Interviewing Vinay Patel, and breaking into the industry

The video we posted of screenwriter and playwright Vinay Patel giving writing tips and encouragement garnered so much interest, I was asked to write a blog post about it.

I met Vinay on a sweltering Sunday afternoon in July, and we recorded the video in the iconic red-walled confines of the Royal Court Theatre.

Vinay’s tips were:

*Don’t put pressure on yourself to create something perfect. It’s a learning process.

*Have fun, and work with people you enjoy working with.

*Barnes is beautiful, and aspiring and young screenwriters should enter the festival!

The interview is interesting but what’s equally interesting is the story of how the interview came to be. I first met Vinay at the Bush Theatre, at an invitation-only workshop for to their resident writers, writers whose plays they had commissioned, members of their emerging writers group — and me. While I am a professional playwright, my relationship with the Bush Theatre started in 2015 when I performed in a community theatre production called The Neighbourhood Project. It was an extraordinary experience. The fact the Bush so embraced us “community participants” and that the project developed into a long-term relationship is a testament to the theatre, the people involved, and the spirit of inclusion which represents the best the creative arts has to offer. The creative arts industries (whether your focus is stage or screen) can is hard to break into, and can often be lonely. But sometimes all it takes is one leap of faith, one project, one person willing to extend a hand. For me that was the Bush. For you it might be the Barnes Film Festival. So go on, apply. You have nearly two weeks. Who knows what doors it might open?

The deadline for entering the Barnes Film Festival short film competition is 15th September. Full details:

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