The inaugural Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival opened on November 2, 2017, with the Southeastern Premiere of BREATHE, a film written by Academy Award nominee William Nicholson, directed by Andy Serkis, and starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy.
Doors opened at the Charleston Music Hall to a VIP champagne reception for 100 guests at 6:00, and the upstairs reception hall was soon packed. Guests mingled with festival staff and speakers while sipping champagne and snacking on passed appetizers. It was a chance for our audience to get to know each other, as well as the performers who'd be lighting up the stages of the C2C Literary Festival throughout the weekend.
Following the reception, the theater filled as people settled in to watch the movie. Anne Cleveland, the Executive Director of the Charleston Library Society, welcomed guests to the C2C Literary Festival's opening event, then introduced screenwriter William Nicholson to the audience.
Mr. Nicholson shared some behind the scenes tidbits about the making of the film: how he worked with producer, Jonathan Cavendish, who actually was a character in the film. How together they took a chance on an unproven director, Andy Serkis, because he believed in their story, and as an actor can bring a vast amount of emotional scope to animated characters. They knew they could trust him to tell the tale of Robin and Diana Cavendish, a couple who defied the odds of polio's paralysis to live full, rich lives of adventure and excitement.
He challenged the audience to guess what pieces of the film were created by its director instead of its screenwriter. He reminded audiences of the power of written words, especially when placed in the mouths of such talented actors and directors as Serkis, Garfield, and Foy.
After the movie, which received a standing ovation, Mr. Nicholson again took to the state of the Charleston Music Hall, this time joined by College of Charleston Professor Colleen Glenn. They chatted about the movie, the characters, and took audience questions to round out a lovely, exciting night of cinema magic.