With just days to gobefore the UK's inaugural Screenwriters Festival in Cheltenham, the organizerscontinue to add to the impressive roster of speakers and estimate that morethan two hundred new and established screenwriters from across Britain will flockto the three-day event (June 27-30).
Among the latestadditions to the Festival, which is being held in association with FilmFour andis supported by Screen International among many others, is producer-director Stephen Woolley, who willdiscuss his approach to film adaptation.
Other highlighted speakersinclude: Mexico's Guillermo Del Toro, hot off his acclaim in Cannes last monthwith Pan's Labyrinth;Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park); twice Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands) who penned the upcoming Elizabeth I biopic The Golden Age; and Jimmy McGovern, the creator of TV series Cracker who wrote his own Tudor era historical epic, MaryQueen Of Scots, which is inpre-production for Warner Independent.
For those with (slightly) morefuturistic tastes, there will be James Hawes and Stephen Moffat on hand todiscuss writing for the most popular UK sci-fi series ever, Dr Who, and it's spin-off Torchwood about a crack team investigating alien activities andcrime in modern-day Britain.
Among the more intriguing sessions is one featuring Debbie Isitt, the director of the largely improvisational Confetti talking about working with actors with little more than a storyline.
Also bound to stir up discussion is Sean Steele who, on behalf of his market research company NRG, will lift the lid on the little-known world of test screenings - and their implications for screenwriting.
The Cheltenham event willconclude with a curated screening of Sixty Six, Paul Weiland's semi-autobiographical account of howa boy's barmitzvah looks set to be a disaster when it coincides with the 1966World Cup Final in England. Appropriately enough, the Screenwriters Festivalfinds itself taking place in the midst of the current World Cup in Germany -football games that will be shown live to delegates and speakers who cravelive, unscripted dramatics.
For more on the festival, see ScreenDaily.com's Screenwriters Festival microsite.
TUESDAY 27 JUNE - NEWWRITERS DAY
Programme confirmed as of 20 June(subject to change and confirmations). For full schedule details click on www.screenwritersfestival.com/festival.php
Veteran comedy writers Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran areresponsible from some of British television's most enduring comedies. From BirdsOf A Feather to The New Statesman, the pair discuss their successful careers and offeradvice to the new screenwriter on the business of writing. Sponsored by SouthWest Screen.
GETTING IN - FINDING YOURWAY AROUND THE INDUSTRY
Producer Kevin Loader (TheHistory Boys, Straightheads, Enduring Love) joins film & TV agent Matthew Bates, Dictynna Hood, filmmaker, writer, and theatre practitioner, writer Phil Nodding, (Shameless, New Tricks) and SkillsetScreen Academy manager Tara Halloran, to explore the many and varied ways to break into the film & TVindustry. Sponsored by FilmFour.
YOU CAN DO IT!
The life of a writer can be isolated and frustrating, with significant pressureto deliver creativity on demand. Performance coach William Pennington of Chi Coaching can help you reach your professionalgoals. From how to focus on your strengths, to exceeding your perceived limits,an inspirational session to support new writers as they start out. Sponsored byLearning and Skills Council.
Stephen Cleary of scriptdevelopment training agency Arista explores the training of screenwriters withwriter and developer Simon van der Borgh, Skillset Screen Academy manager Tara Halloran, and NFTS talent scout Paul Green. Sponsored by Skillset.
GETTING IN - A PITCHINGCASE STUDY
Is there such thing as a perfect pitch or do good ideas always shine through' JustinTrefgarne, formerly head ofdevelopment at Working Title, and screenwriting partners Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler explore the ups and downs of trying to get your work made. What madethem stand out'
So someone wants your idea or script - now you need to make a deal. What shouldyou know about the legal & commercial side of your writing business' CharlesMoore of Wiggin, one of the leadinglegal experts in the Film and TV finance sector explains. With 15 yearsexperience in the UK and US industry, Charles has worked as a US studioexecutive on feature films including Schindler's List, Shakespeare In Love, Full Monty and Calendar Girls and The History Boys.
