Spielberg script writer to hold Q&A session

Film fans at Horsham get the chance to quiz a young script writer from Dragons Green who wrote the hit Steven Spielberg Bridge of Spies film starring Tom Hanks.

Matt Charman, 36, a former pupil of Forest School, Horsham, who was brought up as a youngster at Dragons Green, is staging a question and answer session at the Capitol on November 28 to raise money for Horsham Museum and Art Gallery.

The film is his first screenplay and has proved a huge box office draw. His father’s side of the family made their home nearly 200 years ago at Great House Farm, Southwater, where Matt attended the local school. When younger he wrote a musical called Falling for Eve that was performed in Horsham and proved to be an important step in his rise to become a top screenwriter.

The half-hour question and answer session will take place after a showing of the Cold War thriller. It is similar to an event he did in New York, but this time he has chosen Horsham. The evening will start with a reception at 7.30 pm, followed by an introduction at 8pm and the screening at 8pm. Tickets are already on sale.

Jeremy Knight, museum heritage officer, said: “This is a rare opportunity to celebrate the success of Horsham script writer Matt Charman in his home town in the venue that started his career. How often does Horsham have such an  opportunity to celebrate such a success – a film that the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art has declared one of the most important films of the year.”

Matt, 36, who now lives in London, told the Hollywood Reporter newspaper of his call from Spielberg: “It was the most exhilarating and nerveracking experience in my life. Suddenly, his voice is there on the phone: “Matt, I heard you’ve got a great story to tell me. Shoot.” I gave him the pitch, and I talked him through the whole story. I got to the end of it, and he said, “How fast can you write it? Because I’d love to direct it.”I turned the first draft around in about eight weeks. Next thing I know, I’m at lunch with Steven Spielberg, and he gave me these unbelievable notes — the kind you dream of as a writer.”

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