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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 20, 2006

Oct. 6 IWP Panel Addresses Writing For Stage And Screen

Three writers in residence at the University of Iowa International Writing Program -- including award-winning screenwriters from China and Palestine -- will present a free panel discussion, "Writing for Two and Three Dimensions," at noon Friday, Oct. 6, in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

The participants -- Lou Ye from China, Rafael Courtoisie from Uruguay and Mazen Sa'adeh from Ramallah/Palestinian Authority -- will discuss the special circumstances of writing for the stage and the screen. They will address questions including: In what ways is thinking in pictures or in space stage different from thinking in words? And what are the consequences of the interplay, in today's media, of the visual with the verbal?

Lou Ye rose to fame with the film "Suzhou River "(2000), which he wrote and directed. The film won major awards at festivals in Rotterdam, Paris and Tokyo; captured the FIPRESCI prize in Venice; and was voted by Time Magazine (Asia) as one of the best movies of 2000. In its wake Lou was banned from making films in China for two years. Since then he has written and directed "Purple Butterfly" (2003) and "Summer Palace" (2006), both screened at the Cannes Film Festival to broad critical acclaim.

"Summer Palace" resulted in yet another ban in his homeland, this time a five-year prohibition of film work. "Summer Palace" will have its U.S. premiere at 8 p.m. Oct. 8, in Room 105 of the UI Adler Journalism Building, as part of the IWP Cinematheque series.

Lou's IWP participation is supported by the Asian Cultural Council.

Courtoisie teaches screenwriting at the Escuela de Cine del Uruguay in Montevideo. He is one of Uruguay's leading writers, with work published in the United States, Latin America and Europe. He is the author of three novels and 16 volumes of poetry, and he is a prolific essayist. He has won both his country's National Prize in Narrative for his first novel, "A Dog's Life" (1997), and the National Prize in Poetry for his 2002 collection "Frontiers of Umbria."

Sa'adeh began his writing career as a novelist, but during the last decade he has also become an award-winning playwright/screenwriter. His most recent projects are "My Friend, My Enemy" (2004), a documentary about friendships between Palestinian and Israeli women, and "The Guardian of Boredom" (2005). In 2004 he co-founded the Open Workshop for Culture and the Arts in Palestine, an organization that encourages cultural exchange between Palestine and the global community through art. Earlier this year he co-founded Ishkal, a collective designed to promote young artists.

Courtoisie and Sa'adeh are participating in the IWP through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

The panelists are among the 29 writers, representing 22 countries, in residence this fall at the IWP. Biographies of all the writers are accessible on the IWP website,

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,