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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Nicholas

A story of grit


This is Lesley Patterson, a pro triathlete, who won a BAFTA this year for best adapted screenplay.


On retiring as an elite sportswoman, she was asked, “What’s next?“ She replied, “ I am going to move half way across the world from my home here in Scotland, become a scriptwriter and win an Oscar.”


That was more than 16 years ago when she landed in LA and set out to make a new version of the silent movie ‘ All Quiet On Thé Western Front’. She bought the rights from the estate of the writer who wrote the best selling book that was made into an Oscar winning film. Over the course of 16 years she pitched the idea to anyone who would listen,but no one was interested in a German language film about World War 1 without a star.


She used all her savings and remortgaged her house to keep her dream alive, but the dream was about to disappear when she was told to raise $10,000 or lose the rights to the film.


She was turned down by everyone she tried to borrow from, but fate played it’s hand. There was a triathlon taking place with $10,000 prize money: exactly the amount she needed.


She entered and began training. The day before the race she fell from her bike and broke her shoulder. She was down but she was not out - she strapped up, cycled, ran and swam a mile using her legs and one arm.


She won the race, the film was made, and now she has won a BAFTA. And there’s good buzz about her Oscar chances.


Grit wins the race in sports, business and life.

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