Strengthening support for filmmakers

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Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced £110,000 to support the Edinburgh International Film Festival to develop emerging filmmakers through its Talent Lab programme.

The award, from the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, is the latest in a series of actions taken by Ministers to boost support for and interest in Scotland’s film industry.

It follows the arrival earlier this week of Mark Andrews, Director of Disney•Pixar’s Oscar-winning animation Brave, who was personally invited by Ms Hyslop to come to Scotland to mentor Scottish film students. 

The Expo funding awarded to Talent Lab will help to bring promising Scottish and UK filmmakers together for a series of group discussions and networking events during the 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival. Participants will spend time with experienced industry insiders, gaining invaluable one-to-one advice and information designed to develop their skills and build their confidence.

Following the close of the 2013 film festival, a select group of Scottish filmmakers will attend the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013.  Three Scottish producers will also be nominated to attend the Rotterdam Lab at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in January 2014.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

“The Scottish Government is firmly committed to developing Scotland’s film industry. That is why I am pleased to award £110,000 to support the EIFF’s work to cultivate emerging Scottish talent, and why I invited Mark Andrews to come to Scotland to share his expertise with our own promising filmmakers.

“Our strong support for film making in Scotland was clearly demonstrated when the First Minister himself hosted a Film Investors’ Evening  last year, and through Scottish Ministers’ repeated and successful efforts to lobby the UK Government to introduce tax breaks for animated film and television production and computer games.”

Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said:

“Encouraging the creativity of the next generation of filmmakers is a core part of EIFF’s mission. With the vital support of the Scottish Government, we’re continuing to carry out that mission in the third year of our Talent Lab.”

The £110,000 Scottish Government Expo Fund investment is part of a £250,000 overall public funding package backing the Talent Lab programme, with support also coming from Creative Scotland, Creative Skillset and Creative England.

The 2013 EIFF will run from 19-30 June. The EIFF Talent Lab is open to screenwriters, directors and producers with a short film or feature credit to their name.

The 12 major festivals in Edinburgh contribute more than £250 million to Scotland’s economy and promote Scotland’s rich culture, heritage and distinct identity on the world stage. The Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund was set up in 2008/09 to support the festivals’ continued growth and to ensure Scotland’s own emerging talent is placed at their centre. This funding takes the total Scottish Government Expo Funding awarded to the film festival to £710,000 since the Expo Fund began.

More than 80 production companies and 300 facilities companies are based in Scotland and an average of 15-20 feature films are shot in Scotland every year.  Scotland attracts between £20-25 million of location spend each year from production companies shooting on location all over the country. 

Recent examples have been the Brad Pitt film, ‘World War Z’ shot in Glasgow, and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ taking advantage of locations in The Highlands.  Creative Scotland estimate that film tourism [in Scotland] accounts for 10 per cent of the total value of tourism to the British economy – about £1.8 billion a year.