Dexter Flanders and Sophia Leonie Win Coveted Neal Street Productions Bursaries
Neal Street Productions has today announced the recipients of their screenwriting bursaries, aimed specifically at supporting and training emerging Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnicity writers. Dexter and Sophia are two of only five winners, selected from more than a thousand entries across the UK. They are awarded £20,000 to write an original screenplay, which can be either a TV pilot or a feature film, and they will be supported through the script development process by the Neal Street team.
Neal Street Productions is run by Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Caro Newling, and Nicolas Brown. The company has been producing award-winning film, television and theatre for nearly 20 years, and their recent productions include 1917 and Call the Midwife. They are keen to widen the pool of screenwriting talent, and have a focus on nurturing new and diverse voices who are currently under-represented. The bursary scheme is supported by Neal Street Production's parent company, All3Media.
Dexter Flanders trained as an actor at RADA. His debut play Foxes was a finalist for the Alfred Fagon Award for Best New Play of the Year by a Black British playwright. This was due to premiere at Theatre503 last spring but dates were pushed back due to Covid. Dexter was in the writers’ room for the new street dance inspired Sky series. He was also asked back to RADA to pen a short film for the final year students and is taking part in a new audio project about climate change.
Sophia Leonie is a writer and performer from North London. Her first short film, Love and More Important Things, which she wrote and produced, was selected for the BUFF Film Festival’s Odeon Love Shorts collection. In summer 2020, Sophia was part of the Writers’ Room with Kelebek Media for a new animated series. Sophia is currently developing a script with CBBC for a new television series and was selected for the BBC’s Holby City Shadow Writer’s Scheme in autumn 2020.