London, 26th April 2022
DYSPLA Announces 2022 Storymakers Residency Winners
Alex Clarke, Krishna Modhwadia and Ryan Walker-Edwards Neurodivergent creatives are the award-winning art-studio’s new Writers in Residence for 2022.
Funded by the Arts Council England for the third year, DYSPLA's unique Storymakers Residency is a celebration of Neurodivergent creative excellence.
DYSPLA, a London-based art-studio specialising in the creative and professional development of Neurodivergent artists, is running its six-month holistic script-writing programme designed to accommodate the completion of a finished manuscript.
The Residency commenced on the 25th of April 2022 in the newly-renovated DYSPLA Home Studio. Out of 285 applicants, DYSPLA offered three placements to Northern ND* creatives Krishna Modhwadia, Alex Clarke and Ryan Walker-Edwards, all of who pitched outstanding story concepts.
Krishna Modhwadia, London-based comedy writer-performer, says :
‘Traditionally we have been taught to have to do things in a certain way and to conform to society as we know it. The amazing thing about DYSPLA and this Neurodivergent Residency is that they are helping nurture us and support us in a way that works best with our brains and that allows us to keep going.’
Alex Clarke, Manchester-based comedy-drama writer, says:
‘[The Residency] means the freedom to finally make an artistic piece of work in a Neurodivergent way. I believe that there is a Neurodivergent Aesthetic that isn’t captured in mainstream storytelling.’
Ryan Walker-Edwards, London-based writer and actor, says:
‘I love writing, telling stories, exploring different perspectives and narratives. [Neurodivergent creativity] is also about realising that there is help out there for you as a Neurodivergent artist where you can have resources and can be given advice and support to tell your stories.’
Winners will receive marketing support from DYSPLA and its media partner Disability Arts Online, mentoring over the course of six months with DYSPLA Founder Lennie Varvarides (part of the ScreenSkills Mentoring Network) and three dramaturgy sessions.
One writer will receive a professional industry table read at DYSPLA's venue partner, Hat Trick Productions. Another winner will receive written feedback from industry professionals, including the Residency's consulting partners, Signature Pictures Academy. And finally, one of the scripts will culminate in the production of a Short Film thanks to seed-funding from the Residency's development partner, Earl’s Court Film Festival.
All three writers-in-residence will be awarded five hundred Pounds upon completion of the Residency and a finished manuscript.
The Storymakers Residency is made possible by funding from the Arts Council England.
2022 DYSPLA_Storymakers Residency Winners. From left to right: Krishna Modhwadia, Alex Clarke, Ryan Walker-Edwards
Notes to Editors
About the Winning WritersKrishna Modhwadia is a comedy writer-performer born in Gujarat, India and raised in Birmingham. He was recently commissioned by ITV to write the pilot for an original comedy series in development with Big Deal Films and a delegate on the Edinburgh TV Festival’s ‘The Network’ in 2020. Krishna was selected for the DYSPLA Storymakers Residency 2022 with the pitch for his comedy-drama series NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
Alex Clarke is an Irish/Manc comedy and drama writer and a proud working-class Autistic queer. She is currently working on an original TV comedy series as part of her BFI X BAFTA mentorship, as well as an original TV drama on the ITV New Talent Scheme with Dancing Ledge Productions. Alex is a winner of the BBC Alfred Bradley Award and Northern Writer’s TV Drama Writing Award, and is part of the BFI NETWORK x BAFTA Guru Scheme. She was selected for the DYSPLA Storymakers Residency 2022 with her short film pitch for VENUS IN 13.
Ryan Walker-Edwards is a Birmingham-born, London-based writer and actor of Jamaican descent. Recently, Ryan was selected for the inaugural Sky Comedy Rep Festival for his play ‘Boys Who F**k, and Cry’, which was showcased at the Birmingham Rep in March 2022. His short story ‘Safari’ was also commissioned by BBC Arts and Arts Council England as a short audio drama for BBC Sounds. Ryan was selected for the DYSPLA Storymakers Residency 2022 for his pitch MAN, CODE.
DYSPLA is a Neurodivergent-led, award-winning arts studio producing and developing the work of Neurodivergent Storymakers, supported by the Arts Council England. Conducting research into the Neurodivergent Aesthetic while exploring various mediums, DYSPLA continues to elucidate a new artistic aesthetic defined by the cognitive difference of Neurodivergence. DYSPLA has publicly advocated the creative benefits of Dyslexia and all forms of Neurodivergence for over 12 years and considers Neurodivergence a creative force in art, culture, and storymaking.
About the Residency Partners
Earl’s Court Film Festival supports Filmmakers with grants, location and production office support, as well as accepting short film entries for screening at ECFF in Earl’s Court’s wonderful cinematic venues. Many Earl’s Court short films have been selected or entered for screening at other film festivals such as Tribeca, Sundance and BAFTA qualifying festivals.
Hat Trick Productions is an independent production and distribution company co‑founded and led by Jimmy Mulville with offices in London and Belfast, known for creating shows that win awards, drive ratings and spark conversations. HTP specialises in the global distribution of both scripted and non-scripted programming, including drama, comedy, entertainment, quiz, documentary, lifestyle, cooking, crime.
Disability Arts Online is a unique online journal with a passion to support disabled or marginalised artists through networking, discussion and profile aimed at achieving a widespread appreciation for the richness and diversity of disability arts and culture. DAO's readership consists majorly of disabled artists and disabled people with an interest in the arts.
Signature Pictures Academy is one of the only not-for-profit film production companies in the U.K. working across training, fiction and branded content, as well as providing training and work experience opportunities to unemployed and at-risk people in every department of our film productions.
ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the screen industries. They support economic recovery, future innovation and growth across the nations and regions by investing in the skilled and inclusive workforce who are critical to the UK screen industries' global success. The ScreenSkills Mentoring Network which (supported by the BFI) awards National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.
Name: Lennie Varvarides
For assets or an alternative format of this Press Release, please contact us.