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BAFTA And BFI To Host 5th Annual Screenwriters' Lecture Series In Association With JJ Charitable Trust

15 July 2014
The BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters Lecture Series 2014 in association with The JJ Charitable Trust. British writer and actress Emma Thompson gives the second lecture in the series at the BFI Southbank on 20 September 2014. Chaired by Jeremy Brock. Other wriBAFTA/Jamie Simonds

Internationally acclaimed screenwriters James Schamus, Emma Thompson and Steven Knight will deliver the first lectures in September

London, 15 July: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the BFI (British Film Institute) today announced that the latest in their prestigious series of lectures by the world’s leading screenwriters will feature James Schamus, Emma Thompson and Steven Knight, who between them boast seven BAFTA and Oscar nominations and multiple awards for their screenplays. The lectures, the first in the 2014 series, will take place between 18 and 29 September.

Now is its fifth year, the BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters’ Lecture Series exists to celebrate screenwriters’ authorial contribution to film, and gives esteemed writers a platform to share highlights and insights from their careers with an audience of film-lovers and their peers. The series is funded by JJ Charitable Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.

Writer and producer James Schamus () starts the season on Thursday 18 September at BFI Southbank in London. Writer and actress Emma Thompson () takes to the stage at BFI Southbank on Saturday 20 September. Writer and director Steven Knight () will follow on Monday 29 September at BAFTA Headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London.

The season is programmed by screenwriter and BAFTA member Jeremy Brock (). Jeremy Brock said: “It is the screenwriter who creates the blueprint for what we eventually see and experience on screen. The complex relationship between screenplay and completed film comes under vivid scrutiny this year, as we invite an impressive line-up of speakers combining their screenwriting talents with equally successful pursuits in directing, producing and acting.”

John Willis, Deputy Chairman of BAFTA said: “The Screenwriters’ Lecture Series has become a highlight of the BAFTA events calendar. Over the years we’ve been privileged to hear from some of the greatest names in film and television, and this year’s season is no different. Our initial trio of speakers boast credits across a range of genres - from action to romance, from thriller to family, and from original screenplays to adaptations. BAFTA is thrilled to welcome these brilliant screenwriters to share the benefit of their vast experience with a public audience.”

Heather Stewart, Creative Director, BFI said: “Films begin with writers and yet the authors of the big screen are too often overlooked, so we’re really pleased to once again be working with BAFTA on the Screenwriters’ Lecture Series which puts these highly skilled and talented craftspeople firmly in the spotlight.”

As part of both organisations’ commitment to learning, podcasts of all the lectures, including exclusive video content, will be available for free on BAFTA Guru, BAFTA’s online learning channel, and the BFI’s VOD service BFI Player, later in the year. Lectures from previous years of the series are available now at BAFTA Guru and on BFI (search for ‘screenwriters’).

Booking information:

Public tickets for the September lectures are available from 11.30am on Tuesday 12 August. To book for Steven Knight, go to Tickets for James Schamus and Emma Thompson are on sale through the BFI Southbank Box Office (

BFI and BAFTA members can book tickets from Tuesday 5 August (James Schamus and Emma Thompson only) and Wednesday 6 August respectively.

Event dates and venues in September:

Thursday 18 September James Schamus BFI Southbank
Saturday 20 September Emma Thompson BFI Southbank
Monday 29 September Steven Knight BAFTA

All lectures begin at 7pm.

For further information, images and biographies of the screenwriters, please contact:

Daisy Jestico at Kindred Agency
Tel: 020 7010 0834
Email: [email protected]
Hollie Rendall at Kindred Agency
Tel: 020 7010 0829
Email: [email protected]

About the BFI

The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK
  • Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting British film and talent to the world
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

For further information, visit

The BFI Southbank is open to all. BFI members are entitled to a discount on all tickets. BFI Southbank Box Office tel: 020 7928 3232. Unless otherwise stated tickets are £11.00, concs £8.50 Members pay £1.50 less on any ticket. Website:


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures, scholarships and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit and