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Starred Up: The greatest prison drama since Scum? – Telegraph

March 12, 2014

Jonathan Asser a psychotherapist who worked in groups with inmates prone to violence has written a film which is about to be released.

Last October, Jonathan Asser won the Best British Newcomer award at the London Film Festival for his first screenplay, a gritty prison drama in the vein of Scum called Starred Up. From that you might conclude that Asser was some cool hotshot, possibly in his twenties, who had taken to screenwriting with a young man’s nonchalant confidence.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Asser turned 50 recently and is a trained psychotherapist, who has specialised in working with violent prison inmates and young offenders. He never even contemplated writing for film until 2004, when he first embarked on the story that would become Starred Up. For eight years, he attended creative writing courses and sought advice from a succession of mentors. Being a novice, Asser kept re-writing drafts of the first 30 pages of his script until he was satisfied he’d got it right. The film finally went into production last year


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