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Introducing London Voices 2020

BBC Writersroom

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We are excited to announce our London Voices 2020; a group made up of talented, up and coming London-based writers who are eager to learn about writing for broadcast. This scheme is comprised of monthly sessions and masterclasses lead by industry experts who will give them an overview of the industry; from TV Drama to Children's and Radio. Our writers all come with different areas of interests but often find themselves newly intrigued by other mediums as they explore and learn through the workshops.

We kicked off in late January but have had to adapt to virtual sessions since March, which has also had its benefits as it has meant we can often open up the sessions between all of the Voices groups.

Our relationship with our Voices writers continues after the scheme comes to an end as we provide tailored support. Many of our previous London Voices writers have ended up graduating to our other development schemes including Drama Room and TV Drama Writers Programme.

If you would like further information about any of the writers, please feel free to contact writersroom@bbc.co.uk or their agent.

 

Saadi Awan

Saadi Awan is a London-based screenwriter with a passion for film and TV. After submitting a script to BBC Writersroom's open submission Script Room, Saadi was selected for the London Voices initiative; the knowledge from which has been instrumental in turning his spec scripts into TV series pitch.

In addition to screenwriting, he is a trainer in the security sector where he designs programmes and adult learning concepts for team leaders.

As a first generation immigrant born to Pakistani parents, he brings experiences to his writing as an outsider in a society where suspicion is norm, humour is survival and dark realities await just around the corner.

Rousha Browning

Rousha Browning is a born and bred East Londoner, a stand-up and writer. A prodigious talent, her writing career took over at the age of ten, when she scripted, directed and starred in plays at the ‘Sister’s Bedroom Theatre’. Parents called it, ‘fifteen minutes they would never get back.’

Rousha’s passion for comedy has seen her produce over 500 comedy shows across London, the Edinburgh Fringe and Leicester Comedy festival, as well as managing her own comedy nights and playing key roles in working for Heroes of Fringe.

Taking to the stage, Rousha’s true talent shines through, having written and performed her own one woman stand-up and character shows she’s also appeared on line-ups with the likes of Spencer Jones, Sindhu Vee and Tony Law. On screen she has acted in shorts, Comedy Central promos and indie film Paint Dry, distributed by Amazon Prime.

Rousha is ecstatic to be on BBC London Voices with her co-writer Shakir Kadri and is determined to follow in the footsteps of her writer-performer idols Julia Davies, Jennifer Saunders and Amy Poehler.

Nash Colundalur

Nash is an award winning journalist and screenwriter. He won the Guardian International Development Journalism Award for his reportage on the drought in northern Kenya. Amongst much important worldwide work, he spent three years researching the Devadasi system in Southern India, an organisation who ‘dedicates’ girls to a life of sex work in the name of religion, his report was published in the Guardian and his research used for a BBC Film.

Nash has gone undercover for various investigative reports, including masquerading as an illegal immigrant on Brick Lane, pretending to be the relative of an inmate at a Military prison in Venezuela, he also managed to infiltrate and gain the trust of a group of Romanian strippers who came to the same London club in swathes from a particular town on the Moldova border.

Nash is represented by Hannah Linnen at 42MP 

Shakir Kadri

Shakir Kadri is a writer, boxing fan and often mistaken for Piscine Molitor from the film Life of Pi. He loves creating big characters and draws inspiration from his rather ordinary life, such as his Bollywood-obsessed grandad, who would replicate action moves and sound effects from his armchair, even when the TV wasn’t on.

After completing a Psychology degree, Shakir left the UK and moved to India to pursue his writing dream. There he wrote several shorts, notably Lihaaf, an empowering adaptation that tackles sexual abuse and competed at the Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.

On his return, Shakir was selected for B3 Media/BBC Films Talent lab initiative and in 2019 his first co-written script with Rousha Browning reached the interview stage of BBC Drama Room. The duo have since written a school-based mockumentary and are currently developing a British Asian wedding sitcom.

