ViacomCBS in UK First Look Deals for Writers, Diversity – The Hollywood Reporter

ViacomCBS International Studios’ VIS unit announced first look deals with five emerging writers from the UK, kicking off a new “First Look Deals Program” designed to “amplify voices”. diversity” as part of the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The screenwriters – Morgan Bailey, Bec Boey, Chris Bush, Iman Qureshi and Kaamil Shah – were selected “based on their proven screenwriting talents, diverse interests and writing styles, and potential collaborations in projects developed specifically for Paramount+,” the company said.

“These deals mark the first confirmed round of advertising in partnership with the international studio as part of a new, ongoing program in the UK that aims to provide meaningful opportunities for diverse creators. form,” the ViacomCBS affiliate said Tuesday. “As part of a first look trading strategy, the VIS production and content team have identified five original writers from underrepresented groups in the UK, all of whom will have the opportunity to present themselves. presented five ideas to VIS in two years.”

VIS says it is committed to operating at least two projects that are in the development phase, with at least one of which is in the scripting phase.

“Since its inception, VIS has been at the forefront of finding and partnering with diverse creators from around the world,” said Kate Laffey, vp of ViacomCBS International Studios. “As ViacomCBS continues to expand Paramount+ globally, it is important that we create content that is relevant to all audiences. This new initiative will ensure we continue to infuse diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of our work, especially our UK-sourced content. ”

The company announced it shortly after launching VIS Social Impact, a studio division of ViacomCBS International Studios dedicated to developing content geared towards social impact. The program was conceived and developed by Laffey and Claire Sowerby-Sheppard, head of development at VIS in the UK

Here’s more information on the five writers selected for the initiative.

Morgan Bailey
ViacomCBS said: “Bailey is a writer of Caribbean origin. “He was recently assigned to write an episode for a new children’s animated series for CBBC. His short film is titled cuffs currently in development with BFI/Film Hub North. Previously, he was a member of the BBC Writers room. In early 2018, he directed a short film Rumet.

Bec Boey
Boey is a graduate of the Royal Courts Young Writers Program and the BBC Writers Room London Voices group. Her short film work includes Dragon ball (best comedy at the London International Short Film Festival), Troll Hunter and Thief. “Her Horror Sound Series The Beach Hut has been commissioned by Storypunk for testing,” the company also emphasized. “She is currently developing a TV comedy with Sarah Brocklehurst and a feature film with Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor/BFI.”

Chris Bush
“Bush is a playwright, lyricist, stage producer and deputy director at Sheffield Theatre,” the company notes. Her previous work includes Hungry, Kein Weltuntergang / (Not) the end of the world, Standing at the edge of the sky (best musical at the UK Theater Awards) and Nine lessons and carols: A story for a long winter.

Iman Qureshi
Qureshi is an award-winning writer on stage, screen and radio. “In 2018, she won the prestigious Papatango New Writing Prize for her groundbreaking play Funeral Director, premiered at the Southwark Playhouse before touring the UK,” the company said. “The play is currently being adapted for show with STV Productions. Her play Lesbian set is also being regulated with NBCUniversal. ”

Kaamil Shah
Kingston Upon Thames
The company notes that the television, film and theater writer is “passionate about telling the stories of the Indian and Pakistani diaspora.” A graduate of both the London Film School and the University of Cambridge, in 2019 he was selected to enter the UGC Writers’ Campus at the Series Mania festival in Lille, France, where he developed his drama Dubai on the Thames, currently in development with Three Tables Productions. “His TV monologue Shahid’s First Shave available on BBC iPlayer, while his first short film Milk color launched at London’s BFI Southbank. He is developing original series ideas with various companies.

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