The Cry, Episode 2

2020 - Joint winner

Joint winner

Judges' comments

As police investigate the mysterious disappearance of their newborn son, Joanna and Alistair struggle to hold on to their own secrets. Along the way, Joanna suffers a psychological breakdown. In Jacqueline Perske’s compelling screenplay for Episode 2 of The Cry, the police investigation ramps up and Alistair’s former wife becomes a key suspect. As the media conduct their own investigation, social media also makes judgments about Joanne and Alistair’s presumed innocence or guilt.

The script for the second episode of the four-part miniseries, The Cry, is astutely observed and skilfully constructed. Jacqueline Perske’s screenplay combines moments of lyricism with a hard-edged investigative story to create a complex and layered portrait of a woman, a family and a community at breaking point. Perske continually challenges expectations as she explores conventions about how individuals are supposed to behave in the midst of tragedy.

Perske’s script combines an ever-shifting plot with complex characters in surprising and original ways. Her sure-footed narrative aesthetic and restrained writing work to create a tense drama with a strong emotional undertow. An outstanding television screenplay, Episode 2 of The Cry is a compelling read.

Winner - NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2020