Below are the Pitches that made it through to the 2018 shortlist.
A supernatural drama about the power of forgiveness. CHRIS, 43, rep for Delta Missile Systems, is in a cab after the first day of the DSS arms fair. As they pull up at his hotel, he's confronted by anti-war protestors holding placards of dead eyed children. Alone in his room, he falls apart, deeply traumatised. Later that night, his world is upended when hotel cleaner and Afghan refugee, KUSHAANEH, 23, comes to his room. She asks him to identify a fragment of metal from the bomb that she says killed her family. He refuses to talk to her, forcing her to leave. Next morning, he asks reception about Kushaaneh, but they don't recognise her name. On the second night, after being brutally confronted by protesters, Chris sinks deeper into despair as their taunts cut into him, distorting his reality until... ...there's another knock at the door. Kushaaneh visits him again and eventually persuades him to look at the scarred metal in her hand. Chris finally confirms it came from a laser guided bomb manufactured by Delta. He's distraught but she offers her forgiveness, deeply comforting him. She leaves. In a haunting denouement, Chris discovers Kushanneh was killed in the airstrike that killed her family.
John 8 v1-11 'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.' The parallels of this story are acutely relevant to the modern world. Being 'right' and having powerful means to strengthen your position with like minded others - to the point of losing sight of our humanity - is a daily feature of life with the exponential power of social media. The core of the story, for me is how the world shifts when someone has the audacity to remove hate and make a radical decision to not hate. As Jesus says: 'Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." (It's as if the woman didn't know what to do when she was surrounded only by quiet as the crowd melted away...) I tried to find a parallel and seek a character who might be considered by some to be unforgivable: an executive for a military contractor and linking with refugees and the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. Background research on the plight of people being bombed and losing everything was informed by the powerful New York Times article The Uncounted - https://nyti.ms/2z8GxaI.
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