Women's Lives on Screen. Creative Section

‘The Great Scene That Never Happened’ – A Screenwriter’s Techniques of Blending Fact and Fiction in Creating a Compelling Character Arc in Biopics





biopic, screenwriting, character arc, dominant set of values, underdog set of values, Ushba, Cenzi von Ficker


The biopic as a genre treads a thin line between fact and fiction. Using the theory and methods of visual storytelling and screenwriting, I will lay open the thought process and the tools of the craft that are employed to create a character arc using historical facts and figures for a movie that will resonate with a modern audience. I will also show how I tried to incorporate the producers’ expectations regarding the subject matter. I illustrate my process and techniques using my most recent screenplay Ushba, which narrates the unsuccessful climb of the eponymous Georgian mountain by a group of Austrian mountaineers, among them a young woman called Cenzi von Ficker.

Author Biography

Maria Hinterkörner

Maria Hinterkoerner is a screenwriter based in Vienna, Austria, and specialises in historical/biographical and female driven stories. She holds a PhD from the University of Vienna and an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of New Orleans.





Women's Lives on Screen. Creative Section