Arts / More Screenplay and Wordplay details unveiled

Guillermo del Toro.

THE FULL programmes from the Screenplay and Wordplay festivals have been revealed ahead of tickets going on general sale tomorrow (Friday).

The Shetland Arts festivals, which will both be held in September, will offer a mix of in-person and virtual guest appearances.

Programmes for both events can be found on the Shetland Arts website.


Oscar winning director Guillermo del Toro will appear virtually at Screenplay to discuss his 2001 film The Devil’s Backbone, which will get an airing at Mareel.

The film festival is being curated by Mark Kermode, Professor Linda Ruth Williams and longstanding Screenplay chief Kathy Hubbard.

The other names due to appear at the hybrid festival include Icíar Bollaín, Ben Sharrock, Tim Barrow, Alistair Morrison, Priya Ramasubban, Aidan Nicol and Yrsa Roca Fannberg.

The programme covers the gamut of filmmaking, big screen movies to documentaries and even a collection of short pieces for young children, while there will also be workshops.


Local clips will be shown in the usual Home Made feature, while Lerwick Lockdown and the recent arts commissions Muckle Stane and Wildie and Lalla will also be screened.

Screenplay will be held between 1 and 5 September. Priority booking is now available to card holders, with general sale starting tomorrow.

Its sister event Wordplay is taking place later in the month, from 15 to 19 September.

The celebration of writing is being curated by Malachy Tallack.

Cal Flyn
Cal Flyn. Photo: Rebecca Marr

Guests include host of the BBC’s Big Scottish Book Club Damian Barr, and Islands of Abandonment author Cal Flyn.

GP turned writer Gavin Francis, Mary Paulson-Ellis, Jennifer Lucy Allan, Jen Hadfield, Christine de Luca and Donald S Murray will also feature.


Wordplay will also include four workshops: one each on fiction, non-fiction, poetry and book illustration.

These will be led by authors Mary Paulson-Ellis and Cal Flyn, by Alycia Pirmohamed, winner of the 2020 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, and by Kathryn Briggs, illustrator of Val McDermid’s most recent book, Resistance.

For youngsters children’s author Alan Windram will host events for primary pupils, while he will also take part in a Bookbug session for under fives.

There is also a comic workshop with graphic novel duo Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers planned for teenagers.

Local work will be celebrated in Writer’s Night, which this year includes the results of the 2021 Shetland Young Writer of the Year Awards.

Tallack said: “One of the many events that could not take place in 2020 was Wordplay. This was a big disappointment to me, having been involved in planning the festival, just as it was to those who were looking forward to attending.

“I am absolutely delighted therefore that, this year, we’re offering both in-person and online events, making Wordplay 2021 as widely accessible as possible.

“I’m so pleased to have had the chance to curate this programme, and I hope that readers from across Shetland will find something here to interest and excite them.”

As with Screenplay, tickets for Wordplay events are now available to card holders – with general sale starting at 10am tomorrow.