Carnival Films Launches Initiative for Creatives


Carnival Films (Downton Abbey) is rolling out the Collective, a new initiative designed to develop the next generation of TV series creators.

The Collective is a series of in-depth sessions that will train and guide emerging writers to respond to targeted broadcaster-led briefs and enable them to work on their ideas in a collaborative environment. It is the company’s first initiative focused on nurturing writers.

Spearheaded by Carnival’s head of development, Jo Strevens; development producer, Tara Cook; and development executive, Claire Daxter, the Collective brings together a group of aspiring talent that includes scriptwriter Grace Ofori-Attah (In the Long Run), screenwriter Ben Lewis (Psychobitches), writer Roanne Bardsley (Hollyoaks), playwright James Fritz (Parliament Square), and comedy and drama duo Matilda Wnek and Ryan O’Sullivan (Other People). Carnival aims to create a fresh development slate with the Collective talent.

Gareth Neame, the executive chairman of Carnival Films, said, “We are always seeking to expand our horizons in terms of the best writing talent, and take our responsibility to nurture talent very seriously. ‘Collective’ is a great way of doing just that and we’re delighted to be working with some of the most exciting, emerging creative voices coming out of the U.K. today.”

Ofori-Attah added, “Writing can be a very solitary occupation. Having the opportunity to sit down and discuss your ideas with a group of talented writers, as well as experienced development executives in an open, safe and supportive environment is invaluable. The scheme will challenge me to step outside my comfort zone and give me the confidence to really run riot with my ideas.”

Wnek and O’Sullivan noted, “We’re thrilled to participate in a collaborative process with other creatives, as it allows us to explore and interrogate our premise during the early development of our idea. It’s great that Carnival has provided such an experience and we are excited to hopefully take our show to the next stage.”