Big Light Productions Apprenticeship 2023 Recipient Announced

Big Light Pro­duc­tions, the pro­du­cer behind Leonardo and The Man in the High Castle led by award-win­ning writer/producer Frank Spot­nitz, has announced the recip­i­ent of its annu­al writers’ appren­tice­ship pro­gramme.  Anna-Lena Theo­bald will join Big Light Pro­duc­tions for a three-month place­ment.

The appren­tice­ship pro­gramme, which provides emer­ging writers with hands-on prac­tic­al exper­i­ence in a writers’ room, col­lab­or­at­ing on loc­al and inter­na­tion­al pro­jects and new series devel­op­ment, is now in its sixth year. The pro­gramme is aimed at aspir­ing screen­writers who have already made a con­sid­er­able com­mit­ment to the devel­op­ment of their prac­tice and would bene­fit from a place­ment along­side exper­i­enced drama exec­ut­ives.

Screenwriter/producer Anna-Lena Theo­bald, from Ger­many, was selec­ted for the pro­gramme fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of Seri­al Eyes in May 2022.

Dur­ing the place­ment, Theo­bald will have the oppor­tun­ity build on their craft and learn from Spot­nitz (The Man In The High Castle, Leonardo, Medici, The X‑Files), Cre­at­ive Dir­ect­or Emily Feller (Leonardo, Medici, Trust Me, Ordin­ary Lies) and the wider Big Light team across a range of scrip­ted tele­vi­sion and pod­cast devel­op­ments.

Theo­bald com­men­ted; “I’m very excited to join Big Light. I’ve always wanted to work inter­na­tion­ally, to tell stor­ies for a glob­al audi­ence. Big Light is an inter­na­tion­ally renowned com­pany, which cre­ates world-class drama series. They are known for put­ting the writers’ vis­ion first. Through the ment­or­ship I have the chance to learn from pres­ti­gi­ous TV writers and pro­du­cers and to enhance my own vis­ion as a screen­writer.”

Big Light’s Spot­nitz and Feller said: “We’ve long held the belief that we should sup­port emer­ging writers com­ing into this industry, and to be in our sixth year of sup­port­ing and nur­tur­ing new writers is a pleas­ure.  The last few years have seen an enorm­ous uptick in pro­duc­tions com­ing from all corners of the world, and it is excit­ing to wel­come new voices who will con­tin­ue to con­trib­ute to the growth of the film and tele­vi­sion industry.  Our appren­tice­ship pro­gramme is a chance for emer­ging writers to learn dir­ectly from exper­i­enced peers and hope­fully put them on the track to becom­ing a suc­cess­ful and integ­ral part of the industry for years to come. Anna-Lena is enorm­ously tal­en­ted, and we look for­ward to wel­com­ing her into the Big Light team and work­ing with her for the next few months.”

Kat­rin Merkel, Head of Stud­ies at Seri­al Eyes, said; “Anna-Lena was an incred­ible addi­tion to Seri­al Eyes and we are very happy to learn that she has been offered an intern­ship at Big Light Pro­duc­tions, an oppor­tun­ity that will no doubt allow her to devel­op and hone her skills as a writer. The part­ner­ship between Seri­al Eyes and Big Light has, over the past ten years, fostered Europe’s premi­er screen­writ­ing tal­ent and we are cer­tain that this will con­tin­ue. We wish Anna-Lena the very best for her time in Lon­don.”

Pri­or to join­ing the Seri­al Eyes pro­gramme, Theo­bald com­pleted an MA in Philo­sophy at the Munich School of Philo­sophy and a Dip­loma in Pro­du­cing from DFFB, the Ger­man Film and Tele­vi­sion Academy Ber­lin.  She has worked on fea­ture films and TV series from Ger­many, China, Canada and the US, and her cred­its include HBO’s The Tale (Post­pro­duc­tion Super­visor), Chinese Inde­pend­ent Film To Live To Sing (2nd Assist­ant Dir­ect­or), Ger­man TV-Movie Ein Leben Lang (Pro­duc­tion Coördin­at­or) and Ger­man Real­ity TV Show Ber­lin Tag Und Nacht (Cast­ing Edit­or). She co-wrote and pro­duced sev­er­al award-win­ning short films, such as films Deus Ex Mach­ina (2016), P (2017) and Q (2019). Cur­rently, Theo­bald is devel­op­ing her first TV show, titled TAMIM, as lead writer and showrun­ner, pro­duced by Jana Lotze and Achtung Panda! and co-pro­duced by SWR. In 2022, Anna-Lena served as TV jury pres­id­ent at the 35th Finale Pilsen Film Fest­iv­al.

Big Light Pro­duc­tions has since firmly estab­lished a repu­ta­tion for sup­port­ing emer­ging writers through its appren­tice­ship pro­gramme.  Pre­vi­ous appren­tices have gone on to enjoy suc­cess in the industry, with alumni cre­at­ing and writ­ing TV series and fea­ture films in France, Ger­many and across Europe.