Now in its seventh year, the UK fellowship awards a screenwriter £30,000 to explore the intersection between screenwriting, health and science. It provides a year-long tailored experience with access to scientific and humanities research.
The 2019 selection committee was chaired by Kate Leys (script editor) with Lizzie Francke (BFI exec), Lauren Dark (Film4 exec), Iain Dodgeon (OKRE) and Simon Chaplin (Wellcome).
Prebble commented, “I am so thrilled to be awarded the Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship. It has been given to some brilliant artists and I am honoured to be in their company. I have always been a research-hungry writer and I am delighted to be offered such a generous opportunity to feed that. The Wellcome Collection is exactly the sort of place and resource I would go to for beguiling procrastination. Now I can legitimately go there!
“I am hoping to explore issues of biology and transformation for a horror film I am planning to write, as well as look into the amazing collection of curious and information on the golden age of magic that their recent exhibition has housed, for a long-term project. Wellcome is such an unqualifiedly positive thing: curiosity, good faith and a sense of cultural community. I am genuinely touched to be part of their vision.”
Emmy and WGA nominee Prebble is also behind successful stage plays including plays A Very Expensive Poison, The Effect, which earned her the Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play, Enron and The Sugar Syndrome, which won the George Devine Award.
Kate Leys, chair of the selection panel, said, “This year’s fellow is brilliant, maverick, thoughtful, funny and razor sharp. It always seems impossible to choose just one writer at the start of the process, but easy later to see why someone is the right person at the right moment in their life to take this on. As it is with this fellow, whose screenwriting credits from Secret Diary of a Call Girl to Succession reveal her impossibly huge talent. Who else could we possibly have chosen?”
At an event in London this evening, Wellcome also announced a new body supporting collaboration between the research sector and entertainment industries, OKRE: Opening Knowledge across Research & Entertainment. It will be led by Iain Dodgeon, previously Broadcast, Games and Film Manager at the Institute.
OKRE’s partners include Wellcome, UKRI, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and Unbound Philanthropy. Advisory board members include actress, screenwriter and 2018 Wellcome Screenwriting Fellow, Michaela Coel; Bernard Wolfe Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, Paul Fletcher; producer, writer and creative development executive in the video game and film industries, Ben Andac; and Director of Original Documentary at Netflix, Kate Townsend.