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New International Speakers Join Big Screen Symposium Line-Up

New International Speakers Join the Big Screen Symposium Line-Up

July 8, 2013 – Script to Screen and J&A Productions are pleased to confirm award winning Mexican screenwriter, author, director and producer Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel) and award winning Australian writer Andrew Bovell (Strictly Ballroom, Lantana, A Most Wanted Man) for this year’s Big Screen Symposium.

The talented Guillermo Arriaga will deliver the keynote address and a 90-minute session at the Big Screen Symposium 2013. Guillermo pioneered the use of non-linear, multiple narratives, and is intensely passionate about how stories should be told, whether through film, literature, television or theatre. He is renowned for his revolutionary work as a screenwriter, and has received a multitude of nominations and awards for his films.

His debut feature film Amores Perros (2000), starring Gael Garcia Bernal, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Feature Film, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Feature Film not in the English Language.

Guillermo wrote the screenplay for 21 Grams (2003), which starred Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benicio del Toro, and received numerous nominations and awards, including a nomination in 2004 for Best Screenplay at the BAFTAs.

In 2005, he won the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones. His film Babel (2006), starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, won the Academy award for Best Original Score and was nominated for six others including Best Screenplay.

His latest feature film and directorial debut, The Burning Plain (2007), starring Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Basinger, had its world premiere at Venice Film Festival and Guillermo was nominated for the Golden Lion (Best Screenplay).

Also joining Arriaga at the Big Screen Symposium is award-winning Australian writer Andrew Bovell, who will be giving a screenwriting workshop. Andrew writes for film and television, and is also a multi-award winning playwright, so will be bringing a great depth of knowledge and experience to the symposium.

Bovell co-wrote Strictly Ballroom (1992) with Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce, which went on to become one of the most successful Australian films of all time. He went on to adapt his stage play Speaking In Tongues in to the feature film, Lantana (2001), which won a cascade of awards worldwide including the AWGIE Award for Best Feature Film - Adaptation, the AFI Award for Best Screenplay, the Harper's Bazaar AFI Screenwriting Prize, the British Independent Film Award for Best Foreign Language Independent Film - English Language, the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Screenplay and the London Critics Circle Film Award Screenwriter of the Year Award.

Andrew's most recent screenplay, A Most Wanted Man (starring Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Philip Seymour Hoffman), was adapted from the novel by John Le Carre, and was directed by Anton Corbijn in late 2012. The film is currently in post-production and will be released later this year.

Andrew Bovell and Guillermo Arriaga will join critically acclaimed South Korean director Park Chan-wook as part of the fantastic line-up of speakers (to be announced) for the two-day symposium, bringing together all the people who make films for the purpose of debate, discussion, information and inspiration.

The Big Screen Symposium takes place on 10th and 11th August at the Owen G Glen Building, University of Auckland Business School. To find out more, please visit


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