Screenwriters star at EIFF

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The 61st EIFF is celebrating Cinema and the Written Word, and we have a slew of special events featuring the best of British screenwriters.

Sir Richard Attenborough once said, “There’s nothing more important in making movies than the screenplay.” It’s a statement that’s copiously illustrated at this year’s Festival.

Screenwriters are rarely afforded public recognition for their vital contribution to the filmmaking process. Ridley Scott, for example, was widely applauded for his masterful direction of Gladiator, but how many people can name the Briton who received an Oscar nod for the screenplay?

It was, in fact, William Nicholson, the writer having also received a previous Oscar nomination for 1993’s Shadowlands. Allied to a CV which also includes Nell, Sarafina and medieval romp First Knight, and it’s easy to see why Nicholson is in demand.

Nicholson will give a fascinating insight into his work in Hollywood and the upcoming Elizabeth sequel, The Golden Age, at the exclusive In Person event.

The Festival also welcomes back Scot Paul Laverty for another of the In Person events. Screenwriting is one of many strings Laverty has to his bow, being equally active as a lawyer and human rights activist.

Fearlessly political, and unafraid of controversy, he has formed, with Ken Loach, the most important British writer-director team of modern times.

The pair have collaborated on a number of features, including Carla’s Song and The Wind That Shakes the Barley, and he scooped the Best Screenplay award at Cannes for 2002’s Sweet Sixteen.

Laverty’s appearance at the Festival will be colourful to say the least, and the writer has urged the audience to ask questions which are ‘as hostile as possible’.

The brains behind two of EIFF’s British Gala selection will also take the stage to discuss their work. Newcomer Roger Goldby will be on hand to give aspiring writers advice in the Script Factory: The Waiting Room event.

Meanwhile, Blake Morrison and David Nicholls will discuss adapting Morrison’s memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father? for the big screen in the Writing Reality event.

These, among other events, represent an opportunity for the EIFF audience to get a fascinating insight into writing for the screen, and celebrate some great British talent.

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