The winner of South West Screenwriting competition announced
Oscar-nominated screenwriter chooses winner of South West Screenwriting Competition
Tuesday 16 October 2007, Bristol, UK
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Bill Nicholson (‘Gladiator’, ‘Shadowlands’, ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’) today announced Patrick Evans as the winner of South West Screen’s ‘Screenwriter Development Competition’.
129 budding writers from the South West of England region submitted screenplays for the competition which offered a cash prize of £3,000 and mentoring from Bill Nicholson to develop a feature-length script with commercial potential.
Launched at the Cannes Film Festival back in May, the competition aimed to find the region’s brightest screenwriting talent. Entries were shortlisted down with the help of industry experts and the final decision was made by Bill Nicholson himself.
‘I read the shortlisted screenplays, and was thrilled by the sheer exuberance of imagination on display. The range of subject matter is awe-inspiring. In most cases the action, the dialogue, and the visual pleasures are all of a very high order…
The winning screenplay benefitted from a simple powerful idea that was sustained throughout the plot; as well as a richly researched setting. ‘White Elephants’ delivers a dynamic central relationship and a thriller action plot against a background of contemporary political relevance. I now look forward to working with Patrick Evans on maximising the emotional impact of the wonderful story he has created.’
Originally from Gloucestershire, winning screenwriter Patrick Evans is a graduate of University College Falmouth’s Professional Writing programme and now lives in Penryn, Cornwall.
‘I’m delighted to have won the competition – it’s a fantastic opportunity which I feel extremely fortunate to take up. I’m very much looking forward to working with someone of Bill Nicholson’s inspirational talent and experience on developing the script to the next stage. I think the kind of support offered by organisations like South West Screen is absolutely invaluable as an incentive to writers and filmmakers in the region.’
About White Elephants
Set against the backdrop of corruption in the Nigerian oil industry, White Elephants tells the story of a father and teenage daughter torn apart by time, re-united in desperate circumstances and forced to re-discover what it means to love. Kidnapping, industrial espionage and a life-or-death chase across a beautiful landscape devastated by greed pull our heroine and her father toward a tragic denouement that only their belief in each other can help them avoid.
Caroline Norbury, Chief Executive of South West Screen, explained:
‘The competition came about as part of our commitment to nurturing local talent. We saw it as a way to not only develop one exceptional writer but also find a pool of talent in the South West who we can help to support through advice and mentoring.
A huge thank you to Bill for agreeing to be involved –we are indebted to him. We wish Patrick the best of luck with ‘White Elephants – he clearly has the potential to succeed and winning the competition is testament to his talent.’