Film & Radio
Following the success of the series, A KIDNAPPING for Radio 4’s Afternoon Drama, Andy’s been approached to work on a number of projects. THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND is the astonishing story of a schoolboy in Malawi, whose community languishes in the grip of a devastating famine. Desperate to help, he dreams of turning what he learns at school to practical advantage – but he’s surrounded by obstructions of epic proportions. The film will be based upon William Kamkwamba’s memoir of the same name, and the creative engines driving the movie are actor/director Chiwetel Ejiofor and Slate Films.
Is there anything in the pipeline for Radio 4?
‘Yes,’ says Andy. ‘And again, it’s through the hard work of Goldhawk Productions, the company that’s carved out a reputation as the most innovative creator of radio drama. We don’t have a title yet, but we know it’s going to be a short series: four 45 minute episodes about the joys and horrors of working in schools. A failing school has teamed up with its local arts centre to produce ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – it’s all part of a the arts centre’s community programme that unlocks funding etc etc. Unfortunately, the director is not used to working in the state sector, and soon falls foul of polices and practices he finds deeply frustrating. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is about love, pain, sex, loss, idealism, betrayal…it’s about young people risking everything, determined to break out of a violently destructive culture. Not surprisingly, the school is soon trying to get a dangerous genie back in its bottle. We’re devising the scripts to some extent, working with Portsmouth Grammar School’s extraordinary drama department. We’ll be casting and recording there, too.’
MAGGOT MOON is the Carnegie Medal winning best-seller by Sally Gardner, and tells the story of another extraordinary boy: Standish Treadwell. His genius is to take on the might of a repressive regime that seems hell-bent on stifling all creativity in its ghastly pursuit of purity and technological domination. Andy is part of the team hoping to bring it to the screen.
‘We’re only at the treatment stage so far,’ he says. ‘But directors have been assigned, and the production company – Rook’s Nest – is a powerhouse. This could be ‘Brazil’ and ‘1984’ rolled up together. It’s a love story, and the novel is so rich and inspiration it has to be a movie.’