Werner Film Productions’ Joanna Werner is appealing to creatives to pitch their ideas for original TV dramas for the Screen Australia-funded development initiative The Story Lab.

Werner is looking for two projects for workshops designed to enable writers to take concepts to a pitch bible and first draft pilot episode script.

The deadline for Call for Concepts is July 10. Applicants are asked to submit a 1-3 page outline via WFP’s website.

Funded by Screen Australia’s Enterprise Stories, the lab is intended to cultivate innovative Australian stories with global audience appeal.

Up to 20 writers as well as five script editors and five creative producers will participate in five intensive ‘US writers’ room- style workshops throughout the year.

“We’ve had a terrific response to Call for Concepts, across a broad cross-section of genres, but there is a week left for submissions,” Werner tells IF.

The first workshop was held in June for House Games, a drama series aimed at older teenagers from Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi), a spin-off of her novel On the Jellicoe Road.

The next will be devoted to Dirty Thirties, a dramedy by Samantha Strauss, who created Dance Academy for WFP.

Meanwhile, Werner is producing for Matchbox Pictures Secret City, a a six-part political thriller based on the novel The Marmalade Files and the upcoming sequel The Mandarin Code by Canberra insiders Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann, commissioned by Foxtel.

Shooting starts on August 24, starring Anna Torv as Harriett Dunkley, a political journalist in Canberra who exposes high-level corruption leading to assassination attempts, suicide and murder. Damon Herriman plays intelligence operative Kim Gordon and Dan Wyllie is Defence Minister Mal Paxton.

Also Werner is in the final stages of funding a feature film spin-off of Dance Academy, scripted by Strauss, to be directed by Jeffrey Walker.

Werner and Blackfella Films have just wrapped Ready for This, a teenage drama with mostly Indigenous characters, for ABC3.

For more information, visit http://www.wernerfilmproductions.com.au/the-story-lab/

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