At last year’s festival, we were thrilled to have novelist Jonathan Coe as Guest Director of From Page to Screen. On his appointment, he said “I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between film and the written word, and was delighted to discover that there is now an entire festival devoted to this very subject. The opportunity to play a role in shaping the festival was simply too interesting to pass up.” FPTS 2011 as all who were there will remember, was a triumph, with highlights from Kazuo Ishiguro on Never Let Me Go, Bill Forsyth on Housekeeping, Nicholas Mosely on Accident and screenings of some of Jonathan’s favourite adaptations including They Were Sisters, The Innocents and The Dead. It was a brilliant week, and Jonathan’s dedication to the programme and the spirit of the festival has gone a long way in establishing From Page to Screen as among the UK’s unmissable film festivals. Not only this, but his enthusiasm for the role the festival plays in Bridport itself was also infectious; ”What’s nice about the festival is for those four or five or six days in Bridport it has such a buzz around it and it becomes kind of the focal point of the town” he said “you have a sense that that discussion is going on all the time all around you… the festival does become a very living thing in the days in which it is taking place.”
This year, we are absolutely thrilled to have Francine Stock taking over from Jonathan. As a novelist, critic, presenter of Radio 4’s The Film Programme and author of this years In Glorious Technicolor: A Century of Film and How it has Shaped Us, Francine’s enthusiasm, passion and film knowledge promises great things for this year’s festival.
On her appointment, Francine said….“I’m thrilled to be taking this Bridport journey from page to screen. Literature continues to be the treasure chest for filmmakers; fiction and non-fiction adaptations still dominate the release schedules. Yet a faithful treatment of a beloved book is not enough to create screen excitement. As readers, we might feel that we absorb the characters and plots of books but the relationship to film is more volatile – by turns visceral or haunting – and it makes particular demands. Adaptations that are free and bold, sideways or tangential may capture best the spirit of the words. I look forward to sharing with you some outstanding examples.’
Everyone involved in the festival is thrilled to have Francine onboard; her tireless enthusiasm so far has made the programming up to this point very fun… juggling what looks at the moment like 22 films over five days is not always easy, and our problem so far has been fitting all the ideas into what seems an increasingly restrictive schedule! So thank you Francine, for everything.
As Francine says “if you can get a discussion with the writers as well, especially when there are books where people feel they have some kind of ownership on because they’ve already read them then it’s just like 3d book club isn’t it?” Maybe that is what it should say on our t-shirts this year.
Tomorrow, the full length conversation between Jonathan Coe and Francine Stock!