IN his keynote speech at the Glasgow Film Festival’s Industry Focus event this Friday, Chris Young will announce plans for an exciting new, script development programme for new writers, producers and directors working in film and television which will be operated and run by new company – Young Films Foundation.
In 2012 Chris Young relocated his film and TV production company, Young Films, from London to Skye and began work developing and producing BBC ALBA’s long-running Gaelic drama, Bannan.
One of the most significant challenges facing Young Films in delivering Bannan was identifying and developing new Gaelic talent.
With tremendous support from Creative Scotland, MG ALBA, HIE and Creative Skillset, Young Films has worked hard to successfully create a new generation of Gaelic-speaking TV talent.
Nearly 20 per cent of Bannan’s overall production costs can be in some way attributed to training and development spanning across almost every discipline of the production process but most specifically in writing, directing, producing, acting and editing.
Chris Young says: “From the beginning, we knew we would need to invest a lot of resources into training and development. The past four years have taught us that given the right opportunities and conditions new talent can and will flourish.
“We now have new writers, directors and producers who had never worked on TV drama delivering full episodes.
“It has long been acknowledged that more needs to be done in Scotland to develop indigenous TV and film-making.
“Through our experience on Bannan, we have recognised the opportunity for a dedicated training and mentoring programme, which we believe, has the potential to transform the Scottish film and TV industry by brining on the talent of the future.
“This gains even more significance given the announcement this week by Tony Hall of a new dedicated BBC Scotland channel.”
The Foundation is currently seeking appropriate funding partners and Young hopes to launch formally and open for applications later this year.
The Foundation will focus on script and project development with a remit to seek out and identify new and aspiring writers, producers and directors. It will nurture their talents through a programme of workshops, seminars and mentoring over a week-long residency in Skye.
Chris adds: “Bringing together a mix of writers, producers and directors on a one week residency will enable a real and dynamic context in which they can thrive.
“Each participant will bring one project and the course will answer to a wide range of possible situations. The week will help to further their skills in film and TV development, as well as advancing their own work to production level under the guidance and support of leading industry practitioners.
“For me, the inspiration is the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Programme.
“This has revolutionised independent cinema in the USA and around the world and over the last 30 years has developed and supported over 400 exceptional films.
“Closer to home, I recognise certain key initiatives that were influential for me personally but also culturally significant for Scotland.
“One, Movie Makars, was a script development programme that ran through the ’90s in Inverness and helped to advance the careers of subsequently well-known screenwriters and producers such as John Hodge and Andrew MacDonald.
“I hope to bring the same ethos to our new venture and that the Young Films Foundation will help to inspire and sustain the ambitions of the next generation of successful storytellers in film and TV in Scotland.”
Picture caption: Mairead Hamilton, trainee director, On-Set of the latest series of Bannan
For further information, contact Sandra MacRae at Young Films on 01471 888154 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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