Six local screenwriters are a step closer to seeing their scripts become reality as the shortlist for MannIN Shorts’ 2014 screenplay competition has been selected by former Hollywood reader and author Julie Gray.
The shortlisted screenplays are ‘Battle of Ronaldsway’ by James Franklin; ‘Soul Funk Mix Tape’ by Adrian Hall; ‘The Three Legs of Diddy’ by Gary Tyrer; ‘Muck’ by John Craine; ‘Breathless’ by Shawn Sturnick and ‘Chips, Cheese n Gravy’ by Kevin Ford.
Three of the six projects will be made into short films this year by MannIN Shorts, the film training and production scheme for new and emerging film-makers in the Isle of Man. The completed films will be previewed at the Isle of Man Film Festival in September before being submitted to international film festivals.
Mrs Gray, the author of the acclaimed ‘Just Effing Entertain Me: A Screenwriter’s Atlas’, was greatly impressed by the quality of the entries: ‘I was absolutely thrilled at the creativity, originality and uniqueness that I saw in the scripts. The Isle of Man is a gold mine - Hollywood better watch out!’
The writers of the six screenplays, chosen from a field of 46 submitted to the contest, must now attach a producer and director to their projects before a production package is presented to a panel of judges in March. The panel will include representatives from the Arts Council and Isle of Man Film alongside professionals in the fields of directing, writing and producing.
Mrs Gray, who blogs for the Huffington Post and runs online courses in screenwriting through her website, added: ‘I always thrill when I read a good script and the sheer number of them in this competition blew my socks right off. This validates for me what I have long held - that Hollywood does not have the corner on creativity and, in fact, it is in places like the Isle of Man that we can find stories that are heartfelt, unique and meaningful.’
Commenting on the extremely high standard of work, MannIN Shorts’ Dave Armstrong said: ‘We’ve always been confident of the high levels of talent in the creative industries over here, but it’s brilliant to have our convictions confirmed by someone with such experience and industry credentials as Julie. We wish the best of luck to all the writers who entered the competition.’