Justina Kehinde

Justina Kehinde is a British-Nigerian actor, writer, director and poet interested in diasporic identity and hybridity. Her debut play ‘UMUADA’, an exploration of mental health, migration and motherhood in the urban African diaspora, premiered at the Bunker Theatre in 2017 as part of Damsel Develops’ directorial development scheme, before headlining the King's Head Theatre’s 2018 Playmill Festival. An alumna of the 2019 Royal Court Theatre Writers Group she is currently developing the play into a full-length production. As a director she has worked with the Southwark Playhouse, Theatre N16, The Place Theatre and is a member of the Young Vic Director’s Programme. An award-winning performance poet, in 2019 she was invited by the Prime Minister of Iceland to perform at the inaugural international conference on #MeToo opening for Professor Angela Davis.

She is currently represented by Alastair Lindsey-Renton and Helen Clarkson at Curtis Brown.

Benedict Lombe

Benedict Lombe is a London-based British Congolese writer and theatre-maker. She is a recipient of the 503Five Writers' Scheme for 2019/20 and is currently completing a writing residency at Theatre503. She is also part of the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers Group (EWG). She has been shortlisted for: BBC Drama Room 19/20, Royal Court & Kudos TV Fellowship, Old Vic 12 and the Papatango Playwriting Award.

As a child of the diaspora, she has a keen interest in boldly reclaiming the stories that were never possible, with the full shades of nuance they always deserved.

Omari McCarthy

Omari has written for “PJ Masks” (EOne/ Disney Junior), “JoJo & Gran Gran” (AProductions/ CBeebies), “Love Monster” (Karrot Animation/ CBeebies) and the live action series "Biff Chip & Kipper" (CBeebies). In May 2019 he signed a (non-exclusive) first look deal with Kelebek Media for original animated series. In June 2019 he was selected for Bafta Crew 2019 as a writer. In July he featured on a writing panel at the Children’s Media Conference Writing Panel, later that month he was long listed for BBC Writers’ Academy off the strength of an original drama script. In September 2019 he won the Triforce Creative Network’s Writer Slam competition and is currently developing an original drama called “Once Upon A Time In Handsworth” with Lydia Hampson at Amazon Studios. In May 2018 he secured representation by Lucy Fawcett from Sheil Land Associates.

Patrick Monger

Patrick began writing for screen whilst undertaking his undergraduate degree in Broadcasting. He wrote his first feature during his final year, which earned him first class honours, before embarking on a master's in Screenwriting for Television and Film.
His first TV spec landed on the 'Top Pilots' list of the Black List website in 2018 and he spent 2019 working with a script-editor on a one-hour drama as part of Philip Gladwin's Screenwriting Goldmine "Tribe".
He was shortlisted by the BBC Writers Room in 2019 after submitting his feature script, 'Half Way Down', which has since been optioned and is in the early stages of development.
As well as developing new projects in both TV and film for 2020, he also recently began working with the BFI on a sci-fi short.

Hannah Morley

Hannah is a writer and actor originally from Doncaster. She wrote her first play ‘Petrichor’ as part of Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab. ‘Petrichor’ won a Channel 4 Playwrights Award and the Radius Playwriting Prize as well as being longlisted for the Verity Bargate Award and the Bruntwood Prize. In 2019 Hannah was Channel 4 Playwright in Residence at the Finborough Theatre, she has been writing her second play ‘Rough Music’ with the theatre’s support. Hannah’s acting credits include work for Film4 / Fox Searchlight, ITV, Sheffield Theatres and the Arcola. She is currently working on new work as a writer/performer, as well as developing ideas for television and short film.

Gbolahan Obisesan

Gbolahan Obisesan was Genesis Fellow/Associate Director of the Young Vic Theatre. He is currently under commission to Tiata Fahodzi and The Yard Theatre. Gbolahan has a feature film in development with Emu Films/Film 4 and an original television drama with Little Dot Studio.

In 2018, Gbolahan premiered The Fishermen for New Perspective at HOME: Manchester and was a winner of The Stage Edinburgh Fringe Award. SS Mendi:Dancing the Death Drill with Isango Ensemble premiered at Nuffield Southampton and also performed at the Royal Opera House.

