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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Cash for 'high concept' film ideas
The Film Council hopes at least one script will be made into a film
The Film Council has awarded cash to four young scriptwriters who pitched their thriller, horror or comedy movie ideas in 25 words or less.

The four script pitches will now be fast-tracked into screenplays under the development scheme.

The "25 words or less" approach was launched last year.

The four scripts are Egomania by Paul Alexander and Simon Braithwaite, The Cleaner by Peter Michael Rosenberg, Shoeless Joe by Andrew Clyde and Storage by Chris Denne and Matt Winn.

Click here to see how the writers pitched their ideas

And now the council is looking for similar submissions in the science fiction, romantic comedy and teen film categories.

Natalie Wreyford of the UK Film Council's Development Fund said: "We are delighted with the high number of entries and excited to see if the next round will be as successful.

"The four projects we have chosen are great examples of good genre writing."

Three of the scripts - Egomania, The Cleaner and Shoeless Joe -were awarded 12,500 in development money, with Storage receiving 5,000.

Rosenberg's 24 word brief for The Cleaner, which is about a crime scenes cleaner who suspects policemen are killers, earned him more than 500 a word.

Oscar winner Gladiator was pitched in a paragraph

The Film Council believes the 25 word limit made writers focus on the concept of their story. They received 370 applicants.

The winning scriptwriters now have eight weeks to prepare a first draft, and the council hoped that at least one of the scripts will be made into a film.

Many successful Hollywood films, including Steven Spielberg's jaws and the Oscar-winning historical epic Gladiator, were pitched in this manner. Studios call the device 'high concept'.

Submissions for the science fiction, romantic or teen films round can be entered until 1 June 2003.

As well as the 25 word pitch, writers have to provide a page synopsis of their idea, and ten pages of sample scenes from their proposed script.

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Egomania by Paul Alexander and Simon Braithwaite - Hotshot young lawyer Michael Stark becomes so successful, so arrogant and so full of himself that his ego decides to go solo - with disastrous consequences.

The Cleaner by Peter Michael Rosenberg - When a crime scene cleaner haunted by his past uncovers evidence that suggests LAPD cops are working as assassins, he becomes their next target.

Shoeless Joe by Andrew Clyde - A holiday of a lifetime across the desolate heart of the Australian outback turns into a living nightmare for five friends.

Storage by Chris Denne and Matt Winn - Terror stalks a storage facility. Survival for those trapped inside depends on the secrets in those endless units. But some doors are better left locked.

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