NFTS And Popcorn Group Partner On The Inaugural NFTS Popcorn Award 2021

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) and Popcorn Group have partnered to create the first ever NFTS Popcorn Award 2021, which has been awarded to current Screenwriting MA student Lily Seriki for her outstanding television pilot, Silly Girl.  

 Lily Seriki - winner of the first ever NFTS Popcorn Award 2021
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Silly Girl, set in Regency-era England, follows two teenage girls who are meant to be mastering the performance of simpering feminity. But Cecily is an autistic gynaecologist with no tolerance for pretence, And Olive is a mixed race 'mulatta' with explosive ADHD. Up against a world that seeks to 'cure' their minds by controlling their bodies, the best friends learn to love their pathologised identities and fight for a life that's free, independent, and defiantly insane. 

Following on from the success of their theatre award (the Popcorn Writing Award in conjunction with the Edinburgh Fringe), Popcorn Group wanted to set up a similar award dedicated to film and television, to champion stories with strong identities which look to shape the conversation around social and political issues in a thought-provoking way. 

The NFTS Popcorn Award includes a cash prize of £2,500 plus a development deal with Popcorn Group.

Silly Girl was one of 10 remarkable scripts by current students of the NFTS Screenwriting MA whose alumni includes screenwriters Laurie Nunn (Sex Education) and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Last Night in Soho). The works ranged from in depth conversations on male depression through to female revenge and satirical observations on the housing crisis. 

Brian Ward, Head of Screenwriting at NFTS commented: “It’s great to be teaming up with Popcorn Group for both this award and our recent week-long Writers’ Retreat in Cornwall, which they generously sponsored. We’re all pleased for Lily and wish her every success with Silly Girl. It’s been a hugely inspiring and productive experience for the rest of the Screenwriting MA students to pitch a major project and introduce themselves to Popcorn.” 

Charlotte Colbert and Jessica Malik of Popcorn Group said, “Silly Girl was everything that we were looking for in a script. We couldn’t be happier to celebrate this exceptional piece of work that explores female friendship and the neurodivergent experience in a completely refreshing and brave way.”

Lily Seriki, recipient of the NFTS Popcorn Award 2021, added: “I’m so happy and grateful to have won the first NFTS Popcorn Award. I can’t wait to start working with Popcorn and am really excited that my first professional experience will be with people who are so focused on feminism and amplifying voices we haven’t heard from before. That’s pretty much what I want my screenwriting career to be all about.”

Popcorn Group’s recent work includes the critically acclaimed, BIFA-nominated, Golden Leopard winning SHE WILL, starring Alice Krige, Kota Eberhardt, Rupert Everett and Malcolm McDowell, which premiered at London Film Festival, following a festival run at Locarno Film Festival, Fantastic Fest in Austin and Sitges Film Festival where Alice Krige was awarded a Time Machine Award for her lifetime contribution to film and television. Clint Mansell, the award-winning composer (Requiem for a Dream, Moon, Black Swan) also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at Fantastic Fest. 

For more information on places still available on NFTS courses for 2022, head to nfts.co.uk/places-available 

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