SQ News

Applications open today for the Greg Coote Scholarship offering a placement in a FremantleMedia long-form broadcast drama writers’ room

Screen Queensland (SQ), along with Australians in Film, the Queensland Writers Centre and FremantleMedia are thrilled to announce applications for the Greg Coote Scholarship open today.   This year’s Greg Coote Scholarship will create an opportunity for an experienced, Queensland screen industry creative with a passion for long-form broadcast drama to be placed in a FremantleMedia television production’s writers’ room based in London or Europe.

‘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.

The Greg Coote Scholarship is a competitive application process which offers a Queensland writer (or a talented producer, director or creative executive with a passion and track record in creating long-form broadcast drama), the once in a lifetime opportunity to be placed in an international writers’ room for a minimum of six to eight weeks valued at AU $25,000.  As sponsor of this year’s scholarship, the 2017 residency will take place in a London or European writers’ room with a FrementleMedia television production.

‘For the inaugural Scholarship, we had the pleasure of placing Queenslander Megan Doneman in the top-rating US television series NCIS: Los Angeles writers’ room in Los Angeles,’ said Ms Apelt.  ‘Megan has been such a success, they have asked her to stay on for the remainder of the year.’

‘Australians in Film has supported Megan throughout her placement in the NCIS: Los Angeles writers’ room and we have 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 Australians in Film President Kate Marks.

‘Queensland Writers Centre is proud to be a partner in this exceptional initiative which not only provides the recipient with a unique professional development opportunity but also showcases Queensland screenwriting talent on an international stage,’ said Queensland Writers Centre CEO Katie Woods.

Sarah Doole, Director of Global Drama at FremantleMedia, added: ‘FremantleMedia 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. That’s why we’re delighted to partner with Screen Queensland, Australians in Film, and the Queensland Writers Centre to support the Greg Coote Scholarship. We’re really looking forward to seeing the results and to working with the winner.’

Applications for the Greg Coote Scholarship will be assessed by the Greg Coote Committee consisting of high level members of the US and Australian screen industry and senior Screen Queensland executives.

The Greg Coote Scholarship will fund the costs of the placement, including travel and visas, and provide a small weekly wage to the recipient.

Applications are now open and close 5.00pm (AEST), Friday 13 January 2017.

To view the guidelines click here.

To apply via SmartyGrants, apply click here.

For more information about the Greg Coote Scholarship, please contact the Screen Queensland Development and Production team at dandp@screenqld.com.au or
07 3248 0500.

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For all media enquiries, please contact: media@screenqld.com.au | 07 3248 0500

About Greg Coote

Greg Coote was one of Australia’s most prolific industry figures. Greg ran LA-based Larrikin Entertainment with David Calvert-Jones; he was a producer and financier of theatrical movies, television programs and digital entertainment content. He was also a non-executive director of Bollywood distributor Eros International, Chairman of US distributor China Lion, Chairman of the ScreenSingapore convention and a member of the advisory board of the Singapore Government’s Media Development Authority. Previously Greg was Chairman and CEO of Dune Entertainment, which co-financed more than 60 movies with 20th Century Fox, including Avatar. Born in Australia, Greg started his career in the mailroom, working his way from the ground up to become Managing Director of Roadshow Films. He left Village Roadshow to head the Rupert Murdoch-owned Network Ten as Managing Director before joining Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles as President, International Theatrical. He re-joined Village Roadshow when it became publicly listed and was appointed to the parent board. As the founding president and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures in Los Angeles, he steered the company through 10 consecutive years of profits and forged a multi-million-dollar production deal with Warner Bros., including The Matrix franchise. Not only was Greg prolific in business, he was also an extraordinary leader and advocate for the arts in the public schools. Greg founded an arts endowment campaign to fund arts programs in perpetuity and to create a model for other school districts around the state and country. He was a generous and strong individual who was able to bring people along with him when it came to making sure that the arts remained part of the public school curriculum.