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First London Screenwriters Festival to kick off in October


At a time when the British film industry is reeling under the triple blows of the abolition of the UK Film Council, the collapse of the New Producers Alliance and the termination of the Cheltenham Screenwriters’ Festival, comes the heartening news that the inaugural London Independent Film Festival will bow in October (29-31).

Billed as Europe’s biggest screenwriting event, the Festival will feature over 60 well-known speakers including Working Title Co-Chairman Tim Bevan and the BBC’s Head Drama Commissioner, Ben Stephenson.

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Bevan said, “Scriptwriters and producers (and those who work with them) need a festival like this to share experiences and make sure that British scripts and films can compete in the global market.”

Dean Craig, screenwriter and director of Death at a Funeral [+see also:
film profile
, said, “It’s vital that this resource exists for writers at any stage of their careers to develop their skills and contacts. It’s going to be like Cannes for writers, but without the sun and yachts.”

Chris Jones, creative director of the festival, said, “With the emergence of new film technologies and the growing importance of online distribution, the number of film makers embarking on new projects has risen sharply over the last few years. At the same time, the institutions that once supported the creative industries are collapsing around us. That is why we decided to create the London Screenwriters’ Festival to provide the invaluable support that writers need to turn their project into a reality.”

The Festival will feature seminars, workshops and events on film related subjects, including the chance for writers to pitch their screenplays directly to agents and producers.

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