Prizewinning film script incorporates Jèrriais

December 12th, 2010

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Prizewinning film script incorporates Jèrriais

Office du Jerriaiscinema

Thursday, 9 December 2010, 3:22 pm
Press Release: Victoria University of Wellington

Tale of Jersey under the jackboot wins scriptwriting prize

A feature film script set in a German-occupied Jersey Island during World War Two, has won Maya Hammarsal the annual David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize.

Her script Abandoned Islands follows a doctor on Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, who could leave with his English wife before the Germans arrive, but chooses to stay and help the islanders through the many perils of occupation.

A Master’s student in the Creative Writing programme at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), Maya Hammarsal received the $2000 prize at a function at the Embassy Theatre on Tuesday night. The annual prize is awarded to the best script written during the Master’s course.

“I’m really chuffed to have won this award and hopefully this is just the start. I’d like to attract a seasoned New Zealand director to my script Abandoned Islands. World War Two drama is a genre that sells internationally. My story would make a great co-production; it gives space to the UK, France or even Germany, coming on board,” says Maya who emigrated from Jersey to New Zealand last year.

“Visually Jersey is a stunning place to film but a lot could be done in New Zealand with New Zealand actors, I’m sure they’d master the Jersey accent!”

Victoria Scriptwriting Programme Director David Geary was highly impressed with the script’s detailed evocation of a time and place that creates an original and compelling historical drama that most of the world knows nothing of.

“It’s a rich world we’re taken into, populated with striking characters, who go through hell and sweep us along with them.

By incorporating the native Jèrriais language, the script also serves to help preserve a culture that is under threat even now.

“Maya is from the island, this story is in her blood. It’s about her family and her people, told with passion, and that comes across on every page.”

Funded through the Victoria University Foundation, the David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize was first established by the Embassy Theatre Trust and is now funded by arts philanthropist David Carson-Parker.