The 2nd edition of The Script Road – Macau Literary Festival will be held from March 10 to 16 and will bring to the city more than 30 renowned writers, publishers, translators, journalists, musicians, filmmakers, visual artists and more.
This year the event will receive even further significant support from the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Macau and the Macau Foundation, who now co-organise the festival together with Ponto Final newspaper.
Following last year’s model, conferences and debates will take place alongside a book fair, art exhibitions, music concerts and film screenings.
The 2013 Festival programme will feature prominent contemporary Chinese writers including Bi Feiyu, winner of some of the highest literary awards in China; Han Shaogong, author of “A Dictionary of Maqiao” and translator of the work of Fernando Pessoa; Hong Ying, one of the best internationally known Chinese writers; and Yi Sha, a controversial contemporary poet. Other names such as Sheng Keyi, Qiu Huadong, Pan Wei, Wang Gang, Huang Lihai, Li Shao Jun and Taiwanese poet Xi Murong are also very influential writers in contemporary Chinese literature – and all of them will be joining the festival.
On the Portuguese-speaking side, The Script Road is inviting Dulce Maria Cardoso, one of the greatest novelists of her generation; Rui Zink and Ricardo Araújo Pereira, who work with language and humour in a very special way; Francisco José Viegas, former Portuguese Culture Secretary of State, writer and publisher; Valter Hugo Mãe, recent winner the PT Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes for Portuguese-speaking authors; writer and journalist Alexandra Lucas Coelho; journalist and translator Carlos Vaz Marques; publisher Bárbara Bulhosa; and, with the support of Casa de Portugal, novelist Deana Barroqueiro.
José Eduardo Agualusa, an Angolan author and one of the best-known Portuguese-speaking contemporary African writers, will also join this festival edition, as will Luís Cardoso, probably the most important literary voice from East Timor. From Brazil the poet Regis Bonvicino and Paraty Festival director Mauro Munhoz have already been confirmed to take part. Paloma and Cecília Amado, daughter and granddaughter of Jorge Amado (1912-2001), one of the greatest Brazilian novelists of all time, are coming to Macau to pay homage to his work by showing a documentary and a fiction film based on his life and on one of his books, respectively.
A number of local writers, including poet Fernanda Dias, Tong Mui Siu, Chek In, Lou Mou and Wong Man Fai, are also among the invited guests, representing the Macau literary scene.
The Script Road has also decided to gradually open the event to other Asian and Latin writers, and that’s why this year we welcome French authors Antoine Volodine and Claude Hudelot, who have both already developed affinities with Macau, China and the Lusophone world.
One of the highlights of the festival’s programme will be the launch of a book of short stories set in the territory. At last year’s edition of The Script Road audiences were invited to take part in a short story competition, judged by a panel composed of the visiting international authors at the event: Su Tong, José Luís Peixoto and Xu Xi, one from each language, Chinese, Portuguese and English. From more than 30 entries, a number of stories were chosen for publication and the winners will be announced at the Festival’s press conference.
These short stories will be published together with stories written by last year’s guest writers, such as José Luís Peixoto, Lolita Hu, João Paulo Cuenca, Jimmy Qi and Rui Cardoso Martins. This year the Festival is again inviting all visiting authors to write about Macau.
The Script Road will feature some cinematic highlights. The award-winning film The Last Time I Saw Macau, by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata will have its Chinese pre-premier at the festival, before being presented at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. This is probably the most important and awarded film about this city made in the last decades.
The Chinese filmmaker Wiseman Wang will bring us Journey to the South, a road movie where a truck driver crosses China, heading south to Guangdong province, trying to earn money to solve family issues.
Macau-based director Ivo Ferreira will also screen his new film, On The Dragon’s Flake, and historian and sinologist Claude Hudelot will present Hou Bo, Xu Xiaobing, Mao’s Photographers, a documentary he directed together with Jean-Michel Vecchiet.
As with last year’s festival, music will again play an important part in the 2013 event. Portugal’s finest traditional music will be performed by celebrated fado singer Camané. The Portuguese folk musical band Dead Combo, one of the most interesting music projects in Portugal and which gained international acclaim after appearing on Anthony Bourdain’s world popular TV Show No Reservations, is also confirmed to take to the stage.
The Script Road will host two artists-in residence based at the Orient Foundation; Chen Yu from China and Theodore Mesquita from Goa. The two painters, from very different backgrounds, will follow the same brief: to create works that reflect their experience of Macau. As well as creating new art, they will also be exhibiting previous works in the lower gallery of the Orient Foundation.
Another exhibition, curated by the local artist Alice Kok, will be held at the Old Court Building where a number of local creative authors will work on the theme Beyond Words.
In cooperation with the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, the Festival aims to establish a strong connection with local schools and universities, giving young readers a chance to get in touch with the guest authors.
This year’s festival has the support of the Macau University (UMAC), the Pen Club, the Institute for Civic Affairs (IACM), the Macau Tourism Bureau, the Macau Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, the Society of Arts and Letters, IPOR, the Orient Foundation, Macau Closer, the Portuguese Bookshop and Casa de Portugal as well as other public and private entities.