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: