Script Lab 2022 Participants
Meet the Writers selected for our latest talent development programme

Headshots of the 11 writers taking part in Script Lab 2022Headshots of the 11 writers taking part in Script Lab 2022

Introducing the Script Lab class of 2022

For our 2022 edition of Script Lab, we teamed up with Aesthetica Short Film Festival to find 20 writers to take part in a 2 day residential at the festival, after which 10 of them will be selected to move onto the development programme. We’re very excited to announce the 10 writers on the programme.

Our class of 2022 will embark on a 3-month script development journey, turning an early-stage idea for a short film and converting it into a polished script with the support of industry mentors. We cannot wait to see how their projects evolve over the coming months.

Alex Oates

Alex is a Northumberland-based writer, his first credit was on TV/online drama E20 for the BBC where he wrote the pilot episode and episodes on subsequent series. Alex then took part in the Old Vic New Voices 24 hour plays and Time Warner Ignite program. His first play FAN FICTION was workshopped with Russell Tovey, Iwan Rheon and Rebekah Ryan. Alex’s triple offie nominated play SILK ROAD was a critical success at Edinburgh Fringe and Vault Festival before transferring for a four-week run at Trafalgar Studios. He’s had his work performed with Silent Uproar at Hull Truck, New Diorama, Live Theatre Newcastle, Bolton Octagon and Southwark Playhouse. His work has also been long listed for the Bruntwood prize, in 2016 and 2022 . He was nominated for Most Promising Playwright at The Off West End Awards for his play ALL IN A ROW. His radio play for BBC Radio 4 OUR LIAM OF LOURDES was pick of the week when it aired in 2019, his recent short film MORTAL was highly commended by Sunderland Film Festival 2022.

Charlie Parkinson Sheen

Charlie Parkinson Sheen is a writer/ director from Lancaster, who began his career as a composer and sound artist – touring across North America and Europe – before transitioning into filmmaking. He began creating experimental films to accompany his sound design, with early commissions shown at MoMA, NYC and the National Gallery of Art, Vilnius. His film work combines sound-driven experimental techniques with psychological, impressionistic drama.

Clodagh Chapman

Clodagh Chapman is a writer and director based in Manchester. Her work for stage includes Ladyfriends (Camden People’s Theatre), LOB (Contact Theatre & UK Tour), and butterfly (VAULT Festival), dubbed “a brilliant show full of heart” [Guardian]. In film, her debut short played in competition at BAFTA-qualifying festivals and saw her nominated for the Rising Star Award at Women X Film Festival. Currently, she is preparing to take Ladyfriends on tour in Spring 2023, and developing a new short film with producer Daljinder Johal.

Fereshteh Mozaffari

Fereshteh, originally from Iran, is a writer and director. With a background in political journalism, her work explores the relationship between arts and activism. She has published short stories and plays in English and Persian and toured her autobiographical shows in Bristol and Manchester. Fereshteh has produced a few documentaries about migrant people and their influence on English culture as CD of Sheba Arts.

Kate Driver

Kate Driver is a Writer/Director from Durham. She studied Film at University where she began writing scripts and working on short films. Kate’s work often looks at social issues, and she has a particular interest in exploring relationships through familiar and sometimes uncomfortable societal issues. Working with Film Hub North is Kate’s first experience outside of University and she is thrilled to be taking part in the 2022 Script Lab.

Joshua Boultwood-Neale

Joshua is a freelance writer and script editor from York. His past writing has encompassed social satire and politically charged drama, and he is looking to demonstrate tonal range and more dedicated character study via future projects. He enjoys creative collaboration and is regularly contracted to provide structured support to regional talent who have come through schemes such as BFI New Voices. He has script edited on numerous BFI-backed projects in the past two years. He has also worked as a reader for BBC Open Call, BFI, and Channel 4.

Rebecca Glendenning-Laycock

Rebecca is a writer/performer from Bradford based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Their work is refreshing, funny, and tender and uses comedy to tell the queer/working class stories they needed when they were younger. She was a co-director of theatre company Bonnie and The Bonnettes (Drag Me to Love, And She, Bonnie and Fanny's Christmas Spectacular, The BonBons Cabaret) and made work with them until their closure in 2022. Her first play 'We Are The Best', an adaptation of Lukas Moodysson's film of the same name was commissioned by Live Theatre and opened in May 2022. They have also received Live Theatre's Bursary Award to develop their next play 'Chained Reaction'. She is very excited to be part of this year's Script Lab Cohort.

Samantha Neale

Samantha is an actor, writer and parent of twins from Newcastle upon Tyne. She has been working as an actor for 14 years and writing professionally for 4 years. Samantha has written plays that have been produced professionally at Live Theatre, Alphabetti Theatre and The Exchange in Newcastle. Samantha’s debut short play Elliot was nominated for the Emerge Creative Writing Prize in 2018. Her play Familiar completed a 4 night run at Alphabetti as part of their 3 Shorts programme in September, 2019. Samantha’s first full length play, Last Seen, Bensham Road debuted at Live Theatre’s Elevator Festival, March 2020. She wrote and performed the piece as well as securing arts council funding for the project. Samantha won the 2020, New Writing North - Channel 4 Writing for Television Award to develop a pilot script with Bonifide Productions. In 2021, Samantha was chosen to participate in the BBC Writersoom - North East Voices scheme to develop a one-page pitch. In 2022, Samantha’s short film idea was shortlisted by BFI’s Film Hub North and she has been invited to participate in the BFI Script Lab programme to develop the idea further. In 2022, Bonafide productions and Channel 4 commissioned Samantha to develop her pilot script and original series outline.

Selim MacLean

Sel MacLean is a self-taught filmmaker and director based in Gateshead. He has a background in sociology and in 2017 he had his first short documentary film commission for Newcastle City Council exploring the negative stereotypes and the community spirit of the Rye Hill in Newcastle. In 2019 his short fiction film ‘Overdrive’ premiered in BECTU Future film festival, which was presented by Ken Loach and his most recent short documentary premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest in 2021 as part of a cohort of Northern Films. He has also directed numerous music videos, one of which was presented with an Award at the 2022 Sunderland Short Film Festival.

Tom Hancock & Varun Raman

Varun and Tom are a Manchester-based writing and directing duo. Their short, Man or Tree, won the Lab Competition Student Jury Prize at Clermont-Ferrand, was selected by Sir Mark Rylance to air on Sky Arts, became a Vimeo Staff Pick and screened at the inaugral BBC Comedy X Adult Film Club. Their pilot script, RUBBERNECKER, was a 2021 Finalist in the WeScreenplay TV Contest and numerous other competitions, and was number one on Coverfly’s all-time Red List for Television Thrillers. Last summer saw them complete a one hour horror-satire pilot. Whilst Varun is UK Programming Lead at London Short Film Festival, Shorts Programmer at Fantastic Fest and Associate Shorts Programmer at SXSW, whilst Tom is part of the management team behind Chester's most beloved cocktail bar bistro and has been a Script Consultant for Industrial Scripts, and an Episodics Screener for SXSW.

Script Lab 2022 is a Film Hub North and BFI NETWORK project delivered in collaboration with Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

Image credit: From left to right, Alex Oates, Charlie Parkinson Sheen, Clodagh Chapman, Fereshteh Mozaffari, Joshua Boultwood-Neale, Kate Driver, Rebecca Glendenning-Laycock, Samantha Neale, Selim MacLean, Tom Hancock and Varun Raman