SURVIVING YOUR FIRSTFEATURE
Dan Reed's first feature Straightheads, is a dark and disturbing thriller starring GillianAnderson and Danny Dyer, coming to UK cinemas early next year. From burningexcitement and overwhelming joy to bleak despair, Dan tells the story of makingStraightheads from the point ofview of writer and director. Sponsored by FilmFour.
Writer Bryan Elsley (Crow Road) is working with a group of new young writers on Skins, an innovative E4 series about 16 year olds. Bryangives an overview of the process. Sponsored by FilmFour.
LIFE'S A PITCH...
* Justin Trefgarne, gives aninsight into the "must know" aspects of the art of pitching. (Classeslimited to 80).
* Mia Bays, Oscar-winningproducer of short film Six Shootergives an insight into the 'must know' aspects of the art of pitching. (Classeslimited to 30).
* Simon van der Borgh, featurefilm developer, trainer and writer gives an insight into the 'must know'aspects of the art of pitching. (Classes limited to 80).
* Barbara Machin, creator andwriter of Waking The Dead givesan insight into the 'must know' aspects of the art of pitching. (Classeslimited to 30).
The ten finalists get a private coaching session with pitch expert JulianFriedmann.
Ten finalists from PitchFactor, freshly coached by agent Julian Friedmann, go head to head on stage to pitch their ideas to apanel comprising of Julian Fellowes,Veena Verdi of Channel 4 IdeasFactory, Justin Trefgarne, KevinLoader, Barbara Machin and Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock of Arturi Films. The three winners will enjoy freeaccommodation and passes to the three day professional Festival. Chaired by StephenCleary. Sponsored by FilmFour.
THEN THERE'S THE WRITING:CLOSING SPEECH
Julian Fellowes was an actor forover twenty years before winning the Academy Award for Writing OriginalScreenplay in 2001 for Gosford Park.Since then he has written a novel, continued acting, penned the script to thecurrent West End Musical Mary Poppins and made his directorial debut with the film Separate Lies. Julian closes the New Writers Day in conversationwith David Pearson to offerinsight into how to succeed as a new screenwriter. He will also reveal thePitch Factor winners and Script-One competition. Sponsored by Arturi Films.
END OF DAY NETWORKINGPARTY IN THE MARQUEE
WEDNESDAY 28 JUNE -PROFESSIONAL DAY 01
David Pearson introduces the first day of the Main Festival.
Followed by Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes in conversation with Colin Brown of Screen Internationalon why writers should become more commercially minded. Sponsored by BAFTA &South West Screen.
TELLING THE TRUTH ISTOUGH
Screenwriter Jimmy McGovern (Hillsborough, Priest,Cracker), talks onstage to TheTimes writer Paul Hogart about his life, work and the responsibility andhurdles of telling the truth.
William Pennington of Chi Coaching offers some practical tools forbecoming successful in screenwriting. Sponsored by Learning and Skills Council
BROTHERS OF THE SCRIPT
Writer Tony Grisoni (In ThisWorld; Fear And Loathing In LasVegas) joins Peter Carlton, executive at FilmFour, to discuss the forthcoming BrothersOf The Head, a dark film directed byKeith Fulton and Louis Pep (Lost In La Mancha) about rock music and sex, adapted from a BrianAldiss short story. Sponsored by FilmFour.
Laurence Marks and MauriceGran compare notes with NickOstler and Mark Huckerby on the trials and tribulations of writing as a team.
LONG TERM CHARACTERS
Writers Ashley Pharoah (LifeOn Mars), Jimmy McGovern, Laurence Marks, Maurice Gran, BarbaraMachin (Waking The Dead), discuss writing, sustaining and creatinglong-running television series. Sponsored by South West Screen.
WE LOVE IT!
What does it mean when a film executive says they will call you' Colin Brown of Screen International debunks the double meanings of Hollywood talk.
