Edinburgh 2007

After the unbelievable hassle of vlogging from the Cheltenham Screenwriters’ Festival, I vowed that the next one would be a nice, easy written blog. And as if by magic, the Edinburgh International Film Festival announced that its theme for 2007 would be ‘cinema and the written word’.

So I set off to spend five days there, see lots of films, meet new and interesting people, and get it all down on my laptop as it happened.

I’d   had no intention of going to this festival initially as I couldn’t see that it would be any use to a screenwriter. But I caved in to persuasion from others far more knowledgeable than me and decided to go for it.

On the networking front, it wasn’t as easy as Cheltenham. There you knew that you could talk to anyone because they were either a screenwriter themselves    or they were there to meet screenwriters. In Edinburgh it’s very different and half of the people you end up talking to are little use to your career as a screenwriter.

Perhaps it might have been different if the ‘written word’ theme of the festival had delivered in any meaningful way, but that was very disappointing.

Writers know way too much about the industry and their place within it these days to be grateful for a handful of writer-director In Person sessions. That doesn’t constitute a theme. It constitutes a token gesture, and not a very convincing one at that. There were no more writer-centric events than you’d expect at any film festival.

On the whole, though, I had a positive experience. I met a lot of interesting people and saw a lot of good films, films that gave me some much needed impetus to write and sort out my own scripts.

In the end, I suppose, just being around filmmakers and films is enough for a screenwriter.

Now it’s back to those screenplays of my own…


The blog is published on the  new Festival Focus page of Shooting People’s website, and this is what I wrote about :

Yeah,   boyeeee (and shit)
I touchdown and go on a mad search for a movie fix and end up with a film about breakdancing.

You can’t fool the children of the revolution
Hungarian film about the 56 revolution, Szabadsag, Szerelem (Children of Glory), falls a bit flat, even with a magyarphile like me.

It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it…
Torture porn thriller WΔZjust wasn’t, but a big party night made up for it.

And when did you last cry in a cinema?
Another Hungarian film, Kythéra, and the powerful And When Did You Last See Your Father?

Spiegel im spiegel
A night out on the town with some new friends, with shocking photographic evidence.

Sweet and deadly
UK urban thriller, Sugarhouse takes me by surprise.

Meetings with Scottish screenwriters
In which your intrepid reporter interviews Paul Laverty and hangs out with the Scottish Screenwriters group.

And the special prize goes to…
Justin Edgar’s new film, Special People, is really rather good.

The waiting is the best bit…
I go down to the basement Videotheque and watch the nice new Brit romance, The Waiting Room. It’s obviously feelgood day.

Crazy in love
Sisterly rivalry in German film Schwesterherz (Twisted Sister) and Julie Delpy being totally bonkers in her brilliant new comedy Two Days in Paris.

See you all next June
Yes, they’re taking it away from the main festival and plonking it in June, all on its own, next year.

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