Mexican writer and film director Guillermo Arriaga
Mexico City, August 25th 2011
Photography Fernando Aceves
London really has a wealth of cool and interesting stuff to pursue which is particular great now the evenings are drawing in. For instance, you could go to BAFTA on Piccadilly or the BFI on Southbank, sit in a swanky auditorium and listen to the people who really make a film come alive. Screenwriters write the story – they write what we see on the screen.

Right now celebrated screenwriters William Nicholson, Moira Buffini, John Logan, Guillermo Arriaga, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Paul Laverty and Charlie Kaufman are delivering lectures as part of a special BAFTA and BFI series throughout September exploring the art of the screenwriter. Having been lucky enough to attend the very first one with William Nicholson, I urge you to go. It was a tremendous learning experience and very humbling to listen to his frank stories of his experiences in the industry.

In its second year, the series celebrates the screenwriter’s contribution to a film’s creative vision. The marks a screenwriter makes on a blank page are often the first steps of a film’s journey to the screen – a contribution that can be obscured by the profile given to an actor or director. This series gives a rare platform for screenwriters to explore their creative processes and share their insights with us.

The series will feature seven events at BAFTA and BFI Southbank over three weeks during September:

William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands) kicked off the season on Tuesday 13 September, at BAFTA; Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe, Jane Eyre) follows on 16 September, also at BAFTA, and then John Logan (The Aviator, Rango, Sweeney Todd) and Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel) will be at BFI Southbank on 20 and 26 September respectively; while Frank Cottrell Boyce delivers the last lecture at BAFTA on 27 September (Hilary and Jackie, 24 Hour Party People). The final lectures will be at BFI Southbank on 29 and 30 September with Paul Laverty (The Wind That Shake the Barley, Sweet Sixteen) followed by Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich).

The season was programmed by fellow Screenwriter Jeremy Brock, who wanted to celebrate screenwriters as collaborative authors of films, rather than simply as adjuncts of the director’s vision. He also wants to highlight the fact that we often think that the Director IS the film when in reality it is a whole host of shared talent that maketh the movie: writers, producers, actors, cameramen, designers, make-up, editors, composers, special effects etc. Jeremy Brock hopes these lectures will not just help to highlight and celebrate the screenwriter’s contribution, but also underline the fact that a film is not a singular piece of work, but a true collaboration.

Web casts of all the lectures including exclusive video content will be available to all on the BAFTA and BFI websites later in the year: and

13 September | William Nicholson  BAFTA
16 September | Moira Buffini BAFTA
20 September | John Logan BFI Southbank
26 September | Guillermo Arriaga BFI Southbank
27 September | Frank Cottrell Boyce BAFTA
29 September | Paul Laverty BFI Southbank
30 September | Charlie Kaufman BFI Southbank

For Bill Nicholson, Moira Buffini and Frank Cottrell Boyce, tickets can be booked via

For all others at BFI Southbank please call the Box Office. Tel: 020 7928 3232. Unless otherwise stated, tickets are £9.50, concs £6.75 (Members pay £1.50 less).

Words by Anna Bang

Moira Buffini
Photographer Jay Brooks

William Nicholson
Photographer Jay Brooks

Charlie Kaufman
Photographer Barry J. Holmes


Bafta, BFI, Charlie Kaufman, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Guillermo Arriaga, Jeremy Brock, John Logan, Moira Buffini, Paul Laverty, William Nicholson,