V18 launches second edition of Story Works

Second edition of the Valletta 2018 Foundation's practical course on screenwriting to begin next month.

From left: Jean Pierre Magro, Jason Micallef and Joseph Chetcuti.
From left: Jean Pierre Magro, Jason Micallef and Joseph Chetcuti.

The Valletta 2018 Foundation today launched the second edition of Storyworks: A script development programme for screenwriters, producers, directors and editors. The programme is organised by the Valletta 2018 Foundation in collaboration with St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity the Malta Film Commission and the Creative Europe Desk Malta, between Tuesday 18 and Monday 24 March.

Valletta 2018 Foundation Chairman Jason Micallef said Storyworks is the result of synergy and coordination between government entities working towards one aim. He described the programme as another tool by means of which this field of specialised writing can be given a much necessary drive.

Jason Micallef noted that for several decades, Malta has had a film servicing industry that grew stronger by means of incentives. Storyworks focuses on this industry while seeking to instil screenwriting skills into a generation of artists.

The Valletta 2018 Foundation believes to the full in synergies and collaboration and regularly engages public cultural entities in discussion. This is generating an effective climate of collaboration which is resulting in a number of initiatives including the Technical Theatre Skills meeting, held on Wednesday and which was very well attended. The meeting took place in collaboration between Valletta 2018 Foundation, the MCCA and St James Cavalier.

Storyworks is another practical example of similar collaboration.

Malta Film Commission representative Dr Joseph Chetcuti, said this project, together with a number of others, is helping develop local talent. He highlighted that art starts with inspiration which however needs a lot of work and dedication for ideas to become great works. This programme and other similar ones are therefore beneficial and a great opportunity for artists.

The press conference was also addressed by two individuals who participated in last year's edition of Storyworks. Marie Briguglio explained the programme gave her the opportunity to work on a script and collaborate in workshops with other participants for the work to be developed to its maximum potential. While expressing her satisfaction that the programme is being continued, she spoke of the need for initiatives of the sort to be supported by mechanisms and legal structures that help writers develop and sell their work.

Kenneth Scicluna said Storyworks helped him learn how to better apply screen-writing rules since the programme offers practical training on the route to be taken for an effective storyline to be developed. Storyworks helps one better understand the distinction between literary work and screen writing.

The press conference was also addressed by Jean Pierre Magro.

Storyworks will be led by Martin Daniel and Mary Kate O'Flanagan from the University of Southern California and whose careers' have led them to work with industry professionals worldwide. Their work is based on developing feature films and television drama, in small groups, over the span of several months. In fact, follow up sessions with the participants of Storyworks will take place on an individual basis in September.

The deadline for applications is Monday 24 February, 2014 at 5pm and successful applicants will be informed by Monday 3 March 2014.

This course is designed to develop skills in narrative for the screen and is aimed at experienced and emerging screenwriters, producers, directors and editors. Professionals will be receiving training through project development which will ideally be ready to go into production in 2016 or 2017.

Eight writers and eight creative collaborators will be selected for the programme and writers must apply with a project to be developed.

Candidates may apply individually or as teams. Producers, directors and editors who apply as individuals will be teamed with a writer for the purposes of training.

All writers' applications will be considered on the merit of the idea and the skills in evidence.

The programme fee is €200 for writers who participate with their proposed scripts and €100 for producers who collaborate on a writer's script.

Applications are to be downloaded from: www.valletta2018.org and sent to [email protected]

Enquiries may be made to: [email protected] or on telephone number 21242018.

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