Other writing credits include Hansel & Gretel(Uchenna Dance/The Place); Zaida and Aadam (Bush theatre) Feast(Royal Court/Young Vic); How Nigeria Became: A Story and A Spear That Didn’t Work (Unicorn Theatre); Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic/Edinburgh Festival, adapted from the novel by Stephen Kelman); Fringe First Winner Mad About The Boy(Edinburgh Festival and UK tour)

Gbolahan is also a director with multiple credits and was previously Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio as the recipient of the Bulldog Princep Director’s Bursary in 2008.

Samia Rida

Samia started out as an actor and discovered writing later once she became a mother. She spent many hours pulled up in her car with a take out coffee and my laptop, writing, whilst her son slept in the back. She wrote four episodes of a series called ‘Work Out’ in her car. She made the first pilot episode on 2k. It caught the attention of Gareth Edwards, producer of Space and That Mitchell & Webb Look, who put it forward to be commissioned. Sadly it wasn’t and this was a fierce baptism into the crushing disappointment of writing and television! Gareth also encouraged her to do stand up which she has developed a real love for.

Samia also teaches yoga and is studying psychotherapy. 

Holly Robinson

Holly is a writer and casting assistant originally from Birmingham. She began her training at Playbox Theatre in Warwickshire before moving to London where she has been a member of Soho Writers Lab and the Hampstead New Playwrights Group. Her first play ‘soft animals’ was longlisted from the Bruntwood Prize and shortlisted for the Tony Craze award before being staged by Soho Theatre in 2019, after which she was nominated for Best Writer at the 2019 Stage Debut Awards. She is developing a new piece on climate grief ‘small myth’ and is under commission with The Yard Theatre and Soho Theatre.

Daniel Rusteau

Daniel Rusteau is a writer, director and playwright from London currently writing for HOLLYOAKS (Lime Pictures, Channel 4) and writing his half-hour film SUPERDAD for series three of the BAFTA Nominated anthology series ON THE EDGE (BlackLight TV, Channel 4) He’s also developing his original idea DISMISSED with Headline Pictures, working with Salon Pictures on a crime drama and his TV pilot THE BOROUGH made the 2019/20 Brit List. Daniel recently received the BFI NETWORK Early Development Fund for his drama feature IGNATIUS: THE EXTRAORDINARY and has also worked with Hat Trick, Beano Productions and Dancing Ledge Productions.

For the stage, Daniel is participating in the 2019/20 Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab and has had his work performed at The Bunker Theatre, Drayton Arms Theatre, The Pleasance Theatre, The Old Red Lion Theatre and The Paddington Arts Centre.

His comedy web series WEDDING DATES which he wrote, directed and produced was broadcast on BWNG TV, earned 30,000 views on YouTube and three Screen Nation Award Nominations. Daniel is also currently in post-production for his short film LOOPS. Shot on 16mm and inspired by his play CHURCH STREET it’s about a mentally ill man who believes he’s stuck in a time-loop.

Rashida Seriki

Rashida is a young writer and filmmaker based in London. Her first short THE FENCE has been screened at film festivals internationally and her most recent short INVISIBLE STRINGS premiered at the BFI Future Film Festival in 2019. For television, her pilot script THE FOUR was a finalist for the Triforce/Amazon Studios Writerslam scheme and the All3Media New Script Award at the Edinburgh TV Festival New Voice Awards and is currently under option. Her work comes from an inherently black perspective and she aims to create and get involved with stories that have the inclusion of women and people of colour at its core.

Temi Wilkey

Temi Wilkey is an actor & writer from North London. She studied English at Cambridge before training with the National Youth Theatre REP company in 2014. Her theatre credits include the National, the RSC and the Manchester Royal Exchange. Temi was a member of the Royal Court’s Young Writers Group in 2017 and wrote her debut play, The High Table, at the course’s culmination, which was produced at the Bush Theatre earlier this year.

Temi is writing her first piece for television on the Dancing Ledge Bursary scheme and is mentored by Lucy Prebble and has recently completed her first writer's room for Netflix's Sex Education S3.

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