Young Scottish film-makers receive financial boost in Year of the Young

Scotland been synonymous with quality cinema for decades now, boasting huge names like Danny Boyle, Bill Forsyth, and Glaswegian auteur Lynne Ramsey. The latter releasing her latest feature You Were Never Really Here starring Joaquin Phoenix earlier this month to massive critical acclaim.

Edinburgh also has the longest continuous running film festival in the world, with the Edinburgh International Film Festival entering its 72nd consecutive year in 2018. The festival this year will have a larger focus on young creatives, as the Scottish Government has branded 2018 as the Year of Young People.

Logo for The Young & Wild Credit: Edinburgh International Film Festival

This means more money will be directed to organisations that support young input to education and culture among other outlets. A statement on the Year of Young People website claims the initiatives goals are to give young people a “stronger voice on issues which affect their lives, showcase their ideas and talents, and ultimately, aim to challenge status quo and create a more positive perception of them in society.”

Connal Tolmie, a young film-maker who has been developing his craft over a period of fifteen years in Edinburgh talked to us about his experiences in the industry. Tolmie claims that larger events do help, but not enough is done to promote smaller events like Write, Shoot, Cut which offer more valuable networking events for young creatives. He also said that the largest nationwide problem for film-makers is down to the lack of funding available to make the projects they want.

Many film-makers within Scotland have stated they feel Creative Scotland, one of the main funding programmes in Scotland doesn’t offer viable opportunities. That only the largest productions receive funding from the company and that smaller productions are ignored. Wendy Grannon from Creative Scotland told us: “In terms of Talent and Skills Development, we are working hard to ensure that there is a structured and co-ordinated approach to identifying and nurturing talent across the film value chain in Scotland.”

Grannon also said projects chosen for funding must be attractive to national and international audiences, offer opportunities for creative development, and be likely to make a positive contribution to the Scottish economy. Creative Scotland’s guidelines also claim that they plan to help fund at most six projects a year due to decreased public funding in film – but did not give comment if this number was due to change in the Year of the Young.

Front of Edinburgh Film Festival

Yvonne Gordon, head of education at the Edinburgh Filmhouse talked to EN4NEWS about the EIFF’s The Young & the Wild strand which supports youth creativity in Scotland. Gordon confirmed that the youth programming initiative, which sees 15-19 year olds curating 20% of the finalised festival programme will return again this year. Included in this is the short film strand curated by the group, then played in a public screening in the festival.

However, this year will see implementation of a youth advisory group who will run a competition branded “New Visions” that will select the best shorts submitted from creatives aged 14-25 to be played at the festival. 2018 will also see more of a focus being placed upon youth networking events, with the intent to give filmmakers contacts for after the festival season.

Applications for the Young & the Wild are closed for this year but will open for 2019 in Winter. More information about criteria for submissions to New Visions can be found here.

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