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Hollywood heaven for UCLan student

21 February 2014

Rachel Atkinson

Maria Dewhurst will fly to LA to join highly prestigious screenwriting programme

Pic: University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student Maria Dewhurst who is off to Hollywood after graduation.

The bright lights of Hollywood beckon for a screenwriting student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Maria Dewhurst will graduate from her BA (Hons) Television and Film Screenwriting degree in summer and then travel to America to take her place on the highly prestigious New York Film Academy Screenwriting Programme.

She will be studying for eight weeks at their campus in Los Angeles, which is based at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

The 21-year-old said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been picked to attend the course – it’s such a dream come true. I couldn’t stop crying for hours after because I was so happy. My family and friends are all so proud of me and I can’t wait to get out there.”

“I feel as though my course is taking me one step closer to making my dream possible, and this new opportunity in Los Angeles will propel me even further.”

Maria, who lives in Formby, will write a feature length script of around 120 pages during her two month stay. She will also have numerous opportunities to network with major players in the entertainment industry and undertake work placements.

The film enthusiast said: “I’ve already got a couple of ideas in mind but it’ll be great to get out there and pick up tips from the very best in the business. My course at UCLan has really helped to develop my skills. Bill Nighy came in once and gave us a talk, and I was inspired. That excitement has grown with each guest speaker, with each script we analyse or film we watch, that pure unadulterated joy of knowing ‘that could be me’. Every time we are taught new skills in how to present our work or formatting the scripts, I feel as though my course is taking me one step closer to making my dream possible, and this new opportunity in Los Angeles will propel me even further.”

Maria has thrown herself into work placements while studying in Preston. She has visited the BBC’s Media City at Salford to work on animated safety video ‘No Bones’ with young children and has attended writing masterclasses in London.

She is also part of a UCLan team which is travelling in March to Guangzhou, in China to create a contemporary portrait of life in a dynamic megacity with 12 million inhabitants.