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Screen industry heads to Dunedin this week

More than 100 screenwriters, producers and film industry leaders from 11 countries are now descending on Dunedin for the ground-breaking SRN Dunedin International Screenwriting Conference running throughout next week.

Legendary Kiwi TV hitmaker Rachel Lang (Outrageous Fortune, Filthy Rich, Westside, The Almighty Johnsons, Mercy Peak, This is Not My Life) joins 60+ international presenters signed up, alongside a dozen featured Kiwi writers, producers, and industry figures who are going to make the final days of August a crash course on the serious side of screenwriting.

The SRN 2017 International Screenwriting Conference is the first New Zealand conference dedicated to screenwriting, and the first to place equal emphasis on practical and academic approaches to screenwriting. We believe it will be a landmark event.

Otago University’s Media, Film & Communications Department has teamed up with The New Zealand Writers Guild, the NZFC and the growing SRN global screenwriting research network for the conference, which aims to use New Zealand’s unique circumstances to explore the challenges the global screen industry poses to story telling and local identity.

The conference will examine how writers justify telling their stories in a particular way, how different cultural perspectives shape storytelling, and how that affects what stories are told and what we understand to be truth. Ideas on autism, race, feminism, indigenous perspectives, and virtual reality are all among the cultural influences that will be examined, along with practical sessions exploring the reality of surviving as a screenwriter in an industry in which the importance of the writer is frequently overlooked.

In all the four days of workshops, presentations and panel discussions involves 70+ NZ screenwriters, producers, and industry figures, and international presenters from UK, USA, UAE, Japan, Italy, India, Chile, Brazil, Belgium, and Australia.

There will be about 20 NZ-focused practical sessions over the 4 days and a smorgasbord of about 90 international presentations in the International streams.

Details of many of the speakers are here:

The keynote speakers include many people prominent in the New Zealand film industry, and the line-up includes practice-based feature sessions with New Zealand writers Rachel Lang, Tusi Tamasese, (The Orator, One Thousand Ropes), Fiona Samuel (Consent), Born to Dance writers Steve Barr and Casey Whelan (Born to Dance), and Gaylene Preston.

The NZFC’s Dave Gibson and NZ on Air’s Jane Wrightson will outline the challenges in developing and taking New Zealand screen voices to the world.

Another practical session will be led by new talent, Alejandro Davila, who is pioneering in New Zealand the rapidly
emerging field of movies as virtual reality, having made the country’s first Virtual Reality movie.

There are also sessions on Writing for Children, Indigenous structures, managing the production process, getting started, writing compelling characters, and using crowdfunding.

International Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Dunedin 28-31 August, 2017