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New TV Writing Program Brings Best In The Business To Victoria

Victoria’s reputation as the home of television drama is set to grow with the launch of an initiative that will give Victorian creatives unprecedented access to the expertise of a top international writer and producer to help them prepare their projects for the local and international TV market.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley today called on Victorian screenwriters and producers to apply for the opportunity to work with acclaimed UK producer and writer Simon Mirren, as part of the new Writer in Residence TV Drama Initiative.

Best known for the globally successful series Versailles, Criminal Minds and Without a Trace, Mirren’s wealth of expertise will assist local teams to hone their drama concepts and get them ready to pitch to local and international networks and online content providers.

Using the ‘writer’s room’ approach, the initiative will select up to three successful teams to each work with Simon in Melbourne over an intensive three week period.

Almost 47 percent of Australian television drama is produced in Victoria including popular series Offspring, House Husbands and Wentworth. The state has also been the backdrop of several international television productions including the final season of HBO’s The Leftovers which premiered in the US and Australia this week.

The Writer in Residence TV Drama Initiative is a partnership between Film Victoria and Screen Australia. Guidelines and eligibility criteria are available at www.film.vic.gov.au. Applications are open until 4 May 2017.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley

“Victoria is the creative state and we are backing local talent and making our state a hub for innovation and ideas.”

“We’ve got a strong track record for producing great television drama and our fresh ideas matched with Simon Mirren’s experience in the international market will make for a powerful combination.”

“I encourage local companies and creatives to apply and I look forward to this initiative bringing more Victorian stories to the screen locally and across the globe.”