Libertine Pictures’ Big Break talent search has optioned screenplays from Kristi Barnett and Nic Gorman, with the possibility of more to come.
The Big Break drew 225 submissions before its mid-April closing date, which is why it’s taken the Libertine team over five months to get through them all and make some decisions. The two option deals announced today aren’t necessarily the end of the Big Break road for everyone else who submitted.
Barnett’s script is for 39 Days: A couple are stranded on a life-raft when the boyfriend becomes infected by a vicious virus that mutates him, forcing them against each other.
In the last year the script has reached the quarter finals of the Austin Film Festival script competition, semi-finals of the Shriekfest, Screencraft Fellowship and Screamfest competitions and been named a finalist of the Just Effing Entertain Me competition.
Gorman’s short Here Be Monsters was a winner at the 2013 NZ Film Awards, Show Me Shorts Festival, and Stanley Film Festival, as well as being selected at several international festivals. Gorman has a feature script Human Traces in development with NZFC support, although it’s a different project Libertine have optioned.
Libertine’s Richard Fletcher says discussions continue with several other writers whose work may also be optioned. Emily Anderton, Libertine’s head of development, is meeting with a further dozen writers whose work impressed but whose idea submitted would not able to be made by Libertine.
Anderton said, “We now have a group of writers whose ability we really rate and we have invited them to come back to us with new ideas.”
Outside of Big Break submissions Libertine announced in May that it would put feature Urban Mermaids , to be written by Pip Hall, into development.