A total of 54 writers will take part in this year’s edition of the The Script Road — Macau Literary Festival, which will take place between March 4 and 19. It is “bigger and more intensive than we wished for, but it has to do with the number of guests,” programme director Hélder Beja tells mART.

By Luciana Leitão

The Script Road — Macau Literary Festival includes talks and workshops, as well as exhibitions, film projections and concerts. Among invited writers are Yu Hua, Brian Castro, Madeleine Thien, Graeme Macrae Burnet and Bruno Vieira Amaral, according to the detailed programme announced yesterday, February 27.

Mr Beja says he is quite “pleased” with the diversity of themes, the quality of speaking panels, as well as the targeted audience. “We’re covering all areas that we had proposed to, besides the literary one — and we have also the exhibition of [cartoon artist] Rodrigo de Matos, who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his career,” he says.

In addition, the school programme is quite wide, which includes “practically all universities”, international schools, the Portuguese School of Macau, as well as other institutions such as Alliance Française. “The school programme is what we had expected,” he added. The concert programme is in smaller scale than in previous years, but it “is the right formula”, while the performing arts “has the biggest programme yet,” featuring several performances, including an original play made in Macau presented in the University of Macau’s Black Box Theatre, along with the poetry multimedia performance Das Palavras, by Portuguese theatre company d’As Entranhas – Colectivo Teatral.

The deputy director expects to continue “consolidating” the growth of the Chinese and the Portuguese-language audience at the sessions. As for the English-language audience, which, in previous editions, has been lacking, he says it is still “unknown” whether it will attend. “We don’t even know if there is an audience — with an interest in literature,” he says. Still, considering this programme brings a “large number of writers who publish in English language”, some of whom are award-winning authors, like Krys Lee,  “this would be the ideal programme to attract a community like that”.

Overall, Mr Beja believes the festival “has found a room and a way that has to be consolidated” and this edition will serve to continue “to improve a formula that has resulted in the previous years”.