An interview with 2022 Universal Studios Canada Screenwriter-in-Residence, Kazik Radwanski

August 23, 2022 by Denise Ing

The Cinema Studies Institute is pleased to announce that Canadian film director and screenwriter, Kazik Radwanski is the 2022 Universal Studios Canada Screenwriter-in-Residence. Anne at 13,000 ft is his most recent feature and it premiered at TIFF 2019 in the Platform section where it was awarded an honourable mention. During his time at CSI, Kazik Radwanski will be teaching CIN349H1Y - Screenwriting.

What influences your work?

Places where I grew up and the people in my life. Conversations, relationships and small moments that slowly add up to define a phase of someone’s life. I like finding drama or crisis in the everyday.

You have been the director, writer and producer of all your films. Do you prefer directing movies that you have written?

Yes, I love it. It can be so stimulating to write for actors you know. Or, to write with a very specific location in mind. I have a very specific way of shooting and it is a huge advantage to be able to tailor a script to that process.

What advice do you have for aspiring screenwriters?

Write about what is important to you. Screenwriting can be a long and lonely process. Make sure that the story you want to write is something you will want to return to again to reexamine and revisit and explore from all angles. You can learn a lot about yourself and your craft through writing. So, even if the script is never made into a film it can still be a hugely rewarding process.

What will you be working on during your term as Screenwriter-in-Residence?

Some finishing touches on my latest feature. Its working title is ‘Matt and Mara’ and it was written for Matt Johnson (Operation Avalanche) and Deragh Campbell (Anne at 13,000 ft). I also have a few other ideas that I am developing, which are all very Toronto-centric stories.

What do you have in store for the students in your course, CIN349H1Y - Screenwriting?

I’d like to help them learn how to find inspiration. How to choose what to write about. The focus will be on creating a first draft of a feature script.

Your favourite movies?

My recent favourites are all Canadian. I’ve had the privilege of seeing Ashley McKenzie’s Queens of the Qing Dynasty, Antoine Bourge’s Concrete Valley and Graham Foy’s The Maidan. They are all premiering at TIFF in September and they are incredible. I also help curate MDFF Selects, a monthly screening series at TIFF where we screen a lot of my favourite new films from around the world. Last month we screened Hong Sang-soo’s Introduction and this month we are screening Denis Cote’s That Kind of Summer. In the fall we will be screening new work by Matias Pinerio and Jessica Oreck.