UK screenwriting talent incubator The Script Factory is re-launching after a hiatus of nine years, with upcoming courses set to kick off later this year.
The Script Factory was launched by Charlotte Macleod and Lucy Scher in 1996, to equip new writers and script developers with knowledge of the film industry, with Justine Hart joining the team in 2000. it presented performed readings of unproduced screenplays such as Steven Knight’s Dirty Pretty Things and held masterclasses with filmmakers including Kathryn Bigelow, Andrea Arnold, Charlie Kaufman, Spike Lee and Wes Anderson.
The original incarnation closed in 2014; Sher died from cancer in 2018.
The re-launch is being led by Macleod and Hart, and will be marked by an event at London’s Soho Theatre taking place tonight (April 27), with a live performance of comedy drama Sumo Girls, Scher’s final screenplay and co-written with Hart.
Actress Kerry Fox will narrate the story of Wales’s first accidental all-female wrestling team. It is in development as a feature with Footprint Films, with Jane Gull attached to direct. Gull took part in Script Factory training in 2010, with her short Sunny Boy.
“The Script Factory promises to inject some of its unique brand of enthusiasm, energy and generosity back into the development process,” said Macleod. “We never stopped receiving requests from writers and producers for our development services, so we decided to bring it back.”
Hart added: “There is no greater joy than spending the working day talking about stories. And no greater privilege than helping a screenwriter shape a script to articulate what they uniquely want to say.”
The Script Factory’s alumni includes Bridgerton writer Geeticka Lizardi and The Swimmers filmmaker Sally El Hosaini. Further achievements include creating the first post-graduate diploma in script development with the National Film and Television School in 2004. In 2000, it began staging SCENE, a series of live events and masterclasses in partnership with London, Edinburgh, Rio, Berlin and Gothenburg festivals.