Press release

Carol Morley awarded prestigious Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship in partnership with BFI and FILM4

The fellowship, worth £30,000 , includes a curated journey into a world of scientific discovery. The award is designed to bring film and science closer together.

British writer and director Carol Morley ('The Falling', 'Dreams of A Life', 'Edge', 'The Alcohol Years') has been awarded the 2015 Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship in partnership with BFI and Film4. Morley receives an award of £30,000 together with a tailored experience including unparalleled access to some of the most exciting scientific and humanities research in the world. Previous Fellowships have been awarded to Clio Barnard (2013) and Jonathan Glazer (2014).

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society at the Wellcome Trust said: "We’ve been incredibly fortunate to follow the journeys of Clio Barnard and Jonathan Glazer over the last two years and are delighted that Carol Morley will be taking up the Screenwriting Fellowship in 2016. The Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to delve into what it really means to be human and is the start of what we hope is a lifelong exploration into the world of science."

Now in its third year the Screenwriting Fellowship is celebrated as a major annual award designed to nurture enquiring minds and unique voices and bring the worlds of film and science closer together. Crucially, and unusual in the industry, the Fellow is not required to produce anything at the end of the year; the intention is to allow time and space to explore and consider without the constraints of a specific project. In doing this, it is hoped the Fellowship’s creative influence will be profound and long-lived, and hopefully inspire films for years to come.

The Fellow is selected by the Fellowship Panel: story editor Kate Leys; Director of Culture and Society at the Wellcome Trust, Simon Chaplin; Senior Development and Production Executive at the BFI Film Fund, Lizzie Francke; and Senior Development Editor at Film4, Eva Yates.

Lizzie Francke, Senior Executive in the BFI Film Fund said: "Carol’s extraordinary body of work demonstrates her fascination with the human condition. Time and again she has shown a deep compassion for our flaws and wonderment at the strength of our humanity. The prospect of Carol immersing herself in Wellcome’s incredible collections and resources makes our hearts leap, and we can’t wait to see how this year will help provoke and inspire the next steps on Carol’s creative journey."

Rose Garnett, Head of Creative at Film4 said: "Film4 and the Wellcome Trust are natural partners. We’ve loved working with them over the last few years and the Fellowship is becoming a key event in the UK film calendar. It provides a rare resource that allows creative minds enormous freedom and range in exploring their preoccupations. Clio Barnard, Jonathan Glazer and now Carol Morley are perfect recipients of this one of a kind opportunity – all three film-makers of real vision and curiosity."

In November 2013, the inaugural Fellowship was awarded to Clio Barnard in recognition of the inimitable way she explores the human condition, and last year Jonathan Glazer, a writer director of real vision, appetite and curiosity, became the second Fellow.

Talking about his year Jonathan Glazer said: "Wellcome is so alive, it’s like a big brain. The fellowship has exposed me to a diversity of brilliant people. Scientists, doctors, historians, curators, researchers and archivists whose knowledge has helped transform my understanding of the film ideas I’m developing. It’s been an honour to have had such a unique opportunity. I’m very thankful for it."

The Fellowship includes a £30,000 bursary for one year, as well as the option to take-up some, or all, of the following:

  • Access and introductions to leaders in the fields of science and medical history
  • Behind-the-scenes access to Henry Wellcome’s library, archive and collection of curios
  • Visits to research institutions and programmes which carry out work in areas such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis and mental health conditions
  • A personal MRI brain scan and genome analysis for insight into neuroscience and genetics
  • Direct access to contemporary science research trials
  • Access to a new interdisciplinary space to work alongside scientists, scholars and creative practitioners – The Hub at Wellcome Collection.