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Allan Shiach makes Director’s Cut debut

Veteran Scottish screenwriter Allan Shiach will be quizzed on his career next week as part of a new film series at the University of Aberdeen.

Allan ShiachThe Director's Cut series kicked off last year with Chilean filmmaker Raul Ruiz, one of the most prolific directors of the last 50 years.

Now Shiach will take his place in the Director's Cut chair at King's College Conference Centre on Tuesday, February 19, 2008. 

The Elgin-born writer has written and produced over twenty screenplays under the pen name Allan Scott, including the classic Don't Look Now (1973), starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland.

Shiach, who was in email contact with Heath Ledger about a joint project just days before the Australian actor overdosed, has been a mainstay of the movie world for some 40 years.

His films include a number of Hollywood hits, such as Castaway (1986) and The Preacher's Wife (1996) featuring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, and more recently the critically acclaimed Regeneration (1997).

He has also the executive producer of Shallow Grave, the black comedy that launched Ewan McGregor on the path to stardom.

He had arranged to meet Ledger to finalise preparations for The Queen's Gambit, a drama about a delinquent teenage girl who turns out to be a chess prodigy.

The Brokeback Mountain star was due to direct and star in the movie, for which Shiach had written the screenplay, before his untimely death last month.

Further names already confirmed for subsequent Director's Cut events at the University include John Akomfrah, Nicolas Roeg and Sir David Attenborough.

"The Director's Cut started wonderfully with Raul Ruiz and we're now delighted to welcome Allan Shiach to Aberdeen," said Alan Marcus, Reader in Film and Visual Culture at the University's Film Studies department. "His journey from Elgin to Hollywood and back is a fascinating one, and he continues to be involved in a tremendous range of projects. It promises to be another very interesting evening."

For more information about the Director's Cut series, and to book your place for the Allan Shiach event, visit

Allan Shiach will be available for a short photocall and interview from 4.30pm-5pm on Tuesday, February 19 at King's College Conference Centre. Please contact Patrick McFall to arrange.


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Thursday 14th of February 2008

Ref: 26shiach

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