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Script Junction heads to Lagos

  • Script Junction group at dinner

The Script Junction group's welcome dinner at Bogobiri in Lagos

November 2015

Our screenwriting lab Script Junction has kicked off its second workshop week, this time in Lagos, Nigeria.

Part of our UK/NG season of cultural collaboration, the programme aims to help 6 Nigerian and 6 UK screenwriters develop their skills as well as to foster cultural exchange between the film industries in the UK and Nigeria.

The workshop is a partnership between British Council, National Film and Television School (NFTS), Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), The Nigerian Film Institute (NFI), and Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF).

After a great week in Edinburgh during EIFF in June (read blog here), the participants have now reunited in Lagos during AFRIFF, one of the continent’s most important film festivals.

At the end of this week’s workshop, participants will pitch their ideas to an industry expert panel at the festival, and one will be awarded the ‘Script Junction Best Pitch Prize.’

The pitching session is part of AFRIFF’s British Council Day on Nov 13, which also includes a panel about bridging the gap between film and theatre, collaboration opportunities between the UK and Nigerian film industries.

Script Junction is aimed at promising writers who are early in their professional careers, working on scripts of any setting or genre.

The 6 UK writers selected are alumni of either the NFTS’s MA Screenwriting programme or previous EIFF talent labs. They are:

  • Shola Amoo with his script Dome
  • Maurice Caldera with his script In An Ideal World
  • Sam Firth with her script Wolf Suit
  • Jennifer Majka with her script She Sells Sea Shells
  • Matthew Jankes with his script Stuck In Dundalk [working remotely]
  • Russell Davidson with his script EDM (working title)  [working remotely]

The six Nigerian writers, selected after a competitive open call, are:

  • Kenneth Gyang with his script Belly of the Atlantic
  • Abiodun Kassim with his script Big Deal
  • Nicolette Ndigwe with her script The Surrogate
  • CJ Obasi with his script Afrikan Dream
  • Pearl Osibu with her script Wedding Blues
  • Emil Garuba with his TV pilot script Incorruptibles

Our tutors are course leader Rob Ritchie, former head of the screenwriting department at the NFTS, Ishaku Dashon Gamut from the NFI, and industry consultant Lorianne Hall.

In addition to the workshops, the group has been lucky to see some work by the participants – attending Abiodun Kassim’s play Band Aid at the Terrakulture arts venue on Sunday, and on Monday night supporting CJ Obasi for the world premiere of his second feature, O-Town, at AFRIFF. Emil Garuba also wrote the script for AFRIFF closing film Road To Yesterday.

“We’re delighted to convene the group again in Lagos, which is such an exciting and dynamic city to have as a backdrop to inspire the creativity of all these writers as they thinking about how to revise their first draft scripts,” said Wendy Mitchell, film programme manager at the British Council.

“I’m so impressed by the group dynamic, with all the writers not only making friendships but really delving into each other’s work to offer collaborative advice. Thanks to the help of our partners AFRIFF, EIFF, NFI and NFTS, these 12 writers have really been given a chance to expand their cultural horizons, learn more about the film industries in the UK and Nigeria, and get some smart work done on their own scripts.”

Script Junction is part of the British Council’s UK/NG season of cultural collaboration which takes place during 2015 and 2016, and which will feature more than 30 projects and 80 events across the creative sectors. More information on the season can be found at the season website.

Stay tuned next week for a blog from Maurice Caldera, one of our UK writers, about his experience visiting Lagos for the first time.