Davey Thompson in Hoodlum Entertainment's 'All My Friends Are Racist'.

Screenworks’ Discovering New Voices program has turned its attention to romantic comedy, inviting applications from regionally-based screenwriters aiming to develop features and series within the genre.

Delivered in partnership with Hoodlum Entertainment, and supported by the Screenrights Cultural Fund, Discovering New Voices – Romantic Comedy is a three-stage program is designed to train writers from regional Australia, with participants and project teams also vying for the opportunity to be paired with Hoodlum Entertainment for up to a month to develop a new project.

Hoodlum’s chief content officer Tracey Vieira encouraged romantic stories that had underrepresented leads and featured a distinct perspective.

“The team at Hoodlum are a romantic bunch who love a good laugh and a great cry,” she said.

“We also love stories that have something to say, especially from a perspective that we may not get to see on screens. 

“Combine all that with a Friday night, paired up with your significant other, or besties, and maybe a glass of wine with dinner, and what you have is a rom-com that is sure to make you happy-cry, blush and sigh with glee.”

Up to twenty participants will be selected to take part in a one-day online workshop on writing romantic comedy with Alexa Wyatt, which will be delivered via Zoom on Thursday, December 16.

After a further selection process, up to 10 participants will be chosen for a series of one-on-one consultations with Hoodlum Entertainment executives.

At the conclusion of Stage 2, at least one person or team will then be selected to continue working with Hoodlum based on the relevance and quality of their work. The selected person will be paid a Storyliner Award Wage Rate, plus travel and accommodation costs.

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch was confident the latest iteration of the initiative would continue the momentum of previous versions.

“After the success of our Discovering New Voices: Adult Animation program with Princess Pictures earlier this year, we’re excited to be partnering with Hoodlum on a similar initiative to find fresh narrative voices and perspectives in the rom-com genre,” he said.

“Romantic comedy is a very popular genre and people living in regional areas often have very different perspectives on life from those based in metro areas, so we’re very pleased to be providing a portal for those more unusual and innovative ideas.”

To be considered for this opportunity, applicants must be current Screenworks members who have been residents in regional Australia for at least six months.

Applicants will need to submit a treatment of up to 10 pages for an original romantic comedy feature film or TV series along with a statement on their inspiration for the idea and why they would benefit from being part of the Discovering New Voices program.

Applications close at 5pm AEDT on Friday, November 5. Find out more information here.

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