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ScreenLit Festival preview

26 June 09 words: Jamie Rhodes
A celebration of film and TV writing, featuring Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), Jimmy McGovern (Hillsborough) and Guy Hibbert (Omagh)
Broadway ScreenLit Festival
Broadway ScreenLit Festival  runs from 29 June  to 5 July 2009

Monday 29 June sees Nottingham's Broadway Cinema launch the first ever ScreenLit Festival. The festival is a week long celebration of film and TV writing, and with headliners such as legendary screenwriters Paul Schrader, Guy Hibbert, Jimmy McGovern, and Michael Eaton discussing their films in Q&A sessions.

Authors Frank Cottrell Boyce, Adam Thorpe, Miranda Seymour, James Harkin, and Lynn Barber reading from their latest works. And the BBC’s Creative Director Kate Rowland giving a talk on how scripts are assessed, the ScreenLit Festival is a must for budding writers!  On top of all this there will be chance to see cinema classics on the big screen once again, as well as screenings of contemporary films, more obscure films, shorts evenings, and even live performances of scripts by filmmakers of the future.

So here’s a brief overview of events taking place throughout the week:

The opening night gala kicks off at 7:30pm on Monday 29 June with the UK premiere of Coco Before Chanel, followed by a Chanel-themed black and white opening party until the early hours.

The next day, events begin at 5:45pm when award-winning novelist Adam Thorpe will be reading from, and signing copies of, his new book Hodd, a dark re-working of the tale of Nottingham’s favourite felon, Robin Hood. Thorpe will then be interviewed by Nottingham screenwriter Michael Eaton, followed by two episodes from 1950’s TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood.
At 8pm the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum offers a platform for new writers to see their work performed. Three ten-minute script extracts will be performed by professional actors, the writers will then receive feedback from industry professionals.

At 5:45pm, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Raymond Chandler’s death, there will be a lavishly illustrated talk chronicling the extraordinary life of one of the most important and influential American crime fiction authors. Presented by CEO of Film London, Adrian Wootton.
Paul Schrader’s latest film Adam Resurrected is being screened at 8pm, and he will be discussing the film with Adrian Wootton afterwards.

Paul Schrader - screenwriting masterclass from the man who wrote Taxi Driver
Paul Schrader - screenwriting masterclass
from the man who wrote Taxi Driver
on Friday at 3pm

On Thursday 2 July authors Miranda Seymour and Lynn Barber will give readings from their new books. Seymour’s Chaplin’s Girl charts the life and loves of Virginia Cherril, and Barber’s An Education is a fascinating memoir of her experience of the criminal underworld of west London at the dawn of the sixties. Both readings will be followed by Q&A sessions and book signings.
Later that day, the first ScreenLit Lifetime Achievement Award in Screenwriting will be presented to Paul Schrader in the Q&A session following the screening of one of his greatest works; Mishima: Life In Four Chapters showing at 7:45pm.

Friday’s highlights are Paul Schrader’s screenwriting masterclass at 3pm, don’t miss a true master of the craft outline the theory and method of screenwriting.
Then at 5:30pm the Creative Director of the BBC, Kate Rowland, will present the BBC Writersroom Roadshow. This event gives prospective writers the chance to find out exactly what kind of scrutiny their work will be under if they send it to the BBC, and the best part is: this event is free!
At 8pm there is a screening of World Cinema Awards winner for Directing and Screenwriting, Five Minutes of Heaven, followed by a Q&A with screenwriter Guy Hibbert.

Saturday is the busiest day, beginning with an early screening of Sons and Lovers at 12:30pm and ending with a late night showing of Moon at 11pm.
In between there’s a Q&A with Jimmy McGovern following the screening of Hillsborough at 3pm, a chance to see Schrader’s cult classic Taxi Driver on the big screen again at 6:15pm, and Mesrine: Killer Instinct the first of two films (the second being shown on Sunday at 5:30pm) about France’s most notorious gangster Jacques Mesrine at 8:45pm.

The final day of the festival sees another jam packed schedule, beginning with the rare opportunity to see Stanley Kubrick’s picturesque costume drama Barry Lyndon on the big screen in stunning new 35mm print.
Following that, Nottingham Writer’s Studio presents short films by three Nottingham based screenwriters. The screenwriters will be present to discuss various routes their original ideas took to reach the screen, and the development processes involved along the way. Another valuable session for any budding writers!
If you have a spare six hours, the full Red Riding trilogy is being shown from 5pm. Otherwise at 8:30pm move straight to the closing gala screening of Unmade Beds, a quirky tale set against a backdrop of grubby squats, warehouse parties and instant drug-based friendships. The film will be the inspiration for the closing party afterwards.

Remember, this is just an overview of the festival, there’s so much more going on that we haven’t the space to mention here! For full details check out the
Broadway website:  or pick up a festival programme from the Broadway Cinema box office. These events are selling out as you read this, so if something catches your interest, book it quick!

ScreenLit on Broadway website


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