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Bookmark and Share Russell T Davies To Co-Judge New Drama Award

3/13/2012 11:48:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

WalesDramaAwardRussell T Davies is to be one of the inaugural judges in a new £10,000 initiative for writers living in Wales.

The Wales Drama Award, which will be given every two years, was launched at yesterday's official opening of the BBC's Roath Lock drama studios in Cardiff - the new home of Doctor Who.

For this year's award, writers must submit a full-length, unperformed, or unproduced script in any medium and in English, with a minimum running length of 30 minutes, by July 16th. Six writers who are shortlisted will then be asked to submit a one-page outline of an original idea for development before meeting the judges in September to discuss their script as well as the idea.

The winner, who will be announced in September or October this year, will receive £10,000 and the chance to develop their script and idea with BBC Cymru Wales or National Theatre Wales. Two runners-up will each receive £1,000.

The BBC said:
The competition is open to any writer residing in Wales. We want to encourage writers who feel passionate about the stories they want to tell, and who have something to offer audiences across the length and breadth of Wales and the wider UK.

The judging panel will also comprise BBC creative director of new writing Kate Rowland, BBC Cymru Wales head of drama Faith Penhale, National Theatre Wales artistic director John McGrath, and writer Abi Morgan (Sex Traffic, The Iron Lady, The Hour).

Wales's First Minister, Carwyn Jones, performed the opening ceremony at the Roath Lock production centre by unveiling a plaque on the TARDIS prop. The drama village, which took just 14 months to build, is part of the Porth Teigr renovation projection on Cardiff waterfront. Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Mr Jones said:
This studio complex is a major step forward for the creative industries in Wales and will be home to famous drama productions that are viewed across the world.

The creative industries from TV, film and theatre are of major importance to our economy, supporting jobs and investment, and the Welsh government is determined for this to continue.

BBC Cymru Wales' Roath Lock is a symbol of what Wales can achieve and the bright future we have ahead of us.

Open days over the weekend of 10th and 11th March gave members of the public the chance to see props from Doctor Who and Upstairs, Downstairs, as well as a look round the sets of Casualty and Pobol y Cwm, which have also shifted production to the 170,000 sq ft drama village - the BBC's largest drama production centre in the UK. An exhibition included costumes from Sherlock, which was co-created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and a Dalek.

Doctor Who production has moved to Roath Lock from Upper Boat. A video report on the opening, in which BBC director-general Mark Thompson mentions the beneficial effect locally of Doctor Who being made there, is available here.