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Edinburgh International Film Festival Reel Lives


By Robert Alstead - Posted on 18 August 2004

How did Walter Salles, director of The Motorcyle Diaries, find shooting a leper colony scene in the depths of the Amazon rainforest? What concessions was theatre turned film director Richard Eyre prepared to make for modern audiences in his new Restoration Comedy Stage Beauty? When does Zbigniew Preisner, composer for Krzysztof Kieslowski among others, decide silence is the best soundtrack? Does Ken Loach think subtitles for Scottish films are insulting?

These are the kind of questions that filmmakers could be answering at some of the events at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, which gets under way today.

For anyone interested in the process of filmmaking, the four events in the Reel Life strand of the EIFF should be thoroughly stimulating. Although we live in the age of the DVD director's commentary, these real life gatherings have proved in the past to be rewardingly frank and interactive discussions between filmmaker, host and audience. As filmmakers dissect specific scenes from their films, it's often fascinating to learn about those creative decisions that came about by design, those that came about by accident and those that simply came about by default.

Often overlooked and under-publicised are the various workshop events for directors, writers, actors and others who have caught the film bug. The Writers Guild presents a discussion between Andrew Davies, who wrote the hugely successful Pride and Prejudice TV adaptation as well as Circle of Friends and Bridget Jones Diary, with Hugh Stoddart, the scribe behind We Think the World of You and The Mill on the Floss.

Director Kenny Glenaan (Gas Attack) and producer Sally Hibbin (Blind Flight, Ladybird, Ladybird) talk about the process of making Yasmin, a film that addresses themes of racial prejudice, and conflicting national and religious identities.

The event is one of two masterclasses from The Script Factory, the other being with Ken Loach's long time writing partner and former lawyer Paul Laverty. Their latest feature Ae Fond Kiss, a Glasgow-set interracial love story, has its premiere at the EIFF this year.

The Script Factory is also hosting an industry event where thirty script development professionals (producers, developers, and directors) from across Europe will network and share skills.

For newer filmmakers, Short Film Beginnings introduces the basics of writing, directing and producing a short film and Skillset: Careers in Film, aims to explain who's who in the UK film industry, and how they got where they are today. Both these events are free, but space is limited.

Calendar

Thur 19 Aug
2pm, UGC: Reel Life with Director Walter Salles, director of The Motorcycle Diaries.

Sat 21 Aug
5pm, UGC: Script Factory Masterclass with Paul Laverty, writer on

Sun 22 Aug
1pm, UGC: Reel Life with Richard Eyre
3pm, UGC: Script Factory Development: Yasmin

Mon 23 Aug
12.30pm, UGC: Writers Guild Presents: Writing the Movies Hugh Stoddart in conversation with Andrew Davies

Wed 25 Aug
4.30pm, UGC: Careers in Film

Thu 26 Aug
3.30pm, The Filmhouse: Short Film Beginnings
8:30pm, UGC: Reel Life with Zbigniew Preisner

Mon 23 Aug
3pm, UGC: BAFTA Interview with Ken Loach

Coverage of the 54th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

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