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Red Planet Prize Winner, Genevieve Barr.

The Red Planet Prize recognises diverse and talented writers, who can create original and authentic drama with mainstream appeal.

Receiving a script commission as part of the winner’s prize, Barr will now work with both Red Planet Pictures and ITV to develop CURIO, as a fresh and original four-part drama. Alongside this, runner up, Nick Ahad, will receive development opportunities with Red Planet Pictures and ITV on the back of his script, Apnay

Barr is a deaf writer and actor and has previously collaborated with screenwriter and playwright, Jack Thorne, on several projects, most recently on factual drama Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won (BBC Two). Her script, CURIO, freshly examines the question of consent. When Wendy Hope introduces herself to the Hart family as Michael’s girlfriend, they are shocked. Not because Michael is 18 and Wendy is 35. The fact that this relationship managed to fly under their radar for two years? Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But Michael can’t speak - he never has. He’s been medically diagnosed as having the mental capabilities of a toddler. So how can he have given consent? The police are called and Wendy is arrested for rape.  But who really has Michael’s best interests at heart? CURIO pits family against friends and law against media in the pursuit of truth.

Genevieve Barr said upon winning the competition: “I am totally overwhelmed and thrilled that CURIO has been selected. Thank you so much to Red Planet and ITV for this opportunity and for their efforts in developing emerging writers. I can’t wait to get into the story.”

Runner-up Ahad, is a Yorkshire-based journalist and broadcaster. His winning pitch tells the story of a crime family in Bradford, and the head of the family’s quest to appoint an heir before her death. APNAY takes the audience through the kitchen doors of Bradford’s curry houses and reveals a world that is at once familiar and disorientating, compelling and terrifying. Actor and writer, Rhashan Stone who was part of the judging panel, said of the two winners:

I was captivated by Genevieve’s writing. She’s smart, confident and mischievous. She’s out to challenge our preconceptions and does so with humour, intelligence and emotional insight. Her voice feels so fresh, so authentic, I can’t wait to read more from this fiercely talented writer.

- Actor and writer, Rhashan Stone

"Not only was I won over by Nick’s vibrant (and often violent) story of a Bangladeshi crime family, I was won over by Nick himself. Smart and charismatic, Apnay packs a punch and is just as vibrant, funny and full of life as he is."

ITV Drama Commissioner, Chloe Tucker, said: “We have met so many great writers during this prize, and are delighted to announce Genevieve as the winner and Nick as the runner up.

Genevieve's writing is so visceral and surprising, it gets under your skin. We're also very happy to recognise Nick's work, which is incredibly entertaining. I want to thank everyone at Red Planet for helping us discover such brilliant talent.”