Bristol Old Vic, the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and Newcastle’s Live Theatre are among five regional partners joining with Creative England to launch a new writing scheme.
The programme, called iWrite, will nurture 18 emerging writers from genres including theatre, television and literature and develop their writing skills for film.
Over eight months, the partner organisations, which also include Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Writers’ Centre in Norwich, will provide a development programme for the writers, who will work with the regional partners as well as film industry professionals.
The participants will also be commissioned to write a short film during the process, at the end of which three of the films will be professionally produced by Creative England.
Bristol Old Vic chief executive Emma Stenning said: “With Creative England and our colleague theatre companies, we are working together to provide a critical space where new creative conversations can be instigated between those who write for theatre and those who make feature films. This exchange of ideas can only make our creative industry ecology even more robust, vital and internationally acclaimed.”
The first cohort of writers include Charlene James, who recently won the George Devine award, Emteaz Hussain, Theo Scholefield and Lee Mattinson.
Paul Ashton, senior film executive for Creative England, said: “Supporting regional voices at a key point in their career is at the heart of Creative England’s mission. This partnership is the perfect recipe to discover, inspire and support the next generation of writers for the big screen, and I can’t wait to see what they create along the way.”