Monday, June 16, 2008

Third annual Screenwriters' Festival

There's still time to book tickets for the third annual Screenwriters' Festival in Cheltenham, 1-3 July. There's a really impressive line-up. Here's the official press release:
A staggering line-up of film and television industry luminaries will attend this year's Fesitval . Guest speakers include multi-award winning silver screen heavyweights MIKE LEIGH (Vera Drake/Happy Go Lucky), JULIAN FELLOWES (Gosford Park), CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON (Dangerous Liaisons/Atonement), RONALD HARWOOD (The Pianist/The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and bestselling author TERRY PRATCHETT (Discworld).

The list does not end there. In a major coup, the Festival has also secured arguably the most influential creative forces in British broadcasting, Controller of BBC Fiction JANE TRANTER and Director of ITV Drama LAURA MACKIE, who will proffer their wisdom and vision for 21st Century drama to eager delegates from across the globe.

'Innovation is a Must', according to prolific TV writer BARBARA MACHIN (creator of the EMMY award winning Waking the Dead), who will discuss the need for constant originality when writing for television in this year's opening speech. Other major events include writer/director PETER KOSMINSKY (Britz), writer/producer KAY MELLOR (Band of Gold/Cracker), writer/producer TONY JORDAN (Eastenders/Life on Mars), script editor KATE LEYS (The Full Monty/Girl With a Pearl Earring), novelist DEBORAH MOGGACH (adaptations include Love in a Cold Climate) and writer LUCY PREBBLE (Secret Diary of a Call Girl).

Festival director David Pearson comments: "The Screenwriting Festival is dedicated to the art, craft, education and business of writing for the screen. It attracts writers, producers, developers, financiers and executives from across the breadth of the screen and broadcasting industries for three invigorating days of keynote speeches, screenings, debates, case studies, seminars and workshops. We are delighted at its growth in just three years, and honoured to present such a powerful line-up of guests."

This year highlights include:
  • Author Terry Pratchett and director Vadim Jean reveal how they collaborated to adapt the hugely popular and successful Discworld novels for SkyOne
  • Mike Leigh offers a fascinating insight into his writing and directorial style. Known as the king of improvisation, is this really the case?
  • Christopher Hampton the Oscar winning writer of Dangerous Liaisons takes a look at his recent adaption of Atonement
  • Ronald Harwood, the renowned screenwriter will be 'In the Psychiatrist's Chair' with Dr Raj Persaud, discussing how writers can succeed in film by changing their mental attitude to overcome obstacles
  • Lucy Prebble discusses adapting a hugely controversial internet blog into a drama series, in her very own 'Secret Diary of a Scriptwriter'
  • Nic Ransome of Hammer Films, interviews professors Richard Hand and Mike Wilson to dissect which scripts 'give us the willys' and which don't
  • Actor Riz Ahmed quizzes writer/director Peter Kosminsky on the character he portrayed in the award-winning Britz
  • A Pitch in Time - the astoundingly popular competition returns; ten fresh delegates pitch their ideas to a live audience and panel of top industry personnel, following a pitching masterclass with experts in the field. Last year's winners have been getting busy in the business following their 2007 success. An event not to be sniffed at.
Full details at :

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