The selected writers were discovered through talent searches, development schemes and theatre partnerships. Twelve writers were invited to a one day workshop, after which they pitched ideas. Five were chosen for production.
With a spotlight on diversity, and the 18-30 audience, these shorts will showcase writers with a strong, unique voice who have yet to write for the screen. BBC Taster will act as a platform for their creative work to be seen and shared. BAFTA Breakthrough Brit, Zam Salim is directing the shorts.
Meet the five selected writers:
Having my roots deeply set in theatre, it’s a whole new experience approaching other mediums. It’s been scary and challenging writing for online drama, TV and film. But mostly, it’s extremely exciting creating characters that are presented in different ways, and it’s great that I can proudly put my name to this monologue.”
Recently, I was awarded; The Live Canon International Poetry Prize, an Arts Council of England Award, a Wellcome Trust Award. I have also been shortlisted for the Brunel Prize for African Poetry, longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award, and a 2009 Edinburgh Fringe First.
I have commissions for, the Tate Modern, Louis Vuitton, Chris Ofili, National Theatre, BBC Taster Online Drama Shorts, Battersea Arts Centre and Soho Theatre. My first two published books of poetry are; ‘Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales’ and ‘Candy Coated Unicorn and Converse’. I have also published several plays including ‘lack T-shirt Collection’ and ‘Knight Watch’.
In 2005, I also founded the Midnight Run, a cross art form nocturnal urban movement to reconnect inner city lives with inner city spaces.”
After graduating from Aston Business School I realised I sucked at accounting so started working in broadcasting and am now an Assistant Producer in radio.
During the interim, I trained in Indian Classical and Contemporary Dance and founded Caste Away Arts Theatre Company with a friend. We wrote, produced and directed plays which focused on breaking social taboos. Since then I started up a theatre group specifically for women in Tower Hamlets where I live. In the last three years I have written, produced and directed several community theatre productions.
I have also been a regular columnist for an online magazine and have my own blog. A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to write for TV. I’m passionate about good drama and comedy and hope that my online BBC Taster Drama Short will be a great place to start.”
The most motivating reasons I have to get me through the (often scary, always difficult) process of actually finishing a piece of writing is that I want there to be as many interesting, major female characters as male and a huge range of culturally and ethnically diverse characters that is representative of the UK in all theatre, TV and film productions. There is something immeasurably important at being able to see multiple representations of someone you can identify with so that you don’t come to think of yourself as only occupying ‘one story’ and therefore narrowing your sense of who you are and perhaps, your possibilities.
In my writing, I also like to explore the various places I’ve worked, questioning what on earth was going on there, what’s going on anywhere, what are we actually even doing? I’ll never find the answer, but I love finding stories that seem to take us closer to it.”
Amber Hsu – The Match Girl
In 2014, I was a recipient of a Film London London Calling Award to write and direct my first short film, ‘Next Time’. I’m also a graduate of the Royal Court’s Studio Group and Unheard Voices Programme, and was a member of the BBC Writersroom London Voices Group. From this, I went on to be selected for the online BBC Taster Drama Shorts.
As a regular fixture on the small-press scene, I self-publish comics, zines, and artist books. I’m also the founder and creator of Tiny Pencil, an independent anthology artzine and press. I also write poetry and spontaneous verse through the One Pound Poem project.
I once also worked in a morgue.”