Literary fest makes Hay

Welsh event turns to film

The Guardian Hay literary fest is the most important date on the U.K. publishing calendar. Now it’s vying to be a major event in the film industry’s year.

For the first time in its 19-year history, the book festival — whose reputation is so strong that it does not pay authors an appearance fee — has widened its focus to include a section on cinema.

Move is the brainchild of fest director Peter Florence, who says, “The huge amount of crossover between film and literature — which use the same basic narrative techniques — can not be ignored any longer.”

The sleepy Welsh market town of Hay-on-Wye — population 1,300 — may not be a place film buffs associate with documaker Morgan Spurlock, stars Jane Fonda and Goldie Hawn and helmer Spike Lee, but all are slated to discuss their work.

Florence promises a blend of Hollywood fare and “recovered lost work” in the program, which will be announced April 1. Documaker and film fest fixture Nick Broomfield is advising Florence on suitable pics for the 55 Hay screenings that will take place May 27-June 5.

Although the fest is predominantly a publishing-world event, it also celebrates media industryites, comedians, musicians and politicos.

Booker Prize frontrunners Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro will talk about their work alongside former Beeb director general Greg Dyke, Endemol TV execl Peter Bazalgette, humorist Stephen Fry and former Tory party topper William Hague.

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