We are pleased to welcome author and screenwriter John Niven for a post-screening Q&A chaired by Elbow frontman Guy Garvey.
When the road to success is littered with losers and even your closest colleagues are desperate for you to fail, what would you do to make it to the top?
London, 1997; the British music industry is on a winning streak. Britpop bands Blur, Oasis, Radiohead rule the airwaves and Cool Britannia is in full swing. 27-year-old hit chasing A&R man Steven Stelfox is slashing and burning his way through the music business, a world where ‘no one knows anything’ and where careers are made and broken by chance and the fickle tastes of the general public – “Yeah, those animals”.
In an industry of dream-makers, Stelfox refuses to buy into the ‘dream’ – and despises anyone that does. Most people, he rants, don’t care about musicianship, or integrity. “Real people… buy four albums a year and they want to hear all the words.”
Fuelled by greed, ambition and inhuman quantities of drugs, Stelfox searches for his next hit record amid a relentless orgy of self-gratification. Created by an industry that demands success at any price, as the hits dry up and the industry begins to change, Stelfox takes the concept of ‘killer tunes’ to a murderous new level in a desperate attempt to salvage his career.
Adapted from John Niven’s novel of the same name, Kill Your Friends is a dark, satirical and hysterically funny evisceration of the Nineties music business. A time and place populated by frauds, charlatans and bluffers; where ambition is a higher currency than talent, and where it seems anything can be achieved – as long as you want it badly enough.