It’s the penulitimate day. The committee are looking thin and battered, but this is another day of great films (of course) and we don’t want the festival to end! Today we have two of the busiest screen-writers working in Britain today, Moira Buffini and Simon Beaufoy, as well as the involvement of Bafta so it’s an exciting day for FPTS.
Arrietty to begin at 11am, followed by our Shorts event at 2 – each individually introduced by Francine. We are very excited about the introduccion of Shorts at FPTS and everyone has agreed that this is something we want to make sure we include in the future. Today it’s The Lost Thing, A Morning Stroll, and a surprise film - the beautiful Hoedown from Rodeo by Eleanor Stewart.
At 3, our Bafta masterclass with Moira Buffini – in conversation with Francine at the BAC, about her career thus far, and particularly about Jane Eyre which we go on to screen. Moira gave an exemplorary masterclass on what she sees as her role as screenwriter.
I’m rushing to and fro picking up guests at stations and trying to grab something to eat that is more substantial than the Leakers Cheese straws I have been living off. Volunteer co-ordinator Katy Star here eyes up hungrily the last few remaining snacks – it was she who instructed the volunteers not to eat them but can she resist….
The Electric Palace is packed for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - quite possibly our biggest sell-out ever (it often seems in The Palace that even if you can’t imagine where another few people will fit, they can be squeezed in somewhere). There’s a brilliant atmosphere, and in the committee seats in the balcony, there is very much a celebratory air. Nic leaps up onto stage to make his welcome and this time avoids any of the gaffs which the audience have come to love (“Welcome to Battersea Arts Centre” is probably the highlight so far). The reminder that this a PREVIEW SCREENING (Salmon Fishing isn’t out on general release for another few weeks) gets a well-deserved round of applause. After the film, Nic and Simon Beaufoy’s discussion ranges over the differing process of adaptating a loved book, and how difficult it can be if it really seems unavoidable to make vast changes from page to screen (as Simon has done here with Paul Torday’s novel). Simon talked about the process of adapting and it was very interesting to see this in relation to what Moira Buffini had said earlier in the day; she likes to be involved at every stage of the film process; Simon hands in his script and then takes a clear step away. As Nic Jeune points out, every screen-writer has a very different approach to the process.
After their conversation, Nic calls Francine Stock up on stage to present her with a token from us all as a huge thank you for everything that she has done. She has been a quite sensational guest director and as we have all said time and time again, not only passionate about the aims of the festival, but fantastically fun to work with. So thank you from us all.
Then a mass stumble to the bar and a knocking back of drinks, very generously provided for us by festival founder and ex-committee member Steven Horner, who is ideally situated to know the exact moment in the festival when we all most need a drink!
One day to go….
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