If you are a regular reader of our newsletter, you will know that October is the cream of our cultural year. So many of our projects come to fruition then as months of planning translate into weeks of activity. It is a real tribute to everyone who works at Four Colman Getty that, not only have we delivered some wonderful results for a fabulous range of projects, but we are also still on our feet and smiling!
The month brought much excitement and many wonderful moments, not least the BFI London Film Festival, which we’ve worked on for the first time this year alongside project partners DDA. Work on the project began a few months ago but it was from 4-15 October that the team found themselves on the ground, dashing from premiere to premiere, managing media and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Emma Thompson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Cate Blanchett.
The LFF shines a spotlight on London as a major global centre for film but we are also proud of work we do all over the country. Our events team, for example, worked with Liverpool Vision to launch the International Business Festival to be held in that city next year.
Miriam tells you more about the evening, with over 200 guests gathering in Lancaster House to hear about the launch from HRH the Duke of Cambridge, the Patron of the Festival. The evening was considerably helped on its way by copious helpings of Café Crème Ice Cream and Liverpool Gin, two previous festival success stories!
Other members of the Four Colman Getty team meantime have been turning their attention to Lincoln and the Frequency Festival 2017.
Nisha tells you more about this ground-breaking biennial festival of digital culture – ten days of extraordinary art and performances set against the mediaeval backdrop of Lincoln. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition which always attracts masses of media coverage.
Cheltenham was once again celebrating the best of fiction with its annual literary festival. I spent an enjoyable day there celebrating the 2017 Man Booker shortlist at a packed event with three of the shortlisted writers – Emily Fridlund, Fiona Mozley and Ali Smith. This was followed by the annual Cheltenham Booker event; the year in question this year was 1937 and the winner, after much amusing debate and a lot of audience input – was Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. I felt ashamed to have never heard of it but Jackie Kay, its champion, was in no doubt as to its significance. The bookshop sales boomed.
On the way back from Cheltenham, I dropped in on the inaugural festival at Cliveden House. The brainchild of Natalie Livingstone and Andrew Roberts, the festival – focused around history and politics – was a huge success. As Howard Jacobson, one of the many star writers, said in The Guardian at the weekend, ‘The Cliveden festival is remarkable, all considerations of architecture and landscape apart, for having arrived in the world fully formed.’
Back in London, the team has been working on BLOOD: Life Uncut, an exhibition and event series from Science Gallery London revealing the visceral power of blood, to expose, shock and save lives. The exhibition at Peckham’s Copeland Gallery runs until 13 November, so be sure to check it out if you get the chance. Be warned, though, it’s not for the faint-hearted!
October is the month of awards. The Baillie Gifford prize for Non-Fiction announced its shortlist of six titles, which represent the best in contemporary non-fiction writing. We’ve had Peter Bazalgette in the Chair this year; I can’t wait to hear which book he and his fellow judges select on 16 November.
And then of course there’s the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It’s a major project for our team and involves a huge build up, with events all over the country in the week before the winner is announced.
The awards ceremony in the Guildhall was a magnificent occasion, as almost 500 guests gathered to hear who Lola Young and her panel of judges had chosen. HRH the Duchess of Cornwall was, as ever, a very welcome guest of honour; her commitment to literacy and writers is heartfelt and I always feel that she really enjoys the evening.
It’s an agonising evening for the six shortlisted writers but a roar went up in the hall when Lola announced that the winner was Texan-born George Saunders with his novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. He has proved a hugely popular winner with the media as well as with the reading public and his publisher Bloomsbury immediately ordered a reprint of 100,000 copies on the back of his win.
Winning the Man Booker Prize is a life-changing experience for any writer. So too is winning the Nobel and we were all thrilled to hear that Kazuo Ishiguro had been awarded that honour. Totally well-deserved and met with Ish’s normal modesty. He follows in a strong line of former Booker winners who have gone on to win the Nobel - VS Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, William Golding and JM Coetzee.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this flavour of Four Colman Getty’s October and I’ll be back with more news next time.