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Francophone Film Festival – Bonjour Cinema opened at the National Film Corporation’s auditorium. The debut of the festival was marked with the screening of a French language Swiss Film named ‘Sam’. The event was organised by a host of institutional partners which included the French Embassy in Colombo, The Canadian High Commission in Colombo and also the Alliance Francaise de Kotte. One of the dignitaries who graced that memorable event was Georges Guerreiro the scriptwriter of the movie ‘Sam’. Georges addressed the audience that evening expressing his pleasure to be in Sri Lanka and shared some insights about the efforts that went into his script which gained life later successfully in the art form of ‘the moving image’: Cinema. Having developed a career as an actor and a theatre practitioner ‘Sam’ brings out in a marked way Georges’s talents and skills as a writer for the screen. In this interview Georges shares some insights about his work as a screenwriter.

Q: You have worked as an actor and director for both stage and screen. What made you turn to scriptwriting?
The writing was always a part of my artistic life. I always considered my job as a way of telling stories, as an actor or as director. For me it is another way to tell the world like an artist.

Q: What was the experience like when you wrote the script of ‘Sam’?
SAM is my fourth script but as the cinematographic industry is not so easy it is the second to become a movie. The first one is “Love Express”, directed by Elena too.
In this movie, I wanted to confront the look of childhood and the look of adulthood and to tell the story of a father-son relationship. I have to mix my life experiences too in the fiction which I wanted to write. I invented characters and dialogues. It is not necessarily my experience which I tell in this movie. It is a story of a child lost in the reality of adults who lost the feeling of love.

Q: How would you describe your craft of writing a film script? Is it strictly a screenplay that you would write or a script that can be broadened in discussion with the director?
That depends on projects. Generally there arrives during the writing a moment for a discussion with the director on diverse points. Sometimes also with the actors. During the job we exchange many ideas and it is necessary to be open to the point of view of others. It is what makes the wealth of this art. Later points of view confront. Sometimes mine are better, sometimes not. It is necessary to take what is best for the story and the movie.

Q: What is your level of input into the film on set or on location when the film is being created scene by scene? Or do you consider your part at an end after you have written the script?
At first, I have the theme and the global story which I want to tell. Generally I have the end too. Then I write the story according to a precise structure to arrive to this end. Scene by scene. It happens that things change along the work and that I ‘m allowed take in the story which I want to tell. And then according the versions I return on the objective of the script and the story which I want to tell. It is about an eternal “go and come”.

Q: What will you hope to do as a writer in the future? Will you take up screenwriting actively or will you diversify your body of work by branching out into genres like fiction as well?
It is necessary to understand that SAM is a fiction. It is not the story of my life. I mixed characters, words, situations between reality and fiction. But for the future I would do what I always do in my artist’s life; diversify. The next project will speak about friendship, time which passes and the memory which deceives us.

Bonjour Cinema (2)