Ian Masters Screenwriter | Producer

Ian Masters works as a freelance storyliner, writer and script editor for BBC Media Action in Nigeria, Cambodia, Bangladesh and South Sudan. Prior to this, he worked with new writers in Africa and Asia to develop short films from through his NGO ScriptNet. His MA graduation script from Bournemouth University won the Alan Plater Prize, and was shortlisted for the Sundance International Writers Lab. His first feature film as writer and producer, The Last Reel premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival 2014 where it won The Spirit of Asia Award and was Cambodia's official submission to the Academy Awards. He now lives in Nairobi.

FILM & Television

Asia sanmenkyô (2016) Directed by Kulikar Sotho - 30 min section of Omnibus Film with three Asian film directors. Premiere: Tokyo IFF
In 1994, the reconstruction of the "Japanese Bridge" in Phnom Penh is complete after two years. Fukuda, the president of the Japanese company that oversaw the reconstruction, stands by the bridge and remembers the time he spent in Cambodia. It was in early 1970 when he came here to build the bridge. He fell in love with beautiful Mealea and promised her that they would get married and live in Japan together. However, as the Khmer Rouge gained power, his father made him return for fear of safety. Twenty years later, Fukuda stands by the bridge and wonders if Mealea is still alive.

The Last Reel (2014) – Official Submission from Cambodia Academy Awards | 2016 – Traverse City (Michael Moore) Audience Award | 2015 – Udine Far East Film Festival – Black Dragon Award | 2014 – Tokyo IFF - Spirit of Asia Award
A lost film, buried beneath Cambodia's killing fields, reveals different versions of the truth. A contemporary story about love, family and the ghosts of Cambodia's past. “The re-emergence of Cambodian cinema continues impressively with “The Last Reel,” a well-produced, thematically rich drama.” Variety

In The Shade - South East Asian Film Financing Forum, 2015 - Finalist
When French-Khmer Rith returns to Cambodia to find and rescue his sick cousin, he instead unwittingly releases a violent vengeful creature from Khmer folklore. ”One would be hard-pressed to find a more evocative, intelligent concept for a modern horror spec than IN THE SHADE's fascinating premise, and the script's deft combination of the Khmer Rouge's brutal legacy with its eventual supernatural turn makes for a truly resonant narrative.” Blacklist

Rouge Noir – Alan Plater Prize, BU | Sundance Writers Lab - Shortlist
Told over two days, Rouge Noir follows three characters whose lives intersect in the notorious lakeside area of Phnom Penh, linked by the central active question of the film – who killed the young Khmer woman in the lake? “Rouge Noir is an original, intricate script with several interesting characters and an excellent setting.” Blacklist

High Life – Realness African Writers - Shortlist; Babylon International at Berlinale Residency
A musical comedy in which hustler Dan must get the old members of an Independence High Life Band together for the funeral of their founding member in Accra 50 years later. “The setting is marvelously well-depicted, with frequent filmic allusions made between the natural rhythms and sounds of the Accra harbor and the stylings of High Life music.” Blacklist

Hidden - Finalist in the South East Asian Film Financing Forum 2016; presented at Tokyo Talents (Berlinale)
Privileged siblings Sonina and Sambath evade the evacuation of Phnom Penh and disappear into the emptied city as the Khmer Rouge holocaust begins. A thriller of survival and resistance set against the stunning backdrop of an abandoned city and one of the most brutal social experiments of the twentieth century. “Tonally, this script matches the subject matter with plenty of darkness and grit. The setting is…established with a clarity and precision that gives the reader a clear sense of time and place. The dialogue feels understated in a strong way, as this script relies more on images to communicate itself than spoken words.” Blacklist

Before the Fall - Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting: Semi Finalist
A noir thriller in which a disparate group of expats scheme against each other in their desperate attempts to escape from Phnom Penh before it falls to the Khmer Rouge. “Professional, intelligent, and mature writing. Excellent utilization of the film noir genre…There's an unwavering sense of urgency with the tension constantly ramping up…Every character is deep, flawed, and has their own distinct perspective.” Blacklist

The Path - Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting: Quarter Finalist
A Cambodian monk is reluctantly tasked with the return of a priceless stolen Angkorian artefact from a remote rural pagoda, to Oudong mountain, the resting place of Cambodia’s Kings.

Otranto – 8-part original TV series developed with Apulia Film Commission, Italy | Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship Semi-Finalist, 2017
When a female British agent washes ashore in Otranto, Italy, with dead and dying Syrian refugees, retired MI5 analyst, JENKINS, must work with shady Italian police inspector, ANTONIO, to solve the case. A post-Brexit thriller in which an ideological (and biological) time bomb is released on Otranto’s picture-postcard shores.


Master of Arts in Screenwriting
Bournemouth University, United Kingdom

Bachelor of Arts in English Literature (Honours)
Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge


Kenya Scriptwriters' Guild