Television viewers will be familiar with the powerful drama Three Girls about the grooming scandal in Rochdale. The three-part series received warm reviews and gave a further boost to the credentials of its Glasgow-born writer Nicole Taylor.
She has now been signed up by the Edinburgh International Film Festival as EIFF Screenwriter-in-Residence.
The appointment will see Taylor receive a bursary of £7,500 and access to the four Edinburgh universities between now and June 2018, when the 72nd edition of the film Festival will take place. During this time Taylor will have the opportunity to develop project ideas with science and humanities researchers.
Three Girls averaged a consolidated audience of 8.1 million on BBC One and more than 9.3m requests for the series were made on BBC iPlayer.
Prior to that, Taylor’s multi-BAFTA nominated single drama, The C Word, starring Sheridan Smith, was produced for BBC One. She has also written on numerous series, including Indian Summers for Channel 4, The Hour for BBC Two, and Ashes to Ashes for BBC One.
Her original feature Country Music has just completed filming in Glasgow – directed by Tom Harper, produced by Faye Ward and stars Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo and Jessie Buckley. The film was developed and financed by the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery), Creative Scotland and Film4.
She said: “I can’t think of a more valuable opportunity for a screenwriter than access to the great brains and great work of Edinburgh’s universities. I’m so excited about the year of discussions that lie ahead, which I hope will be touch paper for new ideas and new work.”
The programme is developed in partnership with Wellcome and with the Beltane Public Engagement Network, which provides links and facilitates access to research at The University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University. This access helps build connections between the worlds of film and science.
Mark Adams, artistic director at EIFF said: “We are thrilled that Nicole will be the latest EIFF Screenwriter-in-Residence. She is a real talent, delivering striking new work and look forward to seeing what she will be achieving with the research opportunities on offer.”
Meroë Candy, film and drama executive at Wellcome said: “We were lucky enough to have Nicole attend one of our first ever Wellcome Ideas Lab at EIFF in 2014. She is a wonderful writer and her commitment to research and authenticity in both Three Girls and The C Word was exceptional. We’re delighted to continue to support her to be inspired by science and research.”
Heather Rea, project lead for the Beltane Public Engagement Network, said: “There are so many interesting things being studied at universities that need to be ‘out there’, and story (and film!) is one of the best ways to share it. It will be fascinating to see what Nicole uncovers and how she uses her expertise to weave it into her work.”
The residency includes:
- £7,500 Award
- Access to some of the leading researchers and fellows in Scotland
- Access to the universities facilities and libraries