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Irish Writer Devin Doyle Wins Red Planet Discovery Prize
24 Sep 2018 :
Red Planet Pictures & ITV Drama have selected Irish writer Devin Doyle as the recipient of the 2018 Red Planet Prize.

Established as a talent discovery scheme, the competition seeks upcoming writers who can create a “fresh, original and inspiring popular drama” project. The selected recipient’s project is then taken and developed by Red Planet Pictures in association with British broadcaster, ITV.

Doyle's script for tense family drama Devoted Wife and Mother is said to have impressed the judges with its wit, originality and unique style. The story follows a woman as she has her life turned upside down when her debt dealing husband is kidnapped with a 500k ransom deadline for 5pm that day.

The Dublin-based writer is expected to work closely with Kate Rowland to develop the project, who has previously worked with writers such as Lee Hall (‘War Horse’), Stephen Butchard (‘The Child in Time’) and Sarah Phelps (‘And Then There Were None’).

Speaking about winning the award, writer Devin Doyle said:

“I’m excited, delighted and still more than a little shocked to have been named the winner of the Red Planet Prize. I’m deeply grateful to Red Planet Pictures and ITV for the opportunity the competition affords emerging writers. It’s a privilege, and I can’t wait to get stuck into the work.”

Doyle, who was joined by runner-up Sharma Walfall and whose project has also secured development support and funding from Red Planet Pictures, beat ten other applicants who had been shortlisted for the award. Each of the 12 shortlisted finalists were invited to a pitching masterclass with Red Planet Pictures CEO Tony Jordon, ITV’s departing Senior Drama Commissioner, Victoria Fea, writer Kate Rowland and actor/writer/director Adrian Lester.

Speaking about the prize winner, Red Planet Pictures CEO Tony Jordan said:

“We know this industry can be hard to break into, which is why we believe so fervently in giving opportunities like the Red Planet Prize to brilliant and talented writers. All 1,300 entries this year showed great promise, but Devin’s assured and great visual style makes him a real talent for the future, and I believe that Devoted Wife and Mother will make an incredible piece of drama for viewers to get their teeth stuck into.”

ITV’s Senior Drama Commissioner, Victoria Fea added:

“We were excited by the range and diversity of storytelling on offer this year and had a difficult job in creating a shortlist – a situation which reflects the dynamism and creativity in the TV Drama industry. However, both Devin and Sharma submitted pitches which had great potential for development; showing a great deal of thought about how their idea would stand out in a competitive marketplace.”

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