'SURVIVING THE LIONS'
William Nicholson, writer of Gladiator, Shadowlands, First Knight and theforthcoming Elizabeth: The Golden Age, talks about his approach to surviving as a working writer inHollywood. Sponsored By Arista Development.
Kevin Loader presents anillustrated view of working with writers.
Adaptations continue to rise and dominate mainstream film and TV production.Producer Kevin Loader (TheHistory Boys, Straightheads, Enduring Love), Amelia Grainger ofWorking Title, Olivia Hetreed (TheGirl With A Pearl Earring) and LizaMarshall commissioning editor, dramafor Channel 4 join Colin Brown,editor-in-chief of Screen International to explore the art, market and funding for adaptations. Sponsored byFilmFour.
NOTABLE SOAP TRAILS
Mervyn Watson, BBC executiveproducer, sketches an overview of famous writers and their relationships tosoaps like Brookside, Eastenders and Doctors.
BIG SCREEN SMALLSCREEN
Kate Ogborn of Revolution Films, Liza Marshall of Channel 4 and Arvind David of Slingshot Films join Dan Reed (Straightheads) to discuss the current trend of combining the TV, cinema and DVDrelease of films, and whether this distribution strategy offers moreopportunities for writers. Chaired by Stephen Cleary, Arista. Sponsored by Film Four
Producer-director Stephen Woolley(Company Of Wolves, InterviewWith A Vampire, End Of The Affair) explains his approach to adapting stories intomovies.
THE DIRECTOR'S LABYRINTH
Guillermo Del Toro is one ofMexico's most popular writer-directors having received worldwide success for Cronos, Blade II, The Devil's Backbone andHellboy. His latest horrorfantasy Pans Labyrinth, the storyof a young girl in Northern Spain and the imaginary world of her own creation,recently premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Guillermo willdiscuss and show some of his work with film writer Nigel Floy. Sponsored by FilmFour
END OF DAY PARTY IN THEMARQUEE
THURSDAY 29 JUNE -PROFESSIONAL DAY 02
TESTING THE WRITER
Market testing of films before release is increasing. Sean Steele of test screening company NRG, whose clients includeall the major studios, explores what testing reveals about screenplays and theimplications it holds for writers.
CAUGHT BETWEEN IRAQ AND AHARD PLACE
How to represent a controversial war' Tony Marchant's new FilmFour drama The Mark Of Cain, explores the day to day lives of British troops inIraq. He joins David Pearson, whospent three months filming in Iraq after the Invasion, to discuss the pitfallsof this difficult subject area. Sponsored by FilmFour
LOVE YOUR AUDIENCE, NOTYOUR CHARACTERS
Julian Friedmann argues thatwriters' love affairs with their characters can get in the way of commercialsuccess and satisfied audiences.
MAKING IT UP
Debbie Isitt talks about her filmConfetti, which was improvised bythe actors working to her storyline. Chaired by Colin Brown of Screen International. Sponsored by South West Screen.
SCRIPT EDITORS - FRIENDOR FOE'
Justin Trefgarne, the scripteditor for Nick Ostler & Mark Huckerby, and Claire Moorsom, the script editor for Richard Jobson, discuss whatmakes a collaboration work. Sponsored by UK Film Council.
Natalie Wreyford of UK FilmCouncil follows on from Script Editors: Friend Or Foe' with script editors Joe Tracy and Joel Jenkins.
WORKING WITH FILMFOUR
Katherine Butler, head ofdevelopment at FilmFour/C4, and writer Abi Morgan (Sex Traffic, Brick Lane) explore themaking of novel Brick Lane into afilm and how FilmFour works with writers. Sponsored by FilmFour.
Eileen Quinn and Judy Counihan talk about pitching and their new book, The Pitch.
