Monday, 2 March 2009



Ever dreamt of following in the footsteps of the Lynch dynasty? Cineastes are at home with the work of cult American dircetor David Lynch, whose single-minded vision and avante-garde approach to filmmaking has earned him both underground and commercial success with modern classics such as Blue Velvet, Elephant Man and Mulholland Drive.


Words by Imogen Eveson

A talented writer and filmmaker in her own right, Lynch's daughter Jennifer steps out of her father's shadow with her new high-octane thriller, Surveillance. Lynch's first since her controversial directorial debut Boxing Helena fifteen years ago, the film already scooped a bounty of awards, including the top prize at last year's Festival de Cine de Sitges and Best Director at the 2008 New York City Horror Film Festival.

jotta is asking aspiring screenwriters and directors to delve deep into their imagination to come up with a sequel to Surveillance, set for UK release on March 6th. Punters of this exciting and innovative brief will be invited to a special London screening of the film before submitting their treatment.

Julia Ormond and Sam Hallaway play two Federal Officers striving to find some answers to a string of vicious murders that have unfolded in the Santa Fe desert, on 'a highway in this long stretch of nowhere.' Faced with three sets of varying eyewitness stories, they try to methodically unravel the truth, but find the answer lies where they least expect it to; with an eight-year old girl orphaned by the atrocities.

The film comes as a watershed moment for the woman whose 1993 debut provoked a vicious backlash from the press. Boxing Helena told the story of a doctor who amputated the limbs of a shapely neighbour and kept her in a box on the dining room table. A bit too much to take for even the most hardened Lynchonians it seemed. (Although a shock proof Madonna had originally wanted in but was warned by Andrew Lloyd Webber that if she did Boxing Helena, she wouldn't do Evita).

Lynch started early, featuring as a little girl in her dad's own directorial first, Eraserhead, in 1977, and worked as production assistant on 1987's Blue Velvet. Lynch's talent didn't go unnoticed. At just 22, she wrote The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, a spin-off novel to her father's Twin Peaks TV series. It stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for three months and many a young Twin peak fanatics bookshelf. Producing a variety of films in the last few years, Lynch's latest offering Hisss - the tale of an Indian snake charmer - sees her chair both writing and directing roles.


So, if you fancy yourself a successor to the Lynchian throne, or think you can do one better, head over to our Marketplace and upload your CV. You will be notified of the screening date and then it's up to you to get writing. The judging panel will include the director herself and the winner will bag a £500 prize. Treatments should be submitted by email in PDF format to Good luck!


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