British Council and T&T Film Festival host script development training for filmmakers

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A report from Trinidad’s Guardian.

In a move designed to strengthen the local film industry, the T&T Film Festival (ttff) has partnered with the British Council to host a participatory workshop for story (script) editors, screenwriters and producers from March 8 – 12 in Port-of-Spain.

A release said the workshop will bring together up to 15 film professionals and will cover key issues common to script development and the role of the script editor in that process.

The five-day programme is designed to introduce the concept and practice of good feature script development by focusing on the role of the script editor and how they work with writers and producers. The programme will enable participants to gain the skills necessary to enhance their own filmmaking and that of their peer community and wider industry. By the end of the workshop there will be a number of committed, confident script editors ready and able to help make a positive contribution to both local and international filmmaking.

The programme will include practical sessions using scripts from participants as well as more general film reference material, to give participants immediate experience of the process and allow scriptwriters to take advantage of feedback for their specific projects.

According to Annalee Davis, Caribbean Arts Manager, British Council: “When the British Council consulted with regional stakeholders and filmmakers in November 2016, it became clear that screenwriting was an area where focus would be welcome, with a particular emphasis on creating the context for a stronger culture of project development. The British Council is therefore delighted to be collaborating with the ttff, to run this Story Editing workshop.’

Bruce Paddington, Founder and Festival Director of the ttff commented: “Good scripts not only require excellent writers but also the involvement of perceptive script editors who can help shape and improve the script. This workshop is therefore timely as T&T strives to develop its film industry. The ttff is pleased to be working with the British Council on this important initiative.

The workshop will be led by Ludo Smolski, a script development consultant, script editor and reader for a variety of organisations in the UK, including iFeatures4, Creative Scotland, Scottish Film Talent Network, Film4 and the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Fund.

He previously worked for The Script Factory, running their development and script feedback service, and devising and delivering training courses and workshops for screenwriters, developers and readers, both in the UK and internationally.

Smolski is also a Tutor for the National Film and Television School’s Postgraduate Diploma in Script Development, and delivers courses in script analysis and development for Creative England, the Film Distributors’ Association and the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU). A similar workshop will be held in Jamaica in a collaboration between the British Council, the Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA) and the JAMPRO Film Commission (JAMPRO), from March 1 – 5.

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