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This panel will discuss the shifts from story to screenplay, and from screenplay to screen, with the expertise of screenwriters from the Official Festival Selection.
The elementary block of the moving image is the written word. This panel will discuss the shifts from story to screenplay, and from screenplay to screen, with the expertise of high-profile authors and screenwriters from the official film selection.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Writer, Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda was born in Nigeria. Her novel Half of a Yellow Sun won the Orange Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her novel Purple Hibiscus won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. The Thing Around Your Neck, her collection of stories, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book in Africa. The recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, she was named one of the twenty most important fiction writers today under 40 years old by The New Yorker. Her latest novel, Americanah, was published in 2013; Dave Eggers called it "[a] moving intergenerational epic that confirms Adichie's virtuosity, boundless empathy and searing social acuity."
- Franklin Leonard
Creator, Blacklist.com; Vice-President, Overbrook Entertainment (MODERATOR)
Franklin Leonard is the founder of the Black List, the yearly publication highlighting Hollywood's most popular unproduced screenplays and the startup birthed to continue its mission. Over 250 Black List scripts have been produced as feature films earning more than 140 Academy Award nominations including three of the last five Best Pictures and seven of the last twelve screenwriting Oscars. Franklin has worked in development at Universal Pictures and the production companies of Will Smith, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, Leonardo DiCaprio and John Goldwyn. Since 2010, he has been named one of Hollywood Reporter's 35 Under 35, Black Enterprise magazine's "40 Emerging Leaders for Our Future," AOL Black Voices "30 Black Hollywood Game Changers," The Wrap's 12 Innovators Who Are Changing Hollywood, and Fast Company's "100 Most Creative People in Business."
- Elan Mastai
- Elan Mastai is a screenwriter with five feature films produced from his scripts. His most recent film, The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse and starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, made it onto the prestigious Black List before it premiered at the 38th annual Toronto International Film Festival. In 2013, he received a WGC nomination for Best Screenplay for co-writing The Samaritan. Mastai is currently writing films for Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, and Paramount Pictures: one is a collaboration with Academy Award-winner Alan Ball, the other a collaboration with This American Life's Ira Glass.
- Shannon Masters
Writer, Empire of Dirt
Masters' feature, Empire of Dirt, starring Jennifer Podemski, Luke Kirby and directed by Peter Stebbings, begins its festival run at TIFF 2013. Her coming-of-age comedy Bannock & Bratwurst is currently in development with Doe Eye Media and Ajani Entertainment, and her adaptation of Giller Prize-winning author, Joseph Boyden's You Don't Want to Know What Jenny Two Bears Did, is in development with Violator Films. Masters is a two-time recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Media Grant, first International Participant of the 2008 Tribeca All Access program in New York City, recipient of the Spring 2007 Praxis Centre for Screenwriters Fellowship, and graduate of the Canadian Film Centre's 2005 Film Resident Writer's Lab. A mixed Native-Canadian writer, her work encompasses both drama and comedy, deals with themes such as identity and self-worth, and shows real people finding their place in a modern world.