Julian Fellowes at Bafta New Writing Forum

British Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes headlined a Bafta event in London this Monday, to critique a group of aspiring screenwriters for the ‘Rocliffe New Writing Forum’.

Cambridge-educated Fellowes harbours an impressive résumé; actor, director, producer, screenwriter, novelist and…Lieutenant, it seems there’s nothing that this man hasn’t attempted. He went on to make many appearances in leading Hollywood films like Tomorrow Never Dies, it wasn’t until 2002 that Fellowes really made his mark on Tinseltown, after picking up the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for writing Gosford Park starring Helen Mirren. Fellowes’ most recent screenwriting credits include some Hollywood heavyweights such as the Angelina Jolie- Jonny Depp blockbuster The Tourist and Emily Blunt’s depiction of Young Victoria.

Following a string of Bafta events taking this month, the Rocliffe New Writing Forum offers a unique platform for new writing talent and showcased three pre-selected extracts intended for the big screen. Three marvellous dramatised pieces were performed by actors in front of a live industry audience on Monday evening, before receiving feedback from Mr Julian Fellowes himself.

The New Writing Forum must be applauded for their chosen shortlists this year, as all three feature film scripts were exceptionally well-received from the audience. Each presented piece somehow pushed itself into a different realm of film genre, and I found myself thinking that any of the three could sit comfortably in modern cinema without any amendments.

The script that spoke the loudest for me was undoubtedly John Reynold’s romantic-comedy ‘Head, Hearts and Trousers’. Set in the summer of 1999, the story follows unlucky protagonist Fraser, who’s fighting to save his job, home and love-life with little luck. The script was instinctively hilarious and naturally believable in the same breath. Reynolds has a knack for predicting natural conversation which plays out well amongst the backdrop of his rom-com plot. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this comedic gem pop up in British cinema soon.

To preview the upcoming Bafta events in May, be sure to check out http://www.bafta.org/whats-on/ along with our own exclusive Front Row Review coverage taking place this month.

About The Author

Manleen is currently studying Journalism (BA) at London’s elite City University. As an avid movie fanatic, she is combining the skills taught within her degree to kick-start her career as a movie critic. She’s worked with some media heavyweights in the past, such as the BBC, CNN and Orange Film Club. Manleen has joined the team and takes on the role of news and reviews writer and social media promoter.

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