The Break is returning to BBC Three with five new original short monologues by up-and-coming writers.
Filming kicks off in November for The Break II, a collaboration between BBC Writersroom and BBC Drama Production to make five original shorts, written by up-and-coming BAME writing talent from across the UK.
Following on from the success of the first season, the monologues aim to showcase writers with a strong, unique voice who have yet to write for the screen. The selected writers were discovered through BBC Writersroom talent searches, development schemes and theatre partnerships.
“We are really excited by the stories and potential of the writers this year and have two fantastic filmmakers, Toby Fell-Holden and Nour Wazzi, to help bring these short stories to life,” says Producer Rachelle Constant.
Toby is a British writer-director based between New York and London. He graduated from Columbia’s Film MFA in 2013 and is a Screen International 2016 Star of Tomorrow. His short BALCONY won a Crystal Bear at the 66th Berlinale, and Best International Short at Flickerfest, along with a nomination for Best British Short at the BIFAs. Little Shadow, his thesis film, was long-listed for a BAFTA and nominated by the Casting Society of America (CSA) for an Artios. He is currently working on his first feature with Western Edge Pictures.
Nour Wazzi has worked in the industry for over 10 years collaborating on, and developing features and short films. She has amassed awards on a number of short films – winning Best Foreign Short in Mexico, Best Film at Naoussa and Jury Special mention at Magma for Film London’s Up on the Roof. The film, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival, has been selected, in over 30 festivals worldwide and has recently been sold for international TV broadcast, and is available at the BFI national archive.
In 2012, Nour produced and directed the award-winning psychological thriller Shackled, starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), which sold internationally for VOD and TV distribution.
“Writersroom is delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the work of such talented writers and directors. These shorts have drama, tension, laughs and surprises! We hope the audience enjoy this series as much as they did the last,” says Anne Edyvean, Head of BBC Writersroom.
Here’s a rundown of the new writers:
Berri is a writer and a performer. A graduate of both the Belgrade Theatre’s Critical Mass and the Royal Court Theatre’s local playwriting schemes and 2014 alumna for the Orange Tree Theatre’s invitation writers group. Her work has been staged by the Royal Exchange, Octagon Theatre, Theatre503, High Tide, The Space, Old Red Lion, and West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Her theatre company, Barefaced, has received rave reviews in the past for their female-led, pop-up genre, devised work. She recently wrote and performed her first one-woman show, LARP, which received five star reviews.
Chino Odimba was born in Nigeria, and raised in London. Her past work includes Women Embrace Two (Bristol Old Vic), An Ode to Adam (The Ustinov Theatre), Rainy Season (Bristol Old Vic’s ‘Ferment’), RAAR Birds (Ugly Sister Productions), The Bird Woman of Lewisham (Arcola Theatre). An attachment at Bristol Old Vic in 2014 led to a rehearsed reading of a new play His Name is Ishmael in 2014.
Her play Amongst the Reeds has just finished a run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2016) and The Yard Theatre and she is currently under commission for Eclipse Theatre’s Revolution Mix project (Bristol Old Vic), and as the Channel 4 Playwright (formerly Pearson Playwrights’ Scheme) at Talawa Theatre, she is also working on a community play for Tricycle Theatre’s Mapping Brent project due to be produced in spring 2017.
Emteaz’s acclaimed first play, Sweet Cider, was produced by Tamasha Theatre Company at the Arcola Theatre in 2008 and was published in 2013 in the anthology Plays for Today by Women by Aurora Metro Books. Blood, her second full length play for Tamasha, toured nationally in March and April 2015.
As a performance poet she has performed nationally and internationally and has toured with Transglobal Underground and the Benjamin Zephaniah band. She is currently under commission to the Royal Court Theatre.
Born and raised in Brixton, Nathaniel’s desire to create stories was sparked by the eclectic cultural mix of bedtime tales his mother would read him. But, for a long time his path seemed to lead towards becoming a professional footballer – that is, until a career-ending injury devastated his dreams.
Nathaniel found happiness again through his writing, which ultimately led to his selection for the MA Screenwriting Course at the National Film & Television School, where, for the duration of the two year, he was a David Lean Scholar.
Along with his monologue Special Delivery for The Break II, Nathaniel has recently completed an afternoon play for BBC Radio 4, and a short script Five by Five, for BBC Studios/Green Door. He also has a number of original dramas in early development including Man Marked (Kindle Entertainment), Football Traffickers (Hillbilly Television), Companion (BBC Studios) and Return Leg (Merman).
Maya is an actress best known for playing PC Maneet Bindra in BBC drama Line of Duty and Shazia in Season 1 to 3 of BBC 1 sitcom Citizen Khan. Maya was also part of the writing team for the latest series of The Kumars produced by Hat Trick for Sky 1. Her debut play Sket premiered at the Park Theatre in April 2016.
Maya says: “Through BBC Writersroom, I have taken part in various workshops including the Comedy Studio Residential and the Continuing Drama Workshop, amongst others. The Writersroom has been an invaluable part of getting my writing career started, providing constant support and guidance, and I am thrilled to be working on this project with them.”