At the Toronto Film Festival last month, UK-based Cascade Pictures announced its intentions to package films through a mix of gap and debt finance, international soft money options and pre-sales. Today, via its Cascade Media Development arm, the company is launching the Writers’ Couch, an initiative that aims to help screenwriters develop projects and move them into production. Scribes, who must be UK residents and must not have representation, will be invited to pitch their completed scripts once a month to development execs at Cascade who will judge projects on writing quality, probability for commercial or critical success and how they fit with Cascade’s aim to produce genre projects for the UK and international market. Cascade has previously said it will support low to mid-high budgets in its first year before moving into the higher-end range. The Writers’ Couch will be overseen by former Exclusive Media and Fandango Portobello exec Daniel Campos Pavoncelli, seconded by Sam Cheetham who has worked with Pinewood Studios and Will Clarke’s Altitude Film Entertainment. Mark Fisher, former CFO of the Icon UK Group, set up the Cascade group of companies earlier this year. The opening day for applications is Nov. 12. Full guidelines are available at