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Rocliffe Blog November 2009 by Farah Abushwesha

8 December 2009
Farah Abushwesha and Gillies Mackinnon share feedback with a writer at the latest new writing forum.BAFTA/Mat Ricardo

Rocliffe chair Farah Abushwesha reflects on the latest BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, held on 30 November at BAFTA.

Gillies Mackinnon was a delightful and insightful guest at the last forum of 2009 - he probed and delved into the heart of each script and story, at times abandoning his script notes and following his instinct. His is not a style of feedback based on formulaic structure but on what in your gut makes for a good story and is at the heart of each tale. His advice to each writers is find the myth in their stories and to listen to what the actors have to say.

We ended 2009 on a high, after a year which saw us taking the show on the road to Nottingham, Cheltenham along with the two London events and with the complete transformation of the Princess Anne to a theatrical staging of each piece with music and backdrops.

The three scripts were very different a post-apocalyptic action sci-fi; a haunting tale of redemption and a talking panda. If the commissioners, who attended, were seeking originality they certainly found it at the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum on 30 Nov:

"For any screenwriter seeing their work performed in front of an audience is simply 'awesome' and in my case praise for the Rocliffe Writing Forum is due. They got things right, casting, acting, backdrop, music and directing; and facing an articulate panel and informative audience Q&A afterwards may feel like being thrown in the lion's den, but its importance and usefulness for the development of the script cannot be overstated." Featured writer John Watts (In a House Full of Ghosted Mirrors - Nov 2009).