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06 August 13
Five internationally acclaimed writers discuss the art and craft of screenwriting during the prestigious series from 23-30 September.
This year sees the fourth in our world-renowned series of BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lectures, in conjunction with the BFI and The JJ Charitable Trust. These lectures are now a firm fixture in the international calendar, boasting the very finest writers working in film today. This year, we will be hosting Richard Curtis, creator of some of the UK’s most successful films (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually), Hossein Amini (Drive, Jude, The Wings of The Dove), Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich, Pocahontas), David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises) and Tony Gilroy (the Bourne films, Michael Clayton).
As always, the emphasis is on the genesis of narrative film in script. Our series is all about the authorial voices that craft those blank pages into light. We proudly celebrate the ghosts in the machine, invisible in every frame of the finished film: the screenwriters. Be amazed. Be very amazed.
Jeremy Brock, Screenwriter and Founder of the Lecture Series.
Monday 23 September
David Goyer is a polymath of a writer moving freely from film to television, from comics to video games, with all bearing a trademark flair and an interest in the interior struggles of characters who loom larger than life but have to exist in the real world. His recent screenplay for Man of Steel underpinned one of the year’s biggest hit films, which is true of so much of Goyer’s big screen work such as his Dark Knight Trilogy collaborations with Christopher Nolan to earlier work on Blade. Unusually still, for a major Hollywood screenwriter, he has successfully turned his hand to writing for games with Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 & 2. Goyer’s television work is equally distinctive and acclaimed, such as Da Vinci’s Demons, FlashForward and Blade: the Series, to name a few.
Wednesday 25 September
Hossein Amini is a master of truthful yet inspired adaptation. Whether turning his hand to a classic novel, American crime fiction or a fairy tale, an Amini adaptation is as distinctive as it is respectful, breathing fresh life into the interior worlds of the characters in his charge. His early work featured two critically acclaimed literary adaptations Jude in 1996, for director Michael Winterbottom and The Wings of The Dove in 1997, for which he earned an Oscar nomination. Since then, he has taken audiences to 19th century Sudan in Four Feathers for acclaimed director Shekhar Kapur and in 2008’s Killshot he ventured into crime fiction with an Elmore Leonard adaptation. His neo-noir crime thriller Drive in 2011 was a stylish, subtle adaptation of James Sallis’ novel. Drive was a BAFTA-nominated, critical and commercial hit starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Nicholas Winding Refn. To further prove his impressive range, Amini’s next release was a muscular re-imagining of a fairytale: Snow White and the Huntsman.
Saturday 28 September at 6.20pm
An impressively versatile screenwriter, Grant is equally comfortable in delivering quality films for adults or for young audiences. In much of her work, she shows great skill in tackling serious issues but always with a winning combination of humour and a real understanding of people. She’s also written some memorable roles for women; in 2001, she received BAFTA and Oscar nominations for her screenplay for Erin Brockovich, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Julia Roberts, and also delivered the underrated 28 Days which was one of the early roles that showed Sandra Bullock’s range as an actor. Other notable work includes Ever After and Pocahontas, The Soloist (directed by the UK’s Joe Wright), In Her Shoes and Charlotte’s Web. Early work included writing and working as consulting producer on hit 90s TV series Party of Five; Grant has more recently returned to TV as writer/exec producer on A Gifted Man, starring Patrick Wilson.
Sunday 29 September at 6.45pm
Gilroy is one of the most sought after screenwriters in Hollywood, with a skill for delivering smart, contemporary thrillers. His early credits include The Devil’s Advocate and Armageddon, a worldwide box office hit. He is also responsible for penning the hugely successful Bourne franchise and the character-led corporate thriller Michael Clayton, which won critical acclaim for its portrayal of a law firm embroiled in corporate corruption. Latterly, he’s taken on directing his own scripts on The Bourne Legacy and Michael Clayton. Awards and nominations include BAFTA and WGA nominations in 2008 for Best Original Screenplay as well as an Oscar nomination for both his writing and his directing on Michael Clayton.
Monday 30 September at 7.00pm
Few screenwriters, by name alone, can conjure charm, comedy and romance quite like Richard Curtis. His big screen comedic tales of contemporary British romance, society and people, held dear across the world, can almost be described as Richard Curtis-eque; his characters often inhabit “Curtis Land”, as it is has occasionally come to be known. Having cut his teeth on iconic British sketch shows before landing a worldwide hit and an Oscar-nomination in 1994 for his comedy screenplay, Four Weddings and A Funeral, Curtis has created some of the biggest British worldwide successes in cinema of the last 20 years such as Notting Hill, his adaptation of the much-loved Bridget Jones series and Love Actually. Always warm and always funny, Curtis is a true master of the British romantic comedy. He is also responsible for critically acclaimed television with a political conscience: 2005’s Girl in the Café with director David Yates and 2013’s Mary and Martha, a drama set against the backdrop of the malaria crisis in Africa, as well as long-running TV comedy The Vicar of Dibley.
In association with The JJ Charitable Trust
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