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Ariane Hahusseau is an exciting writer whose work focuses on the untold stories of passionate women in history. Check out her latest work!

Meet Ariane Hahusseau, recipient of the Sloan Foundation’s Episodic Award 2021

The Sloan Foundation has recently named AFI screenwriting alum Ariane Hahusseau the recipient of the 2021 Episodic Award.

Founded in 1934 by industrialist Alfred P. Sloan Jr., this non-profit grantmaking institution not only supports high quality, impartial scientific research but promotes the arts that explore science. Ariane was awarded a $10,000 grant for her one-hour drama pilot SHATTERED FACES after being carefully selected by a jury of leading scientists and filmmakers.

The series follows the disfigured soldiers of WWI in their struggle to reconstruct their identity, not only through surgery, but with the help of art. The show was indeed inspired by the true story of American sculptor Anna Coleman Ladd who opened a workshop in Paris to mold and paint prosthetic masks for the disfigured. “This is a unique story of relentless dedication to relieve human suffering. Anna truly believed that art had the power to restore these men’s humanity,” Ariane explains, after conducting thorough research among French war archives.

SHATTERED FACES not only uncovers the unknown story of mask painting but explores the beginning of facial reconstruction and plastic surgery. “It’s difficult to imagine a pre-plastic surgery world but the early 20th Century was very limited in treating facial injuries. The Great War sent back faceless men from the trenches and surgeons had to find a way to treat those horrific wounds. It is thanks to their persistent experiments in grafts and reconstructive devices that facial surgery progressed so rapidly.”

It was during a summer in France that Ariane uncovered some letters written from the front by her great-grandfather who lost the use of his legs in the war. “I wanted the trauma of wounded veterans to be shown in its full atrocity but with the possibility of hope and self-acceptance. SHATTERED FACES pays homage to the genius of doctors and artists who believed in humanity’s right to live with dignity. They fought their own war to give these men a new face and allow them to be accepted by society again.”

SHATTERED FACES is not the first of Ariane’s scripts to take place in the past. Ariane majored in Literature and History at the Sorbonne and King’s College London and has always found inspiration in her favorite classics to write larger-than-life period dramas. “I love extraordinary destinies. My protagonists usually have a unique talent that both elevates and consumes them. They fight against society’s norms and prejudices to express themselves, seek justice and find freedom.”

MADELEINE’S REFLECTION and THE UNFINISHED SONATA (2021 Academy Nicholl Fellowship quarter-finalist) explore the tragedy of female genius in 19th-century London: one flees a convent to find freedom as an actress and lapses into insanity, haunted by the characters she portrays, while the other is a brilliant pianist who escapes an asylum to seek revenge for her usurped work.

“I would love to write a period drama for Joe Wright. His devotion to literature and art always transpires in his movies. From Elizabeth Bennett to Anna Karenina, his heroines offer a touching, passionate and authentic reflection of the female condition. I wish to contribute to this powerful light shed on women in today’s cinema.”

Her adventure drama SEARCHING FOR TUTANKHAMUN (2021 PAGE Awards semi-finalist) offers a diverse perspective on the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. A poor Egyptian takes part in English excavations in hopes of rising above his station in 1922 colonial Luxor.

Once again with archeology, Ariane shows a passion for combining art with science and it is no wonder that SHATTERED FACES was recognized by the Sloan Foundation. Her TV show is now being developed by two production companies and we cannot wait to see it on screen!

To discover more about Ariane’s short films and screenplays, you can check out her website:

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