Scripted Ink, Screentime and Nine reveal winners of drama program

Scripted Ink, Screentime and Nine have named Jacklyn Bassanelli, Jessica Brookman and Matt Ford the recipients of the 2018 Hothouse drama program.

The inaugural program seeks to provide three screen writers with the opportunity to participate in a six week program, aimed at developing potential drama projects.

The winners: Jessica Brookman, Matt Ford and Jacklyn Bassanelli

Selected members of the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways program were selected to apply, as well as experienced writers of one-hour dramas and narrative comedies. At the completion of a brainstorm, the writers will pitch the drama concepts to Nine and one will be chosen for active development.

Bassanelli has previously worked on Wentworth season seven and Evergreen, Brookman has worked on shows including Nowhere Boys, The Secret Daughter and Neighbours, while Ford has worked on shows such as Love Child and House Husbands.

As part of the program, each writer will create new stories, with a view for at least one to be optioned for full script development.

Tim Pye, Scripted Ink’s head of development, said he was excited to provide career pathways for screenwriters.

“We can’t wait to see how their projects develop over the course of this initiative,” Pye said.

Kerrie Mainwaring, Screentime’s head of production – scripted, said the collaboration between her business, Scripted Ink and Nine, was important to support new ideas, while Nine’s co-head of drama, Andy Ryan, said it was important to develop the next generation of writers.

The investment in new talent comes as the commercial free to air networks attempt to produce more local drama. In the last year, the commercial TV networks and the ABC commissioned 36 titles worth $295m, down from the previous year’s $321m on 45 titles. The free to air TV sector is still the largest commissioner of Australian drama.


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