Green Door Pictures and Lionsgate have announced the winner of their popular Write to Greenlight competition at an event last night at London’s Savoy Hotel
Writer Matthew Kirton won the competition, which bagged him a paid development option with Lionsgate and Idris Elba’s production company Green Door Pictures to develop his script into a full TV series.
Kirton was one of three finalists whose work made it past a panel of industry experts, including The Wire star and Green Door CEO Elba, Lionsgate UK’s Zygi Kamasa, literary agent Amanda Davis, and a number of others.
Kamasa, CEO of Lionsgate UK and Europe, told the RTS that the final three scripts had all shown originality beyond those of their competitors.
The finalists Matthew Kirton, Lauren Sequeria and Ryan Brown introduced extracts of their work which were performed in front of an audience of industry professionals.
Kirton’s script Sin of God imagines a near-future Britain, where John Monaghan is found guilty of murder and executed by the state. 15 days later he drags himself out of the grave and back to life.
Writer Matthew Kirton introduced his script by considering the question: what would happen if this amazing second chance was afforded to the person who was the least deserving.
The Write to Green Light competition is the brainchild of Elba and Kamasa, in an effort to develop new UK writing talent. “At the heart of this initiative is our joint desire to source new and exciting talent in the UK and look at different ways we can work with, develop, and support them” Kamasa said.
The Luther actor added “I am the product of someone else’s dedication to looking for new talent… so my company [Green Door Pictures] is deeply entrenched in doing the same for others and finding new talent.”
“So everyone in the room, thank you so much for supporting this initiative. You could be anywhere in the world right now but you are here with me” he joked.
Over 250 entries were received for the competition, with half of those coming from unrepresented and unproduced writers. Kirton is one of those writers.
Although only Kirton wins the development option from Green Door Pictures and Lionsgate, both Elba and Kamasa predicted a bright future for the finalists, with Elba adding “I think all the writing is incredible and will probably end up being developed.”
Lauren Sequira’s script Cleo, a modern retelling of the Cleopatra story in a London gang setting, has already earned her a writing job on Skins’ writer Brian Elsley’s upcoming series Kiss Me First.
Finalist Ryan Brown’s script We Are Your Children is a dramatic imagining of a real-life murder spree that look place in San Francisco between 1974-1976. He told the RTS that he had taken a trip out to California to research the setting of the script, describing the city as as much a character of the story as the characters themselves.
2016 was the first year that Green Door and Lionsgate have run the competition, however according to Zygi Gamasa, it may not be the last, as the Lionsgate executive said that he is keen to repeat the successes of the programme.