Award and industry acclaim for Derry scriptwriter Pat Nash

Local author Patrick Nash pictured with a copy of his new book 'Short Films -Writing The Screenplay'. 2001JM61
Local author Patrick Nash pictured with a copy of his new book 'Short Films -Writing The Screenplay'. 2001JM61

It’s been an eventful New Year for well-known Derry scriptwriter Pat Nash. No sooner had Pat’s first book ‘Short Films: Writing the Screenplay’ hit the shelves, but he was chosen as recipient of a Medal of Excellence from the City & Guilds.

Published by Kamera Books, Pat’s book was officially launched at RADA Screen, the cinema of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art under the auspices of the London Short Film Festival.

“The launch was conducted as a panel event on writing short films that actually went on for almost 90 minutes,” Pat tells the ‘Journal’.

The local author was accompanied on the panel by his agent, Julian Friedmann of Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Edward Hicks, Head of Film, TV and Radio at RADA and Douglas Hart, the former bass player with the Jesus & Mary Chain turned filmmaker and music video producer.

Chairing the panel was Hannah Patterson, producer, writer and Commissioning Editor at Kamera Books. Its publisher, Ion Mills was also in attendance.

“It all went really well, everyone was really nice and there was plenty of Q&A.

“While I was there, I also had discussions with my agent and publisher about publication of my crime fiction novel, Murder in the Lakelands, which was adapted from my 2010 BBC Tony Doyle Awards runner up feature screenplay of the same name. I won an Arts Council NI award to support the adaptation. So it was a useful few days.”

The book was published as part of a Creative Essentials series, focusing on the media, film and arts.

“The introduction to my book explains the genesis of it,” Pat explains.

“I suppose one of the highlights would be the inclusion of three award winning screenplays, one of my own from the Page Awards in Hollywood and two live action short film Oscar Nominees from the last few years, Juanita Wilson and Michael Creaghs. Juanita was the co-founder of Octagon Films who produced or co-produced Neil Jordan’s The Borgias, the Tudors, Camelot and various feature films.”

Pat Nash, a member of the multi-faceted Derry Scriptwriters Group based in the Waterside Theatre, is also an ardent supporter of Derry’s annual Foyle Film Festival, assisting competition selection panels and juries.

As well as carousing with industry giants at RADA in London, Pat has also just received unexpected acclaim closer to home.

The author has been awarded a Medal of Excellence from the City & Guilds for the VRQ Diploma in Film & Media he studied at Derry’s Nerve Centre.

As part of the course, Pat produced, directed and worked on a short film drama, music videos, promos and commercials, news interviews and packages.

Nowadays, he’s also developing a short film project with Northern Ireland Screen as part of its Short Steps short film scheme.

“Currently 12 projects are being developed with the best four being filmed by Stirling Films of Belfast for £10,000 budgets each. Hopefully mine will be one of them,” he says.

“City and Guilds also shortlisted me for their Lion Awards and invited me to their black tie Awards Event later this year in London,” he reveals.

Having had a prolific few years, Pat is relishing the fact that his hobby has become a full-time occupation.

Over the last three years, he has been award winner, finalist or a runner up ten times in major screenplay competitions in Britain, Ireland, the USA and Canada including an Award Winner in Hollywood’s prestigious Page Awards, one of the USA’s top industry related competitions.

Resting isn’t an option for this local writer, however, with plans for his next project already underway.

“I’m now beginning my next novel, also an adaptation of one of my feature screenplays, a psychological thriller called The Trapdoor Spider, and finalising a project proposal for a feature film development scheme with the Irish Film Board,” he smiles.

‘Short Films: Writing the Screenplay’ is available now from Kamera Books.