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Great screenwriters at Copenhagen International Film Festival

Copenhagen International Film Festival is Denmark’s great film event.

From 20 to 30 September 2007, the general public and industry professionals will come together to see magnificent, dramatic, romantic, mesmerizing and macabre European feature films. Many of the films shown are not in Danish distribution, and the festival is therefore the only opportunity to see the films on the big screen.

Jim Sheridan and David Hare – two Oscar-nominated screenwriters – will attend this year’s Copenhagen International Film Festival.

True to its tradition, Copenhagen International Film Festival will again give the audience the opportunity to meet several filmmakers, and in 2007 the festival’s seminars and master classes will put a special emphasis on screenwriting. Among the inspiring speakers shedding some light on their profession are the Irish director and screenwriter Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) and the English screenwriter and dramatist David Hare (The Hours).

”Screenwriters always end up in the shadow of the director, but we would like to do our bit to redress that imbalance”, explains program director Jacob Neiiendam. ”Powerful personal stories are exactly what make European films so special. In Europe, screenplays are often developed in tight collaboration between director and screenwriter. That’s also what happens in Denmark, but it isn’t always a trouble-free affair. We would like to give people an insight into what screenwriters do, both from a creative as well as a practical perspective.”


The festival’s master classes, where the audience has the chance to meet well-known filmmakers face to face, will among others feature:

Jim Sheridan
The Irish-born filmmaker Jim Sheridan has been nominated for an Oscar no less than six times, of which three times as a screenwriter. He had his debut as a director and screenwriter with the biographical drama My Left Foot (1989), which starred Daniel Day Lewis in the role of Christy Brown, who suffers from cerebral palsy. This fruitful collaboration was followed up in 1992 with In the Name of the Father, which won the Golden Bear in Berlin, and in 1997 with The Boxer. Jim Sheridan has also written screenplays for Mike Newell and Terry George. In 2004, he was again nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his screenplay for In America, a heart-rending drama about an Irish family’s encounter with America, inspired by the experiences of Sheridan’s own family. Jim Sheridan is currently working on various projects, such as an American remake of Susanne Bier’s and Anders Thomas Jensen’s Brothers.


David Hare
The British dramatist David Hare has written for theatre, film and television, and is known as a dedicated social commentator, who doesn’t shy away from criticising his nation’s long-established institutions. Many of his plays have been remade into films, and he has himself often written the adapted screenplays, such as Plenty (1985), directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Meryl Streep. He has also written exclusively for the screen, e.g. Damage (1992), which was directed by Louis Malle and starred Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche. Hare furthermore directed the films Wetherby (1985), Paris by Night (1988) and Strapless (1989). In 2002, his screenplay for The Hours, directed by Stephen Daldry, was nominated for an Oscar. He is currently working on several feature screenplays – among others The Reader, also directed by Daldry.

The master class with Jim Sheridan will be held on 21 September; David Hare’s master class takes place the following day, 22 September.

Each year, Copenhagen International Film Festival presents a Golden Swan for Best Screenplay to one of the films in competition. The award is sponsored by the Danish Playwrights’ and Screenwriters’ Guild.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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