Winner of the inaugural Greg Cootes Scholarship Megan Doneman (r) with the subject of her 2008 documentary, 'Kiran Bedi' (l).
Applications are now open for the Greg Coote Scholarship, which this year offers an experienced Queensland creative a placement in a FremantleMedia writers room based in London or Europe.
The scholarship is presented by Screen Queensland in partnership with Australians in Film, the Queensland Writers Centre and FremantleMedia.
“We are so thrilled to be announcing the return of this scholarship, which was inspired by one of Australia’s greatest screen industry leaders, Greg Coote, and to have FremantleMedia on board as an official partner,” said Screen Queensland chair Linda Apelt.
“The foundation of this Scholarship is to honour Greg’s work in opening doors for Australians in international markets and give them the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge, as well as international connections by being a part of a successful international writers’ room.”
‘It is an important step in building our local industry by furthering the careers of Queenslanders who can add value and help build a strong broadcast drama base in our state,’ she said.
FremantleMedia’s director of global drama Sarah Doole said the company knows first-hand the value of sharing ideas and experiences across different countries and cultures.
“Some of our best-loved and most celebrated shows have been built on this principle. We also believe passionately in nurturing a new generation of storytellers, providing them with opportunities to further develop their skills so that they too can entertain audiences all over the world,” she said.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing the results and to working with the winner.”
The successful applicant will be placed in a London or European FremantleMedia writers room on a long-form television production for a minimum of six to eight weeks, at the value of $25,000AUD. The scholarship funds the costs of the placement, including travel and visas, and provides a small weekly wage to the recipient.
The winner of the inaugural scholarship was Megan Doneman, who was placed in the LA writers’ room of NCIS: Los Angeles.
“Megan has been such a success, they have asked her to stay on for the remainder of the year,” said Apelt.
AiF president Kate Marks said the organisation had supported Megan throughout her placement and seen how the experience has shaped her both professionally and personally.
“The experience of working in a disciplined US writers room is invaluable and the exchange of ideas and information is an incredible investment in the Queensland screen industry. We look forward to supporting the next recipient of this important program,” said Marks.
Applications for the Greg Coote Scholarship will be assessed by the Greg Coote Committee, made up by members of the US and Australian screen industries and senior Screen Queensland executives.