We are thrilled to introduce Kerry Kolbe, this year’s CineStory Feature Fellowship winner. Kerry’s winning script, SWALLOW, impressed all the judges with its humor and nuanced insights into 17-year-old Lola, who’s desperate to study particle physics at Cambridge like her hero Stephen Hawking but trapped playing parent to her dysfunctional family of twitchers (a/k/a bird watchers) who drag her on a wild chase of her late mother’s “spirit animal,” a rare albino swallow.
As this year’s Feature Fellowship winner, Kerry receives receive a $10,000 cash award, free tuition and housing at this year’s retreat, a private advisory session at the retreat with all the mentors, who including working Hollywood agents, managers, producers, development executives and other pros, and a 12-month fellowship program with two of those industry mentors.
Prior to completing her Screenwriting Masters at London’s National Film and Television School in 2019, Kerry attended the Extension Program at UCLA, completing certificates in Screenwriting for Film & Television & Script Development. Growing up in the remote Lake District in northern England with penniless artist parents, the idea of making up stories for a living seemed frivolous and terrifying. Her route into screenwriting was via a degree in psychology, then working as a journalist, then producing a string of award-winning shorts through Signal Film and Media, the successful charity she co-founded in 2008 to provide access to filmmaking for deprived communities.
Kerry’s unconventional upbringing combined with her study of the human psyche and her work as a reporter provided the perfect concoction for her to write about human relationships gone awry. Driven by a thirst for control, acceptance and love, her characters make extreme choices under pressure and the consequences are inevitably messy. She often writes about chaotic and clashing families and subverted gender stereotypes, exploring what happens when we challenge and expose the dynamics that underpin the key relationships in our lives.