Scottish internship scheme launched

AN independent television production company has today launched a paid internship scheme to help Scotland-based documentary-makers clinch network commissions.

Glasgow-based Matchlight is set to offer four aspiring producers and directors the opportunity to develop TV programme ideas under the guidance of leading industry figures.

Backed by Channel 4, among others, the 12-week placements will see the quartet receive substantial support from Jacqui Hayden, Matchlight’s head of development, and Ross Wilson, the company’s International Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning creative director, who will both take on mentoring roles.

The programme, which has also garnered support from new arts body, Creative Scotland, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, aims to help emerging screen talent secure their first, hour-long UK network commission.

Says David Smith, Matchlight’s managing director: “Scotland needs more producer/directors with network credits. They are key to winning the business that brings employment for everyone else involved in making programmes.

“Thanks to the support of Creative Scotland, Channel 4 and HIE, this exciting new training programme will give a significant career boost to the successful internees and benefit Scotland’s wider independent production community by increasing the number of network ready producer/directors resident within Scotland.”

Prospective producers and directors will also be given the chance to take part in development meetings and pitching sessions with the likes of Stuart Cosgrove, director of nations and regions at Channel 4.

Adds Cosgrove: “One of Channel 4’s core values is to identify and nurture new talent, so I am delighted to announce our support for the internship.

“Created by one of Scotland’s most successful factual indies, it is a truly valuable opportunity for budding producers and directors to get a foot in the door of a competitive industry. I look forward to working with the interns in the months ahead.”

The Matchlight Documentary Internship scheme is for producer/directors resident within Scotland who have produced and directed at least one non-network broadcast documentary or a network documentary of less than 60 minutes’ duration.

The deadline for applications is the 30th of this month. For further information, email or phone 0141 332 0319.