The firstInternational Screenwriters' Festival, to be held in the UK from June 27-30, has added FilmFour as one of its sponsors.

Supportersof the inaugural event, to be held at Cheltenham Film Studios in the Cotswolds,include Gosford Park writer Julian Fellowes, Gladiator writer Bill Nicholson and Stoned director Stephen Woolley.

Thefestival hopes to attract international writers, producers and directors andattendees confirmed include Jimmy McGovern, Kevin Loader, James Watkins, DanReed, Phil Nodding, Gina Carter, Barbara Machin andDavid Hughes.

Thefestival will unveil further plans during Cannes.

"We allknow that there can be no great film without great writing," says Heather Rabbatts, education advisor to Channel 4 and board memberof The Film Council. "Developing good writing skills is of fundamentalimportance to this industry and so it is fantastic news that for the first timeever we have a Festival dedicated to the art of screenwriting. This Festivalwill not only help to develop that key talent, but will also help to supportwriting in the future."

Topics tobe covered during the festival include adaptation, censorship andself-censorship, and low-budget digital film-making. A New Writers' Day will beorganised for inexperienced screenwriters.

Thefestival's board includes ScreenInternational editor in chief Colin Brown, Stephen Cleary of Arista, and Charles Moore from Wiggan.