Thursday, 13 November 2014
Dr Davinia Thornley recently attended the 7th Screenwriting Research Network International Conference in Germany where she presented a bid for the Department of Media, Film and Communication to host the network's conference in 2017. Material from the bid is below:
"We are glad to welcome prospective attendees to Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand, recently named “standout winner” for the country’s most beautiful city by the nationwide organisation, “Keep New Zealand Beautiful.” The annual international conference on screenwriting research in 2017 will be hosted and organised by the Department of Media, Film, and Communication at the University of Otago in Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand. Our department has hosted a number of international conferences and events and can draw on the expertise and support of local organisations, such as the Dunedin City Council and the University of Otago, as well as the broader national structure of Tourism New Zealand. We also plan to approach Weta Workshop, Te Papa National Museum, and the New Zealand-India Research Institute to gauge their interest in contributing to particular themes.
The aim is to consolidate our growing global screenwriting research network while, at the same time, providing a forum to investigate screenwriting praxis as a trans/national phenomenon. In this way, we will build on the important work done at the 2015 Chilean conference and based around similar themes. Planned keynote speakers may include Taika Waititi (writer/director of Eagle Vs. Shark, Boy, and What We Do in the Shadows) and Briar Grace-Smith (writer of The Strength of Water).
The key theme of the 2017 conference will be ‘Screenwriting Trans/nationally’. This theme speaks to the nuanced, fluctuating cross-border relationships that screenwriting is part of and which screenwriters constantly negotiate. New Zealand is a country emblematic of creativity trans/nationally. Talented professionals from this country have contributed immensely to forging global creative communities. It is also at the forefront of a new transnational screenwriting moment: home not only to the “nationally located” writers/directors listed above, but also others renown for more mainstream cinematic fare, films such as Avatar, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, and the Narnia series.
The conference is scheduled for mid-October, so that attendees can also plan to be involved with the Big Screen Symposium, which is held annually in Auckland in early October. Big Screen is an annual event that puts the filmmakers of Aotearoa New Zealand in one venue for the purpose of debate, discussion, information and inspiration. Attendees may also choose to build the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) conference into their itinerary, which falls around the same time (the location has not yet been set, however)."
The full presentation can be viewed here