Keri Collins’ family adventure comedy Super Gran has topped the 13-strong Brit List 2023 for unproduced scripts from emerging UK talent.
Collins was a Screen Star of Tomorrow in 2014 and won the Welsh Bafta Breakthrough the same year for his feature debut Convenience. Super Gran surrounds a 12-year-old with dyslexia who reluctantly goes to stay with his Scottish grandmother only to discover she has superpowers and needs his help to bring down an “arrogant tech bro”.
Next in line with 18 recommendations is The Golden Radiance Of A Beetle from County Lines filmmaker Henry Blake and Xiao Tang. A horror romance, the feature is set in 1919 and follows a Chinese dock worker and a white English secretary whose relationship is threatened by societal contempt. It is produced by Bosena and Two Birds Entertainment and participated in the 2022 Les Arcs’ co-production village as well as receiving funding from the Uncertain Kingdom.
This is closely followed by Maja Bodenstein’s feature The Manikin with 16 recommendations. The psychological thriller centres around a woman who marries in to a wealthy family run by an unnerving matriarch. It is produced by 2020 Screen Star of Tomorrow Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor through her company Joi Productions. Two of Joi’s productions also featured on last year’s list.
It is the first time that three features have topped the list since incorporating TV scripts in 2019. Four of the entries overall are feature films while 10 are TV.
TV scripts include a revenge thriller from actor and writer Anita Vettesse called Your Knife My Back, My Gun Your Head. Vettesse’s acting credits include BBC series Vigil and Guilt while she has written on multiple episodes of Scottish soap River City.
This year, the gender parity is roughly split while a third of the writers come from historically underrepresented backgrounds.
The Brit List was first established in 2007 and compiles recommendations from UK production companies, talent agencies, sales companies, financiers, distributors and broadcasters.
The 2023 Brit List
Super Gran, wri. Keri Collins
Prod. Brock Media
Genre: Family adventure comedy
Summary: A dyslexic London schoolkid (12), tired of people saying he’s stupid, is sent to stay with his boring, cantankerous Scottish granny for Christmas. However, he is stunned to discover she has secret superpowers and a secret spy base beneath Loch Ness, as he is taken on an epic adventure in her flying 1980s Mini, doing battle with an arrogant tech bro who wants to bring about instant climate change for profit. It is in this chaos that the boy discovers his dyslexia helps him see the world in a different way, giving him his very own superpower with which to help his Super Gran.
The Golden Radiance Of A Beetle, wri. Henry Blake and Xiao Tang
Prod. Bosena and Two Birds Entertainment
Genre: Body Horror Love Story
Summary: 1919, East London. A Chinese dock worker and white English secretary fall in love, only for their relationship to be threatened by societal contempt, triggering the woman’s transmogrification into a beetle. Cocooned from the pain, can their love transcend?
The Manikin, wri. Maja Bodenstein
Prod. Joi Productions
Genre: Psychological thriller
Summary: A humble Tailor’s Daughter arrives at the manor house on an isolated island, newly married to the Third Brother of the family which resides there. But she soon discovers there’s more to the imposing Matriarch’s grip over the family than their hopes of inheritance alone, and comes to realise there may be power in the unsettling anatomical manikin that Matriarch keeps under lock and key…
Daring, wri. Libby Adam
Prod. Water & Power Productions
Genre: Crime Thriller
Summary: Raphael has spent his life trying to escape his family’s legacy. Kitty has spent hers trying to live up to one. So when a high stakes cocaine deal begins to unravel, both are drawn into the criminal underworld where their pasts force them to question if love and justice can ever coexist.
The Beautiful Gayme, wri. Asad
Prod. 5 Acts Productions
Genre: Comedy Drama
Summary: A failing gay amateur football team are in desperate need of saving and look to a new star player to be their unconventional hero. Can they save their football club, and themselves, in the process?
Bite Me, wri. Alfie Coates
Genre: Supernatural Drama
Summary: All Darcy wanted was to find her real dad. But when your dad manages a boyband – and when that boyband has a vampire in it – it’s hard to avoid getting blood on your hands.
Antipope, wri. Sam Ferguson (Curtis Brown)
Genre: Historical Adventure Comedy
Summary: Antipope follows two medieval conmen who get in over their heads after crashing a party at the castle of the Count of Avignon. There they find a scheming pit of vipers planning on anointing a new Pope at their wedding – an Antipope. When one of the conmen accidentally kills the chosen Cardinal, he’s forced to take their place to survive…
Preservation, wri. Matthew McDevitt
Genre: Crime Drama
Summary: On a Donegal island, two Gardaí battle a storm, the locals, paranoia and each other as they attempt to preserve a murder/suicide crime scene. But when they unearth an entire community complicit in generational crime, they’ll test each other’s limits of “what’s in the public interest”.
Dasilva & Sharp, wri. Karla Marie Sweet
Genre: Police Drama
Summary: City cop DS Melanie Sharp moves to Saltney-On-Sea, a tiny town on the Welsh and English border, after being hired as maternity cover for local detective Portia DaSilva. But when Portia returns from leave to find Mel has stuck around, she can’t help feeling like she’s trying to take her place. As animosity grows between the two women, their boss partners them up to solve a massive local case.
Marco & Gordon, wri. Joe Bishop
Summary: Marco & Gordon traces the volatile, tempestuous relationship between two giants of British cooking: Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay. We follow them through their respective boom and bust in ‘90s London, and the explosive end of their personal and professional alliance.
Foxes, wri. Dexter Flanders
Prod. Happy Prince
Summary: If one kiss had the power to destroy everything, would you risk it? A deeply moving and complex story of family, community, and sexual identity, Foxes tackles the Black gay experience with tenderness and beautiful depth.
Easy, wri. Cerys Hughes (Speed Literary and Talent Management)
Prod. B19 Media
Summary: Based on real life experiences, Easy is an unflinchingly dark comedy set within the slutty world of sex addiction, as a woman tries, fails, and tries again to connect in a world where everything, and everyone, feels disposable. When things go too far, how do you get off from getting off?
Your Knife My Back, My Gun Your Head, wri. Anita Vettesse
Producers: BBC Studios Drama
Genre: Revenge Thriller
Summary: How far is a woman prepared to go to protect her child? Fiona sets out on an all-consuming journey of revenge after headteacher Marissa expels her son for getting too close to her daughter. This decision is catastrophic and now Fiona is coming for Marissa’s daughter.