Cantona kick-starts first Screenwriters’ Festival
by Annika Pham
25/05/2006 - French famous football player-turned-actor Eric Cantona, UK producer/director Stephen Woolley and UK Oscar-winning screenwriter of Gosford Park Julian Fellowes were among the film personalities that attended the launch of the International Screenwriters’ Festival last weekend, to be held from June 27-30 in Cheltenham Film Studios in the South West of England .
Other special guests included writer/director Vijay Singh (One Dollar Curry), Paul Grindey (Film Four), Hugh Stoddart and Helen Grace (Writers’ Guild of Great Britain), Celine Haddad (Pathé), Jeffrey Erb (Kindred Media), Annette Funch Thomassen ( Danish Film Institute ), Steven Cleary (Arista) and producer Juan Romero.
The new festival, sponsored by Film Four, intends to bring together international writers, producers and directors to celebrate the art and craft of writing screen drama. A New Writing Day will be devoted to new screenwriters to help develop their skills and a series of public events will be organised.
Established screenwriters already confirmed include Kevin Loader (The History Boys), Gina Carter ( Bright Young Things [trailer]), James Watkins ( My Little Eye, Middle of Nowhere) and Barbara Machin (Waking the Dead).
Festival Patron Julian Fellowes commented: “Writing is a solitary activity and so the chance to communicate with others in the same boat, which this festival offers, is not just a relief. There are times when it's absolutely essential”.