Strangest Thing snaps up top screenwriting award for Scot

A SCOTTISH screenwriter has won an international award at a Los Angeles-based competition, with a track record for turning screenplays into movies.

John Milarky has been awarded the Hartley-Merrill International Screenwriting Grand Prize, for The Strangest Thing, a time-traveller tale about a man trying to prevent a railway accident that could “change the course of history”.

Founded by actress, Dina Merrill, and her husband, RKO Pictures chief executive, Ted Hartley, the Hartley-Merrill Prize seeks to “recognise and support screenwriters from around the world and foster interaction between international writers, critics and filmmakers and their peers in the United States”.

To date, 48 Hartley-Merrill Prize-winning scripts have been made into motion pictures, including the Academy Award nominee, Chef in Love.

This year’s competition featured national finalists from 12 countries.

Milarky is a graduate of the National Film and TV School, in Buckinghamshire. His script was submitted with the backing of Scottish Screen.