Creative Dialogues: past events

Mark Cousins in conversation with Don Boyd

The latest event in the Creative Dialogues series featured film director and writer Mark Cousins, in conversation with Don Boyd Hon DLitt, film director, producer, screenwriter and novelist, and Honorary Professor in Film Practice at the University of Exeter.

Mark Cousins - Biography

Mark Cousins is an Irish-Scottish director and writer. His films – including The First Movie, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, What is This Film Called Love?, Life May Be, A Story of Children and Film, Atomic, Stockholm My Love and The Eyes of Orson Welles – have premiered in Cannes, Berlin, Sundance and Venice film festivals and have won the Prix Italia, a Peabody, the Stanley Kubrick Award and many other prizes. He has worked in Iraq, Sarajevo during the siege, Iran, across Asia and in America in Europe. He is Honorary Professor of film at the University of Glasgow, and had Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling.

His books include Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary, The Story of Film and the The Story of Looking. They have been published around the world. He writes for Sight & Sound and Filmkrant and has collaborated with Tilda Swinton on innovative film events. He is the Chair of the Belfast Film Festival, a Patron of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and a board member of Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. His new project is a 15 hour documentary which rethinks cinema. It is narrated by Jane Fonda and Tilda Swinton.  He has walked across Los Angeles, Moscow, Beijing, London, Paris, Berlin, Dakar and Mexico City.  He drove from Edinburgh to Mumbai, and loves night swimming.


Simon Mayo in conversation with Mark Kermode

The fourth event in the Creative Dialogues series featured BBC radio broadcaster and author Simon Mayo, in conversation with Professor Mark Kermode, Chief Film Critic for the Observer.

As part of the talk, Simon Mayo will be discussing his new book MAD BLOOD STIRRING. 

Simon Mayo - Biography

Simon Mayo is one of Britain's best-loved and well known presenters. He has worked on BBC radio since 1981 and is now the presenter of 'Drivetime' on BBC Radio 2, which features the regular 'Book Club' show. He is also the co-presenter of "Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review" on BBC Radio 5 Live. In 2008, Mayo was recognized as the "radio broadcaster of the year" at the 34th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the "Speech Broadcaster of the Year" at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. 

Find out more about Simon and his books.

Kamila Shamsie in conversation with Vesna Goldsworthy

Kamila Shamsie, a new wave Pakistani writer and author of five acclaimed novels, was the third guest in our event series Creative Dialogues.

Serbian writer and poet, and Lecturer at the University, Vesna Goldsworthy, delved into Kamila’s experiences as a young girl growing up in Karachi, as a woman pursuing a career in writing and her literary accomplishments, including recognition as one of Orange’s 21 Writers of the 21st Century.

Special thanks to the Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation for its kind funding that has made it possible for us to host this event.

Kamila Shamsie - Biography

As a female born in Pakistan in the early 1970s, in a culture in which girls were expected to become only wives and mothers, Shamsie was fortunate in her family background and the support she received: her affluent and literary family already included several female writers, including her mother, Muneeza Shamsie, and her great-aunt, Attia Hosain. Consequently, her literary aspirations were positively encouraged.

Her first novel, In the City by the Sea, was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and her second, Salt and Saffron, won her a place on Orange's list of '21 Writers for the 21st Century'. In 1999 Kamila received the Prime Minister's Award for Literature in Pakistan. Her third novel, Kartography (2004), explores the strained relationship between soulmates Karim and Raheen, set against a backdrop of ethnic violence.

Kamila Shamsie lives in London and Karachi. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Hamilton College in Clinton New York, where she has also taught Creative Writing, and a MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She also writes for The Guardian, The New Statesman, Index on Censorship and Prospect magazine, and broadcasts on radio.

Her latest novels are Broken Verses (2005), and Burnt Shadows (2009), an epic narrative which was shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction, and which has since been translated to over 20 languages

Alexandra Shulman CBE in conversation with Don Boyd

British Journalist and renowned fashionista, Alexandra Shulman CBE, joined us for the second in the series of Creative Dialogue events.

Don Boyd, film director, producer, screenwriter novelist, and Honorary Professor in Film Practice at the University of Exeter, will explore Alexandra’s vibrant career, including her time at British Vogue, as the longest serving editor-in-chief.

Alexandra Shulman CBE - Biography

Known as a commentator and consultant on fashion, lifestyle, female leadership and the media, Alexandra has contributed to numerous publications throughout her career. Best known for her role at British Vogue from 1992-2017, she has also edited British GQ and worked on The Sunday Telegraph, and Tatler. Alexandra has written two novels and a non-fiction book about masterminding the centenary of British Vogue and has been a columnist for The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and writes regularly for The Business of Fashion.

As well as her contribution to the world of fashion and editorial accomplishments, Alexandra has been a Trustee of The National Portrait Gallery from 1999-2007 and of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity from 2009-2014. She was a director of The Conde Nast International board and is currently Vice President of The London Library.

Charles Dance OBE in conversation with Don Boyd

On 22 January 2018, we were delighted to welcome acclaimed actor Charles Dance OBE, who joined us to kick start the first in a series of Creative Dialogue events.

Don Boyd, film director, producer, screenwriter novelist, and Honorary Professor in Film Practice at the University of Exeter, delved into Charles Dance’s thirty-five year career that boasts an impressive body of work across theatre, TV and film.

Starting out on stage, Charles is best known for his recent role as Tywin Lannister in HBO’s record-breaking Game of Thrones, for his part in TV series Bleak House and has featured in numerous films; including The Imitation GameDracula Untold, FrankensteinGhostbusters and Gosford Park.

Charles Dance OBE - Biography

In some thirty-five years as an actor Charles Dance has amassed an impressive body of work in all media. On the stage Charles has played title roles with the RSC and completed major work in London’s commercial theatre, including Good, Long Day's Journey into Night with Jessica Lange, and Shadowlands, for which he received the London Critic’s Circle Award for Best Actor.

Charles has recently appeared in the BBC’s five part adaptation of The Woman in White. Past television highlights have been a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in The Jewel in the Crown and Bleak House for which he received an International Emmy nomination and won the Press Guild Award for Best Actor.

More recently, Charles starred as Tywin Lannister in HBO’s record-breaking Game of Thrones. Charles’ recent film credits include The Imitation GameWoman in GoldDracula Untold, FrankensteinChild 44Me Before YouGhostbustersUnderworld VPride and Prejudice and Zombies and That Good Night.

Charles will soon be seen in EUPHORIA alongside Alicia Vikander and Eva Green and Fanny Lye Deliver’d with Maxine Peake, Godzilla 2Johnny English 3 and The Book of Vision opposite Sverrir Gudnason.

Past major films include PlentyWhite MischiefGood Morning BabylonStarter for TenGosford Park and Kabloonak for which he received the best actor award at the Paris Film Festival in 1996. His debut as a film director and writer was Ladies in Lavender, with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, for which both were nominated for European Film Academy Awards.