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Carol Morley announced as 2015 Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellow

25 Nov, 2015

DSC_0157-lowresWellcome Collection was transformed into a sparkling party venue this evening to host the announcement of the 2015 Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship, in partnership with BFI and Film4.  The Wellcome Trust’s Director of Culture and Society, Simon Chaplin announced our new Screenwriting Fellow. Natalie Hodgson was at the event…

Ending months of speculation, British writer and director Carol Morley has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship, in partnership with BFI and Film4. The announcement was made tonight at an award party at Wellcome Collection attended by a host of people from the worlds of film and science.

Now in its third year, the Screenwriting Fellowship is celebrated as a major annual award designed to nurture enquiring minds and unique voices, bringing the worlds of film and science closer together. Fellows receive an award of £30,000 together with a tailored experience including unparalleled access to some of the most exciting scientific and humanities research in the world.

Carol is best known for her films exploring the human condition, including The Falling, about a fictional fainting epidemic at a girls school in 1969, and Dreams of a Life, a semi-documentary uncovering the life of 38 year old Joyce Carol Vincent, who died in her flat and was only discovered three years later.

Receiving the award at the ceremony Carol Morley said: “I am at my most stimulated when I am doing in-depth research – so for me the Fellowship is a dream come true. As well as continuing my interest in aberrations of human behaviour that stem from the mind or the brain, I am looking forward to exploring new areas and stepping into the unknown; this Fellowship will have a significant and lasting impact on the way I see the world and on my future films.”

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In November 2013, the inaugural Fellowship was awarded to Clio Barnard in recognition of the inimitable way she explores the human condition, and in November 2014 Jonathan Glazer, a writer and director of real vision, appetite and curiosity, became the second Fellow.

Reflecting on his year, 2014 fellow Jonathan Glazer said: “Wellcome is so alive, it’s like a big brain. The fellowship has exposed me to a diversity of brilliant people. Scientists, doctors, historians, curators, researchers and archivists whose knowledge has helped transform my understanding of the film ideas I’m developing. It’s been an honour to have had such a unique opportunity. I’m very thankful for it.”

As part of her Fellowship Carol will also have the option to take-up some, or all, of the following:

  • Access and introductions to leaders in the fields of science and medical history
  • Behind-the-scenes access to Henry Wellcome’s library, archive and collection of curios
  • Visits to research institutions and programmes which carry out work in areas such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis and mental health conditions
  • A personal MRI brain scan and genome analysis for insight into neuroscience and genetics
  • Direct access to contemporary science research trials
  • Access to a new interdisciplinary space to work alongside scientists, scholars and creative practitioners – The Hub at Wellcome Collection

Crucially, and unusually for the industry, the Fellow is not required to produce anything at the end of the year; the intention is to allow time and space to explore without the constraints of a specific project. In doing this, it is hoped the Fellowship’s influence will be profound and long-lived, inspiring films for years to come.

The Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship is part of a range of initiatives the Wellcome Trust runs to support writers, directors and producers in exploring biomedical science and its impact on our lives.

Find out more about the Wellcome Trust’s activities in broadcast, games and film on the Trust website. You can also follow the broadcast team on Twitter.

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