Bedales student scoops national scriptwriting award

Bedales Senior

A screenplay written by Block 4 (Year 10) Bedales student Freya Hannan-Mills has emerged as one of the winners of a parliamentary-based film and scriptwriting competition for students and independent filmmakers based in the UK.

Freya’s entry, The Iron Grotto, took the prize for Best Original Film Script in the Under 16 category of the Film the House Awards 2018.

As well as being presented with the award by House of Cards writer and executive producer Lord Michael Dobbs at a prestigious ceremony at the House of Commons on 2 April, Freya took home an impressive prize, which included a BBFC rating certification, a monetary award to support the purchase of film equipment and 12 months of one-to-one industry mentoring.

The Film the House Awards was set up by former MP Mike Weatherley to educate parliamentarians and young people about the importance of the creative industries to the UK economy. It continues to be run by MPs to find the filmmakers of the future, as well as raise awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights among creators, legislators and the general public.

Last year the competition – which is sponsored by several leading production companies, including 21st Century Fox, Warner Bros and Viacom – saw an influx of entries from around the UK, with entries spanning over 70 constituencies. An expert industry panel of leading figures from across Britain’s creative landscape chose the winners from a shortlist that had been compiled by MPs.

Freya’s success in the competition is just one in a recent string of impressive achievements. In January, another of her original scripts – Swallow – was brought to life by Olivier Award-winning actress Denise Gough at a sold-out event at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, before going on to be performed at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London the following month. The script had previously emerged as a winning entry in last year’s Wicked Young Writer Awards.

More recently, Freya was announced the winner of a competition held by Daunt Books for submitting a short story which is set to be published in a new anthology with original illustrations by illustrator and author Emma Chichester Clark.

Head of Bedales Magnus Bashaarat said: “Congratulations to Freya for this prestigious award, recognising her creative writing talent and significant potential. I am sure she will make the most of the opportunity to learn from the experience, particularly the professional mentoring, and further hone her writing skills.”