C21Media has announced the shortlist for its 2020 International Drama Series Script competition, with 21 pilots for ‘post-Covid’ drama rising to the top amid hundreds of entries.

The competition is produced in association with Studio21 and Script Angel, with a £10,000 (US$13,000) prize and a package of support for the winner.


This year they are looking for post-Covid-19 dramas that may appeal to audiences in the ‘new normal’ world. The brief was to pitch ideas that were unifying, escapist and positive. They also asked for fewer locations, a relatively small cast and crew and no big crowd scenes.

The winning writer will receive £10,000 from one of the world’s most progressive fresh talent incubators, Studio21, to option the project and acquire the script. Studio21 will further develop the project in association with the writer to take out internationally.

The 21 projects shortlisted are:

Artemisia: A Story of Light & Shade by Rachel McAdam
Barking by Simon Warne
Celebrity Stalker by Fiona Tuohy
Echtra by Archie Thomson
Heave by Jason Imlach and Freddy Sawyer
Hellwath by Alastair Collinson
Jude Monroe by Joel Nazar-Zadeh
Last of the Queers by Javid Rezai
Nexus by Sarah Paviour
Persia by Julia Hartley
Pharmacy by Sophia Chetin-Leuner
Pigeon by Angharad Blythe
Pillock by George MacCallum
Safe Harbour by Jon Smith and Ian Masters
Seen by Sarah Mason
Sink or Swim by Judy Frary
The Administrators by Temi Wilkey
The Black Team by Andy Gilchrist
The Sink by Savina Kanagasabay
There Goes the Neighbourhood by Tobias Tobbell
Under the Wire by Lee Lawson

The final six projects, which will be invited to pitch as part of Content London On Demand during November, will be announced on October 30.

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Hayley McKenzie