WHERE ARE ALL WOMEN'
Judy Counihan joins writers AbiMorgan, Olivia Hetreed (Girl With A Pearl Earring), Francesca Marciano (Oscar-nominated Don't Tell), Katherine Butler of FilmFour, trainer & developer Phil Parker and Marcia Williams of UK Film Council to discuss the findings of UKFC'srecent research into why there are so few female screenwriters. Sponsored by UKFilm Council.
Paula Jalfon of Ingenious Filmsand Ed Clarke of Capitol Filmsexplore what attracts financiers and sales agents to specific screenplays.
ITS A TOUGH LAUGH
Why are there so few good film comedy writers' How can Britain's TV comedy writing talent best make theprogression to film' Guy Jenkin (DropThe Dead Donkey), Gary Martin & Roger Beckett discuss what might be blocking film laughs.Sponsored by UK Film Council
WORKING WITH THE BBC
David Thompson, Head of BBCFilms, explains how BBC Films works with writers, and explains what makes anarchetypal BBC Film.
WELCOME TO DEVELOPMENTHELL
David Hughes, author of TheGreatest Sci-Fi Films Never Made andTales From Development Hell,talks about what can happen if a script is put into turnaround or when it getsstuck in development hell.
THE HARD SELL
Gina Carter, producer of BrightYoung Things, 24 Hour PartyPeople, Wonderland, The Claim, explains how to finance scripts that are classed as 'a hard sell'.
THE DOCTOR IS IN
James Hawes and Stephen Moffat discuss writing for the most popular UK sci-fiseries ever Dr Who and it'sspin-off Torchwood. Featuring alive commentary with James and Stephen on The Empty Child followed by Q&A Session.
Hugh Stoddart, chair of theWriters Guild Screen Committee and screenwriter/producer Sam Snape give a personal proposition for a new model ofcontracts for writers on low budget films.
END OF DAY PARTY IN THEMARQUEE
FRIDAY 30 JUNE -PROFESSIONAL DAY 03
PRESSURES FOR CHANGE
Terry Loane, producer MarkHuffam (Goal, Goal II)and script developer Fiona Kinsellof Moonstone discuss the issues they faced making Terry's contentious film MickyboAnd Me, set around the NorthernIreland divide.
GETTING A HOLLYWOOD DEAL'
Industry lawyer Charles Moore andRachel Holroyd, agent atCasarotto Ramsay, show how writers get a Hollywood deal.
ULTRA LOW BUDGET
Writer/directors Justin Kerrigan(Human Traffic) and RichardJobson (Sixteen Years Of Alcohol), join Mike Riley of Slingshot Films to explore the arena of lowbudget film. What size of production can be classed as low budget' Does lowbudget filmmaking offer a freedom to tell stories that would otherwise beimpossible to get made' Chaired byMike Gubbins, editor, Screen International. Sponsored by South West Screen.
WRITERS AS PRODUCERS
Does calling yourself a producer help to sell scripts' Phil Parker explains the difference it has made in hisprofessional life.
WORKING WITH NEW TALENT
Bryan Elsley (Crow Road, Complicity) and members of his writing team, discuss Skins, his Channel Four series that brought together newwriters, working in teams, to present the real life of 16 year olds. Sponsoredby FilmFour.
THE HORROR OF WRITING
How do you scare people across the world'James Watkins (MyLittle Eye) and Jolyon Symonds (Backwoods) join script editor and horror expert Nic Ransome to discuss. Sponsored by Arturi Films.
THE COLD HARD TRUTH
Director Nicolas Roeg and writer AllanScott, (Don't Look Now, Two Deaths), present a special screening of Cold Heaven, after which they will discuss writing and directingtogether. Sponsored by South West Screen.
IT'S ALL OVER' IT IS NOW
Paul Weiland (Mr Bean, Roseanna's Grave) shows his semi-biographical film Sixty Six. Followed by a discussion on the writing of Paul'sstory with producers Elizabeth Karlsen, Peter Straughan and Bridget O'Connor.Followed by Closing Remarks. Sponsored by Universal
END OF FESTIVAL PARTYJAZZ CLUB