Paul Laverty is a Scottish screenwriter. Paul is a long-time collaborator with director Ken Loach for whom he wrote Carla’s Song (1996), his first screenplay, which starred Robert Carlyle. Bread and Roses (2000), detailed the experiences of migrant labour, and featured Adrien Brody in a leading role. Laverty’s next script, Sweet Sixteen (2002) won best screenplay award in the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
Laverty and Loach collaborated on The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) which concerned Irish War of Independence in early 1920s. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Laverty has written eight full-length feature scripts and one short directed by Ken Loach. Both work closely with producer Rebecca O’Brien. Loach’s comedy featuring the French footballer Eric Cantona, Looking for Eric (2009), is a collaborative effort with Laverty, as is his film about mercenaries in Iraq, Route Irish (2010).
During the mid-1980s, he travelled to Nicaragua and lived there for almost three years. He worked for a Nicaraguan domestic human rights organisation which provided hard evidence of human rights abuses during the war between the elected Nicaraguan Government (The Sandinistas) and the United States backed “Contras” in which the subject of human rights became highly contested. Every major human rights organisation including Amnesty and Americas Watch accused the US backed contras of systematic abuse against Nicaraguan civilians. He travelled to the war-zones and obtained corroborated eyewitness accounts which were passed on to international human rights organisations. He also travelled widely in El Salvador, during its civil war, and Guatemala.
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