Nominations have been announced for the BANFF World Media Festival Rockie Awards International Program Competition 2020.
In the category of Scripted, Comedy Series: English Language Merman has been nominated for two of its shows: This Way Up and Motherland.
This Way Up was created by and starring comedian Aisling Bea. It is a comedy about moving on, moving forward and trying to find happiness. Aine, played by writer Aisling Bea, is a whip smart English-as-a-foreign language (TEFL) teacher trying to pull her life back together after a “teeny little nervous breakdown” as her sister Shona, played by Sharon Horgan, worries, not only about her younger sibling, but also about her own life choices. The TEFL school where Aine teaches brings together a room full of characters also trying to find their own hope, direction and happiness in this messy world. Happiness is a destination we all want to reach, but how we get there is never easy. This Way Up is a pin-sharp, poignant comedy which, with warmth and keen-edged wit, shows that the journey to happiness is harder for some than others. This Way Up aired on Channel 4 in the UK and Hulu in the US. It is still available on All4 and Hulu as well as BritBox in the US and Canada. This Way Up was directed by Alex Winckler, produced by Gavin O’Grady and the executive producers were Clelia Mountford, Sharon Horgan and Aisling Bea.
Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan in This Way Up
Motherland Series 2 was written by Sharon Horgan, Holly Walsh, Helen Linehan and Barunka O’Shaughnessy. Motherland is a show all about navigating the trials and traumas of middle-class motherhood, looking at the competitive and unromantic sides of parenting – not the cute, acceptable public face of motherhood. The ‘Alpha Mums’ are headed by Amanda (Lucy Punch), who is very much the Queen Bee: everything is organised, clean and sparkly – even the kitchen cork board is a statement of success. Yet at the other end of the spectrum, we meet Liz (Diane Morgan), who is totally chaotic and feels the kids should enjoy free expression. Somewhere in the middle is Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin), who, when she forgets it’s the school holidays, realises her organisational skills are nowhere near the level of the ‘Alpha Mums’. Also in the mix is Kevin (Paul Ready). He’s the stay at home dad, who, rather than fighting against that, is embracing it with gusto – much to the irritation of the other mothers. In series 2 new high-flyer mum Meg (Tanya Moodie) seems to have it all. Motherland Series 2 aired on BBC Two. It was directed by Juliet May, produced by Sam Pinnell and the executive producers were Clelia Mountford, Sharon Horgan, Holly Walsh and Richard Boden.
Tanya Moodie, Diane Morgan and Anna Maxwell Martin in Motherland