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Heartbreak High, Season 1 Episode 8, ‘Three of Swords’

2023 - Shortlisted


Judges' Comments

A contemporary adaptation of the original Heartbreak High, the scripts in this show are bold, ambitious and bolshy, yet ooze empathy. This particular script displays a strong, controlled command of screenplay craft, with very well written ‘big print’ that vividly captures the beat and energy of a contemporary music festival. The delicate and important subject matter of sexual coercion is handled with great care, and a strong sense of rising action — which is central to good screenwriting — never undermines the seriousness of the subject matter. 

In her script, Hannah Carroll Chapman successfully provides a consistency of tone and rhythm that deftly moves the reader between flashback and present, keeping the transitions cleanly differentiated and emotionally linked. Satisfying resolutions of the various storylines ensure the scenes remain fresh yet character-based, staying within their genre lane yet moving with their own stroke. There is a good sense of authorship in this script, taking format television into the realm of complex drama.