Have been first long-listed for Enter the Pitch back in Autumn 2019, Jonny’s next up-coming film has been selected alongside seven other projects for the BFI NETWORK South West: New Writers Lab. Taking place over 3 consecutive months, the scheme works with Script Editor Kate Leys to develop early stage short ideas into completed treatment ready to share with producers and financiers.
Jonny’s project, currently being developed under the working title The Weight of Clay and set amidst a remote rural backdrop, depicts the response of a renowned marathon runner, who’s future becomes uncertain after suffering a miscarriage. The project, explores a wide range of themes, including the darker side of extreme sporting commitment, and first developed out of conversations Jonny and his mum had had about her experiences prior to having children, and their shared love of athletics.
The scheme is being run with script editor Kate Leys, who’s screenplay work extends across at all stages of development from first outline to pre-production. As well as working with screenwriters and filmmakers such as John MacLean, Michal Marzak, Alice Lowe, and Rungano Nyoni, she has been head of development at several companies including Film4 where she was part of the small commissioning team responsible for films including Trainspotting, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Orphans, East is East and Girl with a Pearl Earring.
The other seven selected filmmakers include Eva Edo, who’s work has been commissioned through the Alfred Fagon Award and Routes Collective, and awards from the likes of the Royal Society of Literature; Hyunju Lee, who studied at the Korea National University of Arts before being selected for her first English language short film Midnight Drive as part of the 2020 New Creatives scheme; Isla Badenoch, who’s background in documentary has seen her recognised as part of BFI Network x BAFTA Crew and the BIFA Emerging Filmmaker Springboard; Jason Barker, who’s feature documentary A Deal with the Universe was the centre piece screening for the BFI Flare festival; Kam Gandhi, who’s gained numerous commissions and recognition for her writing on the experience of being black, female and British and giving voice to the outsiders of society; Mena Fombo who co-founded factual and live action production company Blak Wave Productions to tell stories centred on the black girl experience; and Owain Astles who’s work is underpinned by community-led stories of empowerment, connection and resistance and has been recognised through the BBC Arts New Creatives scheme.
The scheme concludes in July and brings together this collective of writers and directors to workshop collaboratively, developing their ideas in preparation for seeks production funding. The full press release from Film Hub South West can be read here.