The 2000 Orange Prize for Screenwriting has been awarded to three comedies from new British writers: The Alchemist, written by Simon Rose, Feet Up by Ewan Kilgour and The Wedding Gift by Lisa Flett.
The three projects, which were chosen from more than 1,000 entries, were awarded a cash prize of £10,000 each.
The Alchemist is a family action comedy about a 12-year-old boy who inherits from his grandfather the secret for turning base metal into gold. Feet Up is a black comic thriller which begins with the discovery of a young woman's body in the sea. The Wedding Gift, a black comedy about the events leading up to a wedding, was developed with the help of Moonstone and Scottish Screen.
The winners were chosen by a jury including actors Robert Carlyle and Emily Watson, director Michael Winterbottom, producer David Parfitt (Shakespeare in Love), writer Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty) and film critic Mark Kermode. It was chaired by independent producer and chairman of Pathe Pictures, Jake Eberts.
"I was extremely impressed with the very high quality of all eight shortlisted scripts," said Carlyle. "It was a very difficult decision to select just three to receive the prizes."
One of the winning scripts will be awarded the Pathe Production Prize and will be assisted with production and distribution by Pathe in the UK.