The British Council is launching a new UK-Nigeria screenwriting partnership programme at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) titled Script Junction.

The programme, which runs from now till November 2015, aims to help six Nigerian and six UK screenwriters develop their skills as well as foster cultural exchange between the film industries in the UK and Nigeria.

Programme partners are EIFF, the National Film and Television School (NFTS), Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and Nigerian Film Institute (NFI).

The workshops will kick off with a five-day module EIFF from June 19-23. A second five-day module will be held in Nigeria during AFRIFF in November. At AFRIFF, all 12 participants will also pitch their projects to an expert industry panel and get feedback on their work.

Designed to bring together screenwriters to explore, develop and create screenplays, the programme includes workshops, talks and mentoring delivered by industry professionals and visiting guest experts.

Script Junction is aimed at promising writers who are early in their professional careers, working on scripts of any setting or genre.

The six UK writers selected are alumni of either the NFTS’s MA Screenwriting programme or previous EIFF talent labs. They are:

  • Shola Amoo
  • Maurice Caldera
  • Russell Davidson
  • Sam Firth
  • Matthew Jankes
  • Jennifer Majka

The six Nigerian writers, selected after a competitive open call, are:

  • Kenneth Gyang
  • Adiodun Kassim
  • Nicolette Ndigwe
  • CJ Obasi
  • Pearl Osibu
  • Lanre Quadri

Script Junction will be led by Rob Ritchie, a screenwriter and former head of the screenwriting department at the NFTS. Other course tutors are Lorianne Hall from the UK and Ishaku Dashon Gumut from Nigeria.

“Experts in Nigeria have identified screenwriting as the one key area that needs further development in order to have real impact for Nigerian filmmakers as well as Nigerian audiences,” said Wendy Mitchell, film programme manager for the British Council.

“We are so thrilled to be working with our partners EIFF, AFRIFF, NFTS and NFI to allow each of these 12 writers to expand their cultural horizons, learn more about the film industries in the UK and Nigeria, and work on some great scripts that we hope audiences will see on screen in coming years.

“We know that the chance for the writers to visit each other’s countries will also be of great inspiration to them, no matter where their scripts are set.”

Script Junction follows Docunexion, a similar cultural collaboration film programme connecting the UK and Mexico, designed as a training and mentoring scheme that brings together three producer-director teams from the UK and three from Mexico. Docunexion kicked off at Sheffield Doc/Fest last week.

Script Junction is part of the British Council’s UK/NG season of cultural collaboration which takes place during 2015 and 2016, and which will feature more than 30 projects and 80 events across the creative sectors, delivered in three major Nigerian cities (Lagos, Abuja and Calabar).

More information on the season can be found here.