Script Development Lab 2021: Meet the Participants

BFI NETWORK South West are pleased to present our participants for the Script Development Lab 2021.

Taking place over 3 consecutive months, they will receive scriptwriting workshops, 1:1 script consultations, and benefit from generative peer-to-peer support to take a narrative short idea from a treatment/outline to a completed script.BFI NETWORK South West are pleased to present our participants for the Script Development Lab 2021. 8 participants were selected from 110+ applications – here you can learn more about each individual.

Over the course of three months, the participants will be working under the expert guidance of Script Editor, Jess Jones. Jess is currently working on features for BBC Films, BFI Film Fund, and Ffilm Cymru. Previously she has worked in development for BBC Drama, Channel 4 Drama, and has also script edited on BAFTA and BIFA nominated shorts.

Our 8 participants were selected from over 110+ applications on the basis of the potential of their idea and talent for writing. Learn more about each individual, below.

Samuel Jay Chessell 

Based in Cornwall 

A passionate and adaptable writer, Samuel has written both short and feature films, as well as for video games. He thrives on writing overlooked characters, bringing stories of the voiceless to the fore regardless of genre or format. He has been short-listed for Shore Scripts & Enter the Pitch, and has been selected for BFI NETWORK South West and Screen Cornwall workshops. His most recent short script An Tarow, won the FylmK 2019 Cornish language production award and is now on the festival circuit. Originally trained as a photographer, he is now also venturing into directing.


Jessica Da Silva 

Based in Bristol 

Jessica is an award-winning Visual Artist and new Writer/Director who has a background in community theatre and art festivals. Jessica describes themselves as a creative facilitator, producing digital workshops. Jessica’s practise is founded in diasporic narratives and traditional folklore fantasy. They want to celebrate the intersectionality in queer identities and make films that explore the ever-changing meaning of home. Jessica’s directing debut with BBC New Creatives is the culmination of a summer of unlearning and challenging new understandings within, with a hope these stories can radically push forward conversations on queer joy and the ‘Black: other’ experience. 

Twitter / Instagram

Kayleigh Gibbons 

Based in Bristol 

Kayleigh graduated from Bristol UWE with a degree in Animation. Her first two co-created films SCUNNER and Peace Starts With Me premiered in 2010 at Encounters Film Festival and the One Young World summit in Zurich. She began freelancing as an Animator in Bristol and has worked on TV series such as BBC’s Little Roy, Nick Cope’s Popcast and Nick Jr’s Becca’s Bunch. In 2019 she directed her first award-winning short film FEATHERWEIGHT funded by NI Screen. She currently works as an Animation Designer at a local studio and is excited to start a new short film.

Daniel Granville 

Based in Wiltshire 

Daniel is a British Director, screenwriter, and essayist. His art film “Phaëton” explores the epistemology of voyeurism through a non-human perspective. He is the writer and co-producer of the short films “What About Now?”, and “Family Meeting”. He is currently developing his feature film debut.  

Alison Hargeaves  

Based in Bristol 

Alison is a writer and director with a background in theatre. Her debut short was a creative documentary, MAKE THE MOST OF ME, made in a care home which received a Best Editor nomination from the BAFTA – accredited Underwire Festival.  She won a commission from The Uncertain Kingdom to make CAMELOT for Curzon Home Cinema, Apple TV and Prime Video which combines fantasy with an observational portrait of 8-year-old boys growing up in the Rhymney Valley. Her approach is to find authenticity warmly, profoundly and with a sense of fun. She has also been selected for the BFI Network/BAFTA Crew programme. 

William Mager 

Based in Bristol 

William (Billy to his friends) loves to write about little-known historical figures, alternative history, and personal memoir. He is developing his prose writing with the support of Arts Council South West and The Literary Consultancy. William is working with director Ted Evans (RETREAT) on developing SIGNS (working title), a feature film project supported by the BFI’s Early Development Fund. William has also written several short films including ONE LETTER, a short film written for Slick Films, executive produced by Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton of THE SILENT CHILD. William’s favourite film is always a split decision between SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.


Matthew Short 

Based in Devon 

Matthew works at the intersection of ethnology and creative practice. He is a freelance cultural researcher and dramaturg. With his MA in ethnology from Lund University and BA in writing, directing, and performance from the University of York, he has developed a way of combining his passions through the lens of ethnofiction. Matthew’s dramaturgical work has primarily been with the Swedish fringe company Teater Dictatwhose queer and norm-creative approach radically changes classic theatre texts. He brings an ethnographic practice to help enhance the art through the lived experiences of the actors involved. He is particularly inspired by the importance of place, especially the rural landscapes of Devon, Cornwall, and Skåne. 


Corinne Walker 

Based in Bristol 

Corinne is an actor, writer, producer and filmmaker. An East 15 Acting School graduate, she has worked extensively onstage. Her most recent role in live-streamed one-woman show ‘Illusions of Liberty’ was nominated for an Oncomm award (Offies). She most recently wrote and directed comedy short Clifford which was commissioned by BBC New Creatives and as a writer she was also selected to contribute a monologue to Vol2 of the Hear Me Now Monologues anthology. She is passionate about creating entertaining, exciting work that offers a fresh perspective on the urgent, unspoken issues in society today. 

Twitter / Instagram

Further information

  • Past Lab Participants Read more
  • Animation Lab 2019: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Animation Producer Lab 2024: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Creative Producers Lab 2021: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Directing Workshop 2019: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Director Lab 2024: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Producers Lab 2020: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Voices 2020: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Voices 2021: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Voices 2023: Meet the Participants Read more
  • New Writers Lab 2020: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Peninsula Producers Network Read more
  • Producer Lab 2023: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Producer’s Lab 2019: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Queer Storytelling Workshop: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Script Development Lab 2021: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Script Development Workshop 2019: Meet the Participants Read more
  • Shorts2Features 2022: Meet the Cohort Read more
  • Thinking Cinematically Participants Read more

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