Thursday, October 12, 2006

Writers' site covers Italian screenwriting

I must admit that I don't follow the writing scene in Italy that much any more, mea culpa. Yet Italy still has a strong tradition of screenwriting, where the writer is recognised as playing an entirely dfferent role to the director (unlike France and Belgium). So directors often actively seek out writers with which to work.

To keep in touch, I recommend spending some time on the Italian screenwriters' site It acts as a good source of information concerning writers' groups, workshops, articles, competitions and relevant screenwriting news in Italian. It also features a catalogue of available scripts and a busy messageboard (with a section in English just dying for some input).

Monday, October 09, 2006

"Cages" and "Falafel" dominate Namur Francophone fest

The 21st International Festival of Francophone Film closed over the weekend, bringing some 35,000 viewers to the town of Namur in Belgium. The festival acts as both a showcase for new films and an industry event, where producers and writers meet. As Algerian producer and jury member Liazid Khodja pointed out, there were films and jury members from 4 continents.

The festival has its awards, called the "Bayards". Highlights of this year's selection were the Bayard d'or for Best Film going to Michel Kammoun's "Falafel", a low-budget exploration of Beirut by night which also won the award for best original music by Toufic Farroukh. The other big winner was Olivier Masset-Depasse's debut feature "Cages", a Belgo-French production about a couple that organises a competition of animal noises in a cafe. The film picked up the Audience Award and the Youth Jury award (with a special mention for the screenplay). "This is particularly satisfying," said writer-director Masset-Depasse (photo, left). "My previous short films were wanky auteur films. This time I decided to write for the real jury: the audience." The Bayard for the best script went to Jean-Stéphane Bron and Karine Sudan for the Franco-Swiss production, "Mon frère se marie".

For the full results, visit