10 Jan 2012
Script to Screen is delighted to announce Dianna Fuemana has been awarded the 2012 US Screenwriting Internship Scholarship. Furthermore, Catherine Bisley has been awarded a special second scholarship, securing both writers sought after placements at Killer Films, New York.
Lead by producers Christina Vachon and Pam Koffler, Killer Films is at the forefront of Independent American cinema and is responsible for a number of very successful and much talked-about features including Kids, Happiness, and Oscar nominated Far from Heaven.The selection panel of Roger Horrocks, Tui Ruwhiu and Script to Screen’s Esther Cahill-Chiaroni felt these emerging screenwriters demonstrated impressive craft skill as well as unique voice:
“Normally the Killer Films Internship is for one winner only, but two of the finalists were so impressive that we made an effort to obtain a second internship for this year. And the Film Commission has generously helped to make this possible.
“First place-winner Dianna Fuemana has made a name for herself in not one but three fields – film, television and theatre. Her plays include ‘My Mother Dreaming’, ‘Mapaki’, ‘The Packer’ and ‘Famemalema’ which have been widely produced. Three of them have been published. Her television writing credits include episodes of ‘Interrogation’ and ‘Good Hands’. She has a feature film script in development with the Film Commission. Dianna has won a Chapman Tripp Theatre award as ‘Outstanding New Writer of the Year’ and a Creative NZ Pacific Innovation and Excellence Award, among other distinctions.
“The second successful applicant, Catherine Bisley, has written extensively since graduating from the Victoria University MA writing programme. She wrote and directed the short films Alwyn Motel and The Fish Will Swim and her feature film script, December, is in development with the Film Commission. She is well known for the commentaries on films she has written for websites such as Lumiere Reader and NZ On Screen.”
Dianna Fuemana will follow in previous winners’ footsteps, spending three months in Killer Films’ busy development department, an experience 2009 recipient Leo Woodhead and 2011 recipient Michelle Savill wrote extensively about in their Script to Screen blogs.
Catherine Bisley will be based with Killer Film’s upcoming production Kill Your Darlings, a feature film about writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs whose cast includes Daniel Radcliffe, Catherine Keener and Lizzie Olsen.
The selection panel would like to congratulate the third finalist writer/director Sally Tran and note the exceptional calibre of applications.
“There were 33 applications, and in making a selection we were hugely impressed by the level of experience. The Killer Films Internship has obviously been working well and now attracts a large and very competitive field of applicants.
“There were some very talented young directors and producers and we will be watching their future careers with great interest. However, Script to Screen’s no. 1 priority is the development of screenwriting and thus the internships went to two applicants who had displayed an outstanding talent and commitment in writing.
“The continued success of this scheme has been possible through the on-going support of Gary Hannam’s Film Investment Corporation Foundation, the NZ Film Commission, and Killer Films.
“Killer Films is one of the most successful and cutting-edge independent feature film companies. It will be a high-powered experience for the two New Zealanders and will give them valuable input at this stage of their careers. They have promised to keep up the tradition of writing blogs for the Script to Screen website so that the New Zealand film community can share some of their experiences.”
Script to Screen is a charitable trust with the mandate is to develop the craft and culture of storytelling for the screen in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The US Screenwriting Scholarship Internship to Killer Films has been running since 2009 and is made possible with generous support from the Film Investment Corporation Foundation and the NZ Film Commission.