Dark comedy wins screenwriting award

16 July 2015

Rachel Atkinson

Joshua Barton collects prestigious prize which honours a writing great

A Gillingham student has been awarded a prestigious academic award which honours a famous writer.

University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate Joshua Barton is the 2015 recipient of the Jack Rosenthal Award. He won the prize for his full-length script entitled ‘All The Black Roses’.

The BA (Hons) Screenwriting with Film, Television and Radio graduate said: “It is a huge honour to be given this award especially when there were so many other talented writers on my course. Everybody's standard of work was so high that it could have gone to any of us. As an aspiring screenwriter this award is a big confidence boost that I might stand a chance in such a competitive industry.”

The 21-year old scripted a black comedy/drama which follows a middle-age Irish drug trafficker, living in London, who sabotages a drug deal.

“As an aspiring screenwriter this award is a big confidence boost that I might stand a chance in such a competitive industry.”

(Pic: Screenwriting lecturer Steve Lawson, Jack Rosenthal award-winner Joshua Barton and screenwriting course leader Bill McCoid.)

The former Rainham Mark Grammar School said: “He steals a great amount of money so that he can return to his home town in Ireland and attempt to repay people from his past who he has wronged in various ways. They however have so much contempt for him that they refuse his money and so he has to try and repair the relationships that he has broken in dark and humorous ways. All the while his crime lord boss plans to murder him for his deceit.”

The highly coveted writing award is presented annually to a screenwriting graduate who has been judged to have written the best feature length script during their final year. Jack Rosenthal was a legendary multi BAFTA winning writer and his family, including his famous wife Maureen Lipman, kindly allow UCLan to bestow Jack’s name upon this prize.

Screenwriting Lecturer Steve Lawson praised Joshua’s work. He said: “It is an interesting and original black comedy about one man’s unusual journey to redemption. It’s full of distinct characters, great dialogue and laugh out loud moments, making the script a page turner from start to finish.”

Joshua, who will continue his UCLan education with a Master’s in screenwriting in September, was among 4,000 students who graduated in front of family and friends at Preston’s Guild Hall this week.