Renowned screenwriters and film directors Mike Figgis and Venkat Prabhu are alumni of Middlesex University. Film actor, comedian and screenwriter Alan Carr is also an alumnus!
Mike Figgis’s first American film was Internal Affairs (1990), starring Richard Gere. Figgis is arguably best known, however, for Leaving Las Vegas (1995), starring Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, which earned Figgis Academy Award nominations for Best Directing and Best Screenplay.
Venkat Prabhu is an Indian filmmaker, actor and singer. He won a host of awards, including Best Screenplay, for his breakout movie Chennai 600028 (2007). Since then, he has made a string of commercially successful movies, including Goa (2010), Biriyani (2013) and, most recently, Kasada Thapara (2021).
Alan Carr is a household name as an English comedian, broadcaster and writer. He starred in the comedy chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man (2009–2016), which aired on Channel 4. Since 2017, Carr has often stood in as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. In 2019, he became a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race UK. He has won two British Comedy Awards, two National Television Awards and a BAFTA TV Award.
Middlesex University teaches scriptwriting as a part of its Theatre Design and Production BA and Scriptwriting MA (Stage, Screen and Audio) degrees. In addition to that, the university has a strong tradition in both producing theatre scriptwriting and academically researching the discipline. For example, and James Martin Charlton is an award-winning scriptwriter and researcher, with numerous creative works to his name, including the play Fat Souls, which won the International Playwriting Festival at the Warehouse in Croydon, and the play Coward, about the life of Noel Coward, and, most recently, Reformation. Current lecturer James Kenworth is a successful theatre practitioner/playwright and academic, whose research interests include biography and adaptation, as well as using site-specific and non-traditional performance space. His recent/current practice includes a series of localist-based, East-End plays: When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm, A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham and Alice in Canning Town (2019). And Charlotte Thompson is both a scriptwriter, with plays like Conversations Heard in Passing and One Good Day, and a published academic.
Middlesex University teaches scriptwriting as a part of its BA Film and Scriptwriting MA (Stage, Screen and Audio) degrees. The degrees are taught by successful scriptwriters, film-makers and film researchers. For example, our lecturer David Heinemann has written and directed films which include Remember, Thou Art Clay (2017), Unburied (2018), Voices Apart (2019), The Garden (2019), and more. BA Film is run by David Cottis, who is a renowned scriptwriter, director, reviewer and academic. One of his most recent publications is the book A Ladder of Words (2020). And lecturer Vron Harris is a film-maker with over twenty years of experience as a freelance Producer/Director, Director of Photography, Editor and Artist. Vron has worked on a wide range of projects in film, television, documentary and light entertainment, theatre, opera and art.
Middlesex also teaches and researches scriptwriting for television. Academic and award-winning producer Paul Kerr has written a number of books on television and film, including The Hollywood Film Industry and, more recently, Hollywood Independent: How the Mirisch Film Company Changed Cinema. Then, researcher Basil Glynn has recently published The Mummy on Screen with Bloomsbury, to accompany his previous publication Television, Sex and Society, and Deborah Klika has a number of publications, including Situation Comedy, Character and Psychoanalysis.
Current undergraduate and recent graduate students of Middlesex have also seen their scriptwriting recognised with awards. Two of our BA Film students, Billy King and Vasco Sancho, won the 2021 Best Scripted Category at the Royal Television Society London Student Awards for ‘Yard Kings’, while two of our TV students, Anand Tiwari and Timea Varga, won Best Unscripted Category for ‘One Day You Will Hear My Voice’, about a banned female Iranian singer.
Other students of Middlesex who have also seen their film work win recent awards include Laura Torres and Cloé Peker, who won accolades at the prestigious Learning on Screen awards. Both Laura Torres and Cloé Peker won accolades at the prestigious Learning on Screen awards. Laura was jubilant after winning the Promotional Film Award for her film He Loves Me Not, which tackles domestic violence, and also the Postgraduate Film Award for her production Hope, which focuses on the trauma for mothers who are pregnant again after a stillbirth. Her Three States of Time in Storytelling production, which explains the process of making Hope, was also nominated for the Create Reuse Award. Meanwhile, Cloé Peker, who successfully graduated with a BA Film degree from Middlesex, won the Student Documentary Award for the poignant film Saudade, focusing on the impact of development on the Arrábida national park in her home city of Setúbal, Portugal.
You can see the trailer to Saudade below.
If you would like to access some free learning materials related to creative writing, please find them here.