Below are the Pitches that made it through to the 2018 shortlist.
The End' is a dark comic drama set in a barren dystopian world where an influential businessman, who once navigated the upper echelons of power, is forced to go on the run to evade sinister forces that are hunting him down - with only his personal assistant for company. It just so happens that his assistant is a three feet tall puppet who isn't afraid of speaking her mind; even if that means going toe to toe with her boss. Following a series of misguided endeavours, this previously inspiring and commanding figure is powerless. He's out of steam and almost out of bullets. As he sets about ending his life on his own terms, he finds himself scuppered at every turn by the intervention of his brash and overbearingly loyal companion. For years this man has had the lives of others in the palms of his hands and now his own fate in inextricably linked to a puppet with an attitude who just won't let him die. What is it he's running from? Is taking his own life the most honourable way to go? Does his assistant really even exist, or is she merely a symptom of his tormented mind?
Inspired by The Death of Saul (1 Samuel 31) 'The End' is a story about a man, who against all sound advice, has chosen a path which will ultimately lead to his downfall. Like Saul in his final stand on Mount Gilboa, this man finds himself with only one person left to turn to in his final moments. Rather than being caught by his pursuers this battle weary man mirrors Saul's own position, and chooses to end his own life 'lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through and mistreat me' and attempts to enlist the help of a subordinate in his efforts. In my story, the man's assistant not only refuses the request as per the original bible story; she actively averts her master's attempts at committing suicide to comic effect. Her bond to him is more complex - defined as much by an emotional connection as by any sense of obligation. She is a puppet after all and who would she be without her master? 'Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him' (1 Samuel 31: 4-5).
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