Nick awards writer Hollywood chance

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A writer has won a trip to Hollywood and a production budget of £25,000 after winning an international film competition judged by Nick Park.

Simon Cookson’s short film idea “The Light” was considered the best by a top industry panel, which included the Walmer Bridge born, Oscar-winning animator.

The 34-year-old, from Manchester, won the contest, called The Pitch, with a retelling of the Bible’s Damascene conversion of Saul in 1950s America.

He will go to America to meet industry professionals including Ralph Winter, the producer of X-Men and Fantastic Four.

Following the Pinewood Studios award ceremony, Wallace and Gromit creator Nick said: “It was a clear story – a dramatic idea which had clarity to it.

“Simon had a very clear vision about where it was set, what the story was about and the major beats of the story came across really clearly.”