For over a decade, BBC ALBA’s Gaelic dramas have entertained and engaged audiences with compelling, heart-felt and imaginative stories. Titles such as the offbeat comedy Eilbheas, long-running Bannan and vibrant new serial An Clò Mòr have won large and loyal audiences.
We are currently expanding our drama development slate and are looking for fresh ideas – either directly from Gaelic writers, or from drama indies working with Gaelic talent. This is the beginning of a longer-term development process aimed at growing new drama that might appear on the screen several years from now.
What we are looking for
This is an exciting opportunity to develop a brand-new Gaelic drama that will punch above its weight creatively and critically.
We are looking for stories that really mean something to the writer – and really matter to the audience. Authenticity, relatability and a passion for storytelling are crucial.
We are particularly interested in strong, character-led scenarios that can achieve a significant impact on the channel and beyond.
Adaptations will be considered alongside original ideas – but the rights must be available.
We are open to all genres that can appeal to a broad audience – from family drama to crime to comedy. Period drama, however, is likely to be prohibitively expensive – unless there are realistic prospects for co-financing and/or the cast of characters and locations are limited. We are also unlikely to look at more niche genres such as horror, sci fi, fantasy or myth.
We are open to all formats including singles, mini-series and feature-length projects. However, our priority is serial narrative of 30 or 60-minute episodes. And while returnability is something which we’ll take into account, it’s not essential.
We want to appeal to the broadest possible audience – both on linear and iPlayer.
Our watchwords are originality, vision and ambition. We want to develop ideas of the calibre of Andrea Gibbs’s Mayflies, Tom Berkeley and Ross White’s An Irish Goodbye, or Colm Bairéad’s An Cailín Ciúin. We are looking for a distinctive creative voice with a unique perspective on the world.
We want to work with the very best, creative talent from across Scotland. This call-out is open to Gaelic writers – and to established drama production companies working with Gaelic creative talent. Cultural and linguistic authenticity are key.
Although this call-out is for early-stage development we would welcome ideas or projects which have credible co-finance potential with other funding partners.
What to submit
This is not a call-out for full scripts. A simple treatment outlining the story, the main characters and the proposed approach is all that’s required at this stage – maximum 4 pages. If the idea is an adaptation of a literary work, you will need to confirm that the rights are available. Please also include CVs for the key creative talent.
Where to submit
When to submit
Please get your submission to us by 5pm on Friday 30 June 2023.
We will aim to read all the ideas by Friday 28 July 2023. We may follow up with an invitation to writers and/or producers to discuss their projects with us.
By Friday 25 August 2023 we will make a decision on which projects we want to develop. We will feedback to all applicants as soon as is feasible after that date. Successful writers/production companies will receive an offer for paid development.
If writers apply to us independently (ie not in partnership with a production company) we will seek to foster a relationship with an experienced indie.
For more information
If you would like any further information on this development call-out, please get in touch with Bill Macleod firstname.lastname@example.org