Industry Updates

Carol Morley awarded the prestigious Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship in partnership with BFI and FILM4


26 November 2015

SWF 2015 - sm

The fellowship, worth £30,000 , includes a curated journey into a world of scientific discovery. The award is designed to bring film and science closer together.

British writer and director Carol Morley (The Falling, Dreams of A Life, Edge, The Alcohol Years) has been awarded the 2015 Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship in partnership with BFI and Film4. Morley receives 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. Previous Fellowships have been awarded to Clio Barnard (2013) and Jonathan Glazer (2014).

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society at the Wellcome Trust said: “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to follow the journeys of Clio Barnard and Jonathan Glazer over the last two years and are delighted that Carol Morley will be taking up the Screenwriting Fellowship in 2016. The Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to delve into what it really means to be human and is the start of what we hope is a lifelong exploration into the world of science.”

Now in its third year the Screenwriting Fellowship is celebrated as a major annual award designed to nurture enquiring minds and unique voices and bring the worlds of film and science closer together. Crucially, and unusual in 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 and consider without the constraints of a specific project. In doing this, it is hoped the Fellowship’s creative influence will be profound and long-lived, and hopefully inspire films for years to come.
The Fellow is selected by the Fellowship Panel: story editor Kate Leys; Director of Culture and Society at the Wellcome Trust, Simon Chaplin; Senior Development and Production Executive at the BFI Film Fund, Lizzie Francke; and Senior Development Editor at Film4, Eva Yates.

Lizzie Francke, Senior Executive in the BFI Film Fund said: “Carol’s extraordinary body of work demonstrates her fascination with the human condition. Time and again she has shown a deep compassion for our flaws and wonderment at the strength of our humanity. The prospect of Carol immersing herself in Wellcome’s incredible collections and resources makes our hearts leap, and we can’t wait to see how this year will help provoke and inspire the next steps on Carol’s creative journey.”

Rose Garnett, Head of Creative at Film4 said: “Film4 and the Wellcome Trust are natural partners. We’ve loved working with them over the last few years and the Fellowship is becoming a key event in the UK film calendar. It provides a rare resource that allows creative minds enormous freedom and range in exploring their preoccupations. Clio Barnard, Jonathan Glazer and now Carol Morley are perfect recipients of this one of a kind opportunity – all three film-makers of real vision and curiosity.”

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

Talking about his year 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.”

The Fellowship includes a £30,000 bursary for one year, as well as 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.

Image: (L-R) Simon Chaplin, Lizzie Franke, Carol Morley, Rose Garnett, Jonathan Glazer (c) Wellcome Trust

Natalie Hodgson
Media Officer, Wellcome Trust
T +44 207 611 7290

About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We provide more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.

The BFI Film Fund
With over £30 million of Lottery funding to invest each year, the BFI is the UK’s largest public investor in film, and the BFI Film Fund supports first-class British filmmaking from talent and project development, through production, to audience development across exhibition, distribution and international sales.
Films supported by the BFI Film Fund include Sarah Gavron’s critical and box office hit, Suffragette; John Crowley’s  Brooklyn; Sean McAllister’s A Syrian Love Story, which won the Grand Jury prize at Sheffield Doc/Fest;  Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster which premiered In Competition at Cannes in May; Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years which won Silver Bear awards for Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay at the Berlin Film Festival and has become the first film in the UK to gross over £1 million with a simultaneous theatrical and online release; Scott Graham’s Iona which screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival;  John Maclean’s Slow West, Louise Osmond’s Dark Horse, and Jerry Rothwell’s How to Change the World which all premiered at Sundance.
Highly anticipated films backed by the BFI include Ben Wheatley’s High Rise; Terence Davies’ Sunset Song; John Michael McDonagh’s War On Everyone; Andrea Arnold’s American Honey; Colm McCarthy’s She Who Brings Gifts; and Pete Travis’ City of Tiny Lights.

About the BFI     
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
• Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
• Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
• Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK – investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
• Promoting British film and talent to the world 
• Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

About Film4
Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in the UK, whether new or established.  
Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award-winners such as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris Morris’ Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and David Mackenzie’s Starred Up.
Film4’s recent releases include; Todd Haynes’ Carol, Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette, Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary Amy, Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Peter Strickland’s The Duke of Burgundy, Daniel Wolfe’s Catch Me Daddy and John Maclean’s Slow West.
Forthcoming releases include; Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, Susanna White’s Our Kind of Traitor, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise and Free Fire, Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk, Benedict Andrews’ Una and Andrea Arnold’s American Honey.
For further information visit

Source: Wellcome Press Release

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