Winner of Inaugural Idris Elba/Lionsgate UK Screenwriting Contest Announced (Project Put Into Development)
Photo Credit: Idris Elba - LUTHER
Television

Winner of Inaugural Idris Elba/Lionsgate UK Screenwriting Contest Announced (Project Put Into Development)

Idris Elba
Idris Elba – “Luther” / BBC America

In June, Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures production banner teamed up with Lionsgate UK to launch a screenwriting competition for UK residents who want to get into the TV drama series writing business.

Named the “Write to Green Light initiative,” the contest aims to discover new voices for television in the UK, and will draw from a pool of UK resident writers with their own original material.

For the inaugural edition of the contest, 10 scripts were shortlisted from all entries received, from which three finalists scripts were selected for a live reading in London. The winning script, which was announced at an event last night, will see the winning writer receive a paid option with Elba’s Green Door and Lionsgate UK to develop their script as a series for production.



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Elba, along with Lionsgate UK CEO Zygi Kamasa, were members of a panel of industry experts who judge the entries.

The competition was/is open to both experienced writers with professional credits and writers with no professional credits at all.

Announced last night, Elba’s company and Lionsgate UK will develop a drama series based on the winning script, “Sin of God” from writer Matthew Kirton, the up-and-comer who won the competition.

“Sin of God” tells the story of a man with a dark past who comes back from the dead. In addition to seeing his script developed as a series, and as part of his winnings, Kirton will ink a development deal with Elba’s Green Door shingle.

Kirton was announced the winner at an event held at London’s Savoy Hotel in which a section of his work, and that of the two other finalists, was recreated live for an industry audience.



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“The caliber of talent on show this evening has been outstanding, and we are grateful that so many key decision makers and influential members of the television industry came and offered their support,” Elba said last night. “In my opinion all three scripts are worthy of development and we can’t wait to start working with Matthew on ‘Sin of God.’ We are excited to be partnering with Lionsgate UK on ‘Write to Green Light’ to search out and support new TV voices. We are proud to support new and diverse talent at Green Door Pictures and look forward to discovering fresh writing voices, through this competition, to add to the family.”

The other two project finalists were “Cleo,” described as an urban take on the story of Cleopatra, from writer Lauren Sequeira; and a mass murderer story “We are Your Children,” from writer Ryan Brown.

No word on whether the other finalists will receive consolation prizes of any kind; also no ETA on “Sin of God” as a potential series.

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