Donna Sharpe is a series writer / creator. Her critically acclaimed work has been shown by the BBC, HBO MAX, C4 Walter Presents, AMC, Viaplay, ZDF, DR, SVT, Arte and Netflix.
LOU AND FREDDI – HBO Max / Warner – Co-Creator/Showrunner – 6×30 female-led YA historical dramedy, full season script order commissioned / pre-production funded. Produced by Ready Made Films Berlin.
MAGMA – Writer / Creator – female-led UK-set contemporary crime series: could you solve a murder if you were forced to work professionally along side your own estranged mother / daughter? In development with Black Camel Films UK.
THE EIGHTH LIFE – In Writers Room led by Showrunner Sarah Lambert for Ink Factory London / Amusement Park Berlin – series adaptation of Nino Haratischwilli’s bestselling novel, a female-focused journey through ‘the Red Century’. Development funded by Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg.
FUKUSHIMA – Head Writer – 6x45 drama series based on an inspiring and ultimately hopeful true story of human courage and cooperation. In development with Superbe Films, Paris / London.
VOLCANO – Head Writer / Co-Creator – 8x60 contemporary drama series: a female journalist unearths criminal and political secrets as a volcanic eruption forces her entire Icelandic nation to relocate to… Croatia. In development with Act4 Iceland/Drugi Plan Croatia.
BEAUTIFUL INSIDE – Writer / Creator – fictional feature film inspired by a real-life beauty pageant for Holocaust survivors, script funded by the German Federal Film Board, Haus Am See / Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, and Creative Europe, produced by Niko Films Berlin, at production funding stage.
TROM – Viaplay / BBC / ZDF-ARTE / AMC / SBS – co-wrote all 6×40 episodes of this Scandinavian political/crime thriller, produced by Reinvent Studios Denmark.
**** “Scandi noir comes to the Faroe Islands, and it’s beautiful… Bold, striking and something different. It’s gripping stuff and will provoke thought long after the closing credits. Trom looks different because it is different. It’s well worth a watch.”The Telegraph. ****“Trom is your juicy new Scandi-noir obsession,” The Guardian. “…fantastically atmospheric, full of sweeping shots of snow-capped mountains, foreboding seas and gun-metal skies. The main story allows the tension and menace to build up, lets viewers familiarise themselves with the ways of this distinctive part of the world, a place where the tough, long-standing customs and traditions of its people could be at the root of the violence and tensions.” – The Times. Also Pick of the Day in The Daily Mail, The Independent, the Financial Times. Winner of the Jury Special Prize in Fiction, and Best Actor award at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival 2022; nominated for Best Drama Series and the Audience Favourite Award at the Danish TV Series Awards, Best Crime Series at the Scandinavian Aarhus Series Awards, and Series of the Year at this year’s Icelandic TV awards.
MAPA – S1 6×30 – ARD/RBB/JOYN, up on HBO MAX summer 2023 tbc – wrote season 1 finale episode and was in the writers room throughout for award-winning German sad-com. “Like a sad pop song you want to hear again and again… beautifully played out grief, a a great story that revolves around survival in difficult times and shows how you can do this on many different levels with the help of successful gallows humour…surrender to the bewitching, melancholic tone..” – Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “Often the simple is the difficult. The representation of “real” life in films and television, for example. MaPa is a big and glorious exception… It is striking how each sentence and each picture are correct, how they feel as if eavesdropped on by a reality that is known. Maybe that’s why MaPa brings tears to the eyes. The series is grand because grief and pain are not dramaturgized away. You can laugh anyway, because the makers of individual scenes gain a comic absurdity.” – Der Spiegel. “This series – unusually for German standards – shares tone with “Better Things”, “Work in Progress” or “Fleabag”. Humour is omnipresent, but it’s a humour that mostly feeds on despair and bitterness, sometimes absurdity. And because, despite the focus on being a father, grief is also very seriously told, a lump in the throat is the least that is triggered by emotions here…. the dialogue is impressively authentic and unaffected, in the funny moments as well as in the sad ones… draws a picture of fatherliness and masculinity that you can hardly get enough of,” – Taz.de. MAPA was nominated for the German Television Prize Best Drama Series, the Grimme Prize Best Fiction Series, and the Best Comedy Series Berlin TV Festival.
WEST OF LIBERTY – ZDF / SVT / ITV Studios – co-wrote all 6×45 episodes of this German / Swedish espionage drama, produced by Network Movie and Anagram, TX 2019. Selected for Berlinale Series 2019.
THE TEAM S2 – ZDF / DR / VRT – later shown on C4 Walter Presents, and Netflix DACH – Staff Writer for all 8×60 episodes of crime/intelligence thriller, produced by Network Movie and Nordisk Film Denmark. TX 2018.
Donna’s first stage play ADAM AND EVA AT THE GATES OF HEAVEN AND HELL was workshopped at the National Theatre Studio, London. Prior to writing drama, Donna wrote, directed and produced over a dozen documentary films for the BBC and researched over twenty more, specialising in history, politics and economics. Series credits include the BAFTA-nominated and National Television Award-winning WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? the EMMY award-winning and BAFTA-nominated PEOPLE’S CENTURY, the BAFTA award-winning TROUBLE AT THE TOP, and critically acclaimed THE MAJOR YEARS. Single full-length docs include SIR MARK THATCHER AND THE DOGS OF WAR (an ill-fated coup-for-oil attempt in West Africa), MURDER MOST ROYAL (the massacre of the Nepalese royals by their own Crown Prince) and MORTGAGED TO THE YANKS (US/UK post-war financial double-dealing). She has run shoots in locations as diverse as Equatorial Guinea, Nepal, South Africa, Argentina, India, Colombia and Iraq, as well as extensively in the USA.
Donna holds an MA in Creative Writing from UEA, and a BA in History from UCL. She was selected for the 2018 Series Mania Writers Campus showcasing the twenty best emerging TV Drama Series writers in Europe, for the Guardian Newspaper TV-25 Fast-track showcase at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, for the European Writers Club 2022, and the Cannes Series Writers Club 2023. She also mentors emerging writers via the Serial Eyes DffB program, Creative Europe Series Lab Hamburg, and the Erich Pommer Institut Winterclass. Originally from the UK, Donna is based in Berlin and holds dual British/German citizenship.