The Australian Writers’ Foundation and FOXTEL are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2011 FOXTEL Fellowship is award winning television writer Kris Mrksa. The announcement was made at the 44th Annual AWGIE Awards held at Doltone House in Sydney.
The esteemed $25,000 fellowship recognises that television writing makes a significant contribution to the Australian cultural landscape and is awarded to a writer who has created a body of work that is impressive in its craft, scope and impact. Now in its fifth year, it provides a writer with support to develop a new project for television to the stage where it can be presented to market. The fellowship is made possible due to generous sponsorship from FOXTEL.
FOXTEL Chief Executive and Managing Director, Kim Williams AM said, “FOXTEL is delighted that Kris Mrksa is the 2011 recipient of the FOXTEL Fellowship. Kris has written for a wide range of outstanding Australian dramas that have entertained us and given us fresh perspectives on the place in which we live. Kris in many ways represents the modern evolution of Australian television having worked on the remarkable The King – a pioneering work for subscription television commissioned by TV1 – and Underbelly and The Secret Life of Us for the Nine and TEN networks respectively. Subscription television is allowing writers to tell Australian stories in really new, enthralling and edgy ways.”
In his twelve year career as a writer and script editor Kris Mrksa has won numerous prizes and awards including two AFI Awards and two AWGIES. In that time he has written for many prime time TV series including The Secret Life of Us, Packed to the Rafters, Rush, Carla Cametti PD and the critically acclaimed East West 101. Kris was also a key part of the team that developed and wrote the hit series Underbelly 2, A Tale of Two Cities and Underbelly 3, The Golden Mile, and was the script editor on both seasons of SBS comedy series Wilfred, which has now been successfully adapted for US television. More recently Kris was involved in adapting Christos Tsiolkas’ bestselling novel The Slap for television, and wrote episodes 1 and 6 of the series.
Kris Mrksa said he was utterly delighted to accept the 2011 FOXTEL Fellowship, and proud to be in the company of its former recipients, writers whom he greatly respects. He said, “The paradox for most screenwriters is that as we become more established and experienced, with a greater capacity to develop viable, original concepts, we also find that we’re too busy to do it. So the freedom to experiment with new ideas, without immediate financial pressure, is an invaluable gift to any writer. And that’s what the FOXTEL Fellowship generously provides”
The Australian Writers’ Foundation is the charitable arm of the Australian Writers’ Guild, the peak professional body for Australia’s film, television, theatre, radio and new media writers.