trying to clear the island of introduced species.

A Masters student in the Creative Writing programme at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), Mr Hodson received his $2,000 prize at a function at the Embassy Theatre last night. The annual prize is awarded to the best script written during the Master’s course.

Mr Hodson said he had been hoping to win, but knew he was up against good competition, having peer-reviewed the scripts of his classmates throughout the year.

Victoria Scriptwriting Programme Director Ken Duncum was highly impressed with the script’s location and central character.

“The script vividly depicts a distant location and isolated lifestyle at once lyrical and down-to-earth, with flashes of humour lightening the grim realities of life in an inhospitable environment.

“It immerses us in the daily life of a memorable central character, both a loner and lonely, curmudgeonly but also capable of friendship and love.

“As it looks increasingly likely that KB will be uprooted from the only home he has known, our fears for him grow and our heart goes out to him. Both KB and those he views as interlopers must find a way to come to terms with each other.

“This is writing of subtlety and depth, and a timely reminder that no man is an island.”

Mr Hodson says that the central character began as a blog on MySpace. “It was a metaphor for my own feeling of isolation at the time, as I had just returned from a year and a half of living overseas and it took me a while to reconnect to New Zealand.”

An experienced director, Mr Hodson has begun to pitch his script and hopes to secure funding to turn it into a feature film, with himself as director.

Funded through the Victoria University Foundation, the David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize was first established by the Embassy Theatre Trust and is now funded by arts philanthropist David Carson-Parker.


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