The European Script Awards (ESA, formerly known as Prix Genève) honour the most original series and film scripts of aired productions written by up and coming writers.
2018's winners are:
MOST INNOVATIVE SCRIPT OF THE YEAR BY A NEWCOMER FOR A FILM: Without You (Ohne Dich) – ARD/SWR (Germany) Co-Written by Alexandra Umminger and Alexandre Powelz
MOST INNOVATIVE SCRIPT OF THE YEAR BY A NEWCOMER FOR A SERIES: Offshoot (Seitentriebe) – SRF (Switzerland) Written by Güzin Kar
An international jury, consisting of drama experts from EBU Members in Belgium, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, decided on the recipients of the two awards.
Daniela Mussgiller, ARD/NDR (Germany) – Head of Jury Film Category
Izabela Rieben, RTS (Switzerland)
Hyppe Salmi, YLE (Finland) – Head of Jury Series Category
Astrid van Keulen, AVROTROS (The Netherlands)
Elly Vervloet, VRT (Belgium)
About "Without You", the jury said: "This well-structured story of the three personal dramas is supported by a warm and delicate camera work and touches with strong emotions.
The centre of the story is fear: fear of motherhood, fear of being alone and the most elemental of all fears, fear for one's life. The movie is giving hope that there are people like therapist Marcel, whose love is so deep that he is able to let go. One can see themselves in the cleaning lady Layla, because almost every one of us is holding on to what makes one secure. One understands Motte so well, because all parents know: a child changes everything - and nothing will be like it used to be.
All this - all these feelings, thoughts and appreciation – that is what Alexandre Powelz and Alexandra Umminger have made tangible in this film, through this script. They have taught us: we are not alone with our fears! And we all have one thing in common with these three women in your film: Despite all this fear, whether you want to be alone or not: life goes on - whether you like it or not!"
For "Offshoot" the jury commented: "The story starts from where most other stories end. Nele and Gianni are about to celebrate their ten year anniversary. The marriage seems to be fine, they love each other. Something however, is missing: passion has disappeared; there is no sex in their relationship.
They are unhappy about the situation but unable to open up. Until one night they both are logged in to an online dating application and they got a match – with each other.
"Offshoot" asks how far love carries, how far does it stretch, where are the boundaries drawn? It reveals the deeper content of everyday moments as eventful, flowing fragments. It leaves space for the viewer. "Offshoot" offers an entertaining and fresh look at the anatomy of a marriage. The ground of this crisp series lays in the brilliant script."
Each winning scriptwriter was awarded with a 5,000 euro prize, provided by the European Alliance for Television and Culture (EATC), during the Helsinki Script Award Ceremony on Friday 7 September.
Jeroen Depraetere, the EBU's Head of Television and Future Media said: “Both these scripts show imagination and creativity that demonstrate that public service media, in a highly competitive landscape, is continuing to provide audiences with innovative and thoughtful drama.”
Created in 1987 by the EBU in conjunction with the European Alliance for Television and Culture (EATC), the awards showcase new writing talent in the television industry. The awards are open to all national broadcasters and production companies based in Europe. This year's edition was held, once again, in collaboration with the Helsinki Script Festival.