Volume 16, Number 27
May 4, 2010

Click, to go back to the contents of this issue

This Week

We appreciate feedback from our readers
Browse through the collecton of older issues

Meeting Screenwriter Amnon Buchbinder

Whole New Thing

Amnon Buchbinder, director, screenwriter, teacher, and author, visited Bilkent as a special guest of the Communication and Design Department.  Buchbinder came for two evenings of film screenings and talks.

Buchbinder is chair of the York University film department in Canada, where he is also an associate professor. He has made two feature films, many short films and has also written several screenplays. He won an award for the screenplay for "Whole New Thing," released in 2005.

This film was screened on Tuesday, April 27. The following day, a number of 'alternative genre' short films including his own ongoing experimental audio-visual project, "A Traveling Medicine Show," were screened and discussed.

"Whole New Thing" tells the story of a home-schooled 13-year-old named Emerson,  who is on the edge of finding himself and discovering his own sexuality. When his parents force him to attend public school, he becomes infatuated with his English teacher, a gay man more than twenty years older than him.

The appealing thing about the film is not just the homosexual love story or the drama that surrounds Emerson's alternative-lifestyle family. Emerson is a unique boy, one who does not care to label himself either as "gay" or "straight" or anything. The interesting part of the story is the irony of the mature child living with his not-very-mature parents. Buchbinder expressed his critically-acclaimed film as humorous, but there are also those who interpret the film as anti-Christian propaganda. The main idea is that with a light approach to a rather touchy subject matter, Buchbinder has made a film about a very inspiring adolescent boy.

After two days of screening, Buchbinder talked about the whole process of film-making and the problems that he encountered. It's quite impressive that he, with a co-writer, completed the whole screenplay of his feature film within a week and shot the film in 15 days, despite all the money, time and scheduling problems.

Buchbinder also spoke about the many screenplays he has written, as well as his book, The Way of the Screenwriter, that has received acclaim from professionals and students alike as a uniquely inspiring text on the craft of screenwriting..

Buchbinder talked about the steps in writing and how to build a story from the beginning to the end. One of the impressive things he mentioned, a must-learned thing, is that to tell a story one doesn't have to create a complex, extraordinary or imaginary situation. Starting from an object, or just a little tiny detail, then loving it and constructing the rest accordingly, allows the story to develop by itself. After writing, then re-writing, he believes that every story has its own developmental path. Find more information about his work and upcoming projects on his website www.amnon.ca

Seda Yıldız (COMD/III)
Bilkent News

Click, to go back to the contents of this issue

Bilkent News Welcomes Feedback From Readers.
This newsletter will print letters received from readers.
Please submit your letters to bilnews@bilkent.edu.tr
or to the Communications Unit, Engineering Building, room EG-23, ext. 1487.
The Editorial Board will review the letters and print according to available space.