Tuesday, November 8th saw the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum back in Piccadilly after its recent venture to New York. For the last ten years the Rocliffe New Writing Forum has provided a unique platform for new writing talent. The event also travels the length and breadth of the UK, benefitting aspiring screenwriters across the country.
Three short extracts are chosen from scripts received through an open submission process. The pieces are performed by professional actors in front of an industry audience. Following each performance, the writers receive feedback from a high profile industry co-chair and answer questions from the audience Tuesday’s special guest co-chair was writer/director Peter Kosminsky. The evening rounds off with a Q&A with the industry co-chair and a relaxed networking session.
Since 1995, Kosminsky has worked largely as a freelance drama director, working on TV Dramas including No Child Of Mine by Guy Hibbert for ITV (BAFTA for Best Single Drama), Warriors by Leigh Jackson (BAFTA for Best Drama Serial) and The Project (a two-part drama about New Labour, also by Leigh Jackson), both for the BBC. Kosminksy has also directed two major studio feature films: Wuthering Heights for Paramount, starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche, and White Oleander for Warner Bros, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Renée Zellweger.
My involvement in Tuesday’s event was to write the introductory music for the screenplay excerpt entitled The Damage, written by Elizabeth Isaacs and directed by Susan Jacobson.
The evening turned out to be one of the most successful forums yet, and there were some extremely important questions aired, including that of the current trend of ‘genre’ lead dramas and feature films, with Peter ensuring the audience that although this is the case and that funding seems generally more available for genre lead subjects, screenwriters and producers shouldn’t lose heart and that well written character lead scripts will continue to be commissioned.