Media release: STV to broadcast two documentaries, by upcoming Scottish filmmakers


STV will broadcast two brand new, 30-minute documentaries as part of This is Scotland, a documentary and new talent initiative run by the Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) in association with Screen Scotland.

The first of the documentaries, All Aboard, broadcast on Friday 8th March at 8pm, will bring viewers an unique insight into life onboard the MV Hrossey ferry, which travels overnight between Aberdeen and Shetland, seen through the eyes of its crew and passengers.

All Aboard is made by Duncan Cowles, a graduate from Edinburgh College of Art, whose short films have been selected for film festivals at home and internationally, winning a number of awards and nominations.

On Friday 29th March at 8pm, STV will broadcast Adventures in Dementia, a touching story about the heart-warming friendship of Agnes and Nancy, who prove that their dementia is no barrier to achieving their ultimate goals.

Behind Adventures in Dementia is Scottish filmmaker, Anne Milne, who has received several awards for her work, including a BAFTA New Talent Award and a BAFTA Scotland Award.

Launched in 2013, This is Scotland offers upcoming filmmakers a unique opportunity to produce a documentary, working closely with SDI, and have their work broadcast in peak time on STV.

Stephen O’Donnell, director of Programme Strategy & Marketing at STV, said: “STV is committed to supporting the creative industries in Scotland and This is Scotland is a fantastic opportunity to find and nurture new talent. I am delighted that we will provide a platform for these entertaining and uplifting documentaries on STV.”

SDI was established in 2004 to nurture documentary filmmakers and audiences in Scotland and beyond, specialising in documentary training, production and distribution.

Noe Mendelle, director of Scottish Documentary Institute and executive producer, said: “Once again, we are delighted to share the creative eye and humanistic approach of two of our latest Scottish directorial talents; Anne Milne and Duncan Cowles.

“Adventures in Dementia is a life-affirming, inspiring and quirky film which takes us into the ever challenging world of dementia. All Aboard pokes at our curiosity about the stormy overnight ferry crossing between Aberdeen and Shetland. Both films will create a new shade to our perception of our internal and external world.”

Leslie Finlay, executive producer, Screen Scotland, said: “This is Scotland provides a magnificent platform to see work from some of the best new documentary voices in Scotland and this year is no exception. The heart-warming Adventures in Dementia by Anne Milne and the wonderful All Aboard by Duncan Cowles are two timely and thought-provoking films which continue the strong tradition of the This is Scotland programme and we look forward to sharing them with a Scotland-wide audience.”

This is Scotland is co-funded by STV and Screen Scotland, with support from the University of Edinburgh.


For further information, please contact the STV press office:

Anna Hendry

0141 300 3830

Notes to editors:

About the documentaries

All Aboard

Taking 14 hours, The MV Hrossey ferry travels overnight between Aberdeen and Shetland every day, making one stop at Orkney on the way. Onboard, islanders and crew members laugh, tell stories and reflect upon their lives during the overnight trip. Stunning views of Shetland, beautiful sunsets, breathtaking wildlife and, if you’re lucky, a glimpse of the Northern lights in summer, all make up this epic Scottish journey north. Not to mention the inevitable bit of sea sickness…

This film is an unique insight into life onboard the MV Hrossey, seen through the eyes of the crew and passengers who travel it – some on a one-off lifetime trip, others on a regular commute. Islanders mix with tourists, staff live and work with each other, all of them bonding onboard the ferry.

Funny, heartwarming and relatable individuals tell their stories and give an insight into the life contained onboard this ship, connecting mainland Scotland to its most northernly set of islands.

Adventures in Dementia

Meet Agnes. She is a type A, driven and dedicated to the cause of dementia activism. She lives in Glasgow, travels all the time and doesn’t ever seem to slow down.

Meet Nancy. She lives alone on a croft far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. She tends her garden, practices mindfulness and is also a dementia activist.

Agnes and Nancy are friends, and when they meet up there is much laughter. Together, they will embark on an adventure which proves that life with dementia is not over by any means. They will fly among the trees!

About the filmmakers

Duncan Cowles is a BAFTA Scotland Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose short films have been selected for various film festivals at home and internationally, winning a selection of awards and gaining thousands of online views.

Duncan graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a first-class degree and a specialisation in documentary film, before going on to work for the Scottish Documentary Institute and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

He was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award & RTS Scotland Award in 2014 for his graduation filmRadio Silence. Next, his short doc Directed by Tweedie, commissioned by Scottish Documentary Institute / Creative Scotland, won Best Scottish Short Film at Glasgow Short Film Festival, was shortlisted for a Channel 4 Innovation in Storytelling Award and then nominated for Best British Short at the London Critics Circle Awards 2016.

Duncan’s second Creative Scotland commission, Isabella, won a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Short Film 2016, Best UK Short (19-25) and the BFI RAW Award 2016 at the BFI Future Film Festival, Best Scottish Short Film 2016 at the Glasgow Short Film Festival 2016 and the Audience Award at Hamburg International Short Film Festival 2016. The film has also been nominated for Best British Short Film at the London Critics Circle Awards 2017.

In 2017, Duncan founded his own production company, Relative Films Ltd, and is currently working on his first feature film, Silent Men, with development funding from the BFI, Creative Scotland and Whickers World Foundation. He’s also a regular contributor to BBC Scotland’s The Social, and hosts a range of workshops for filmmakers of all ages.

Anne Milne is an award-winning Scottish filmmaker. Her film, María’s Way, was nominated for the European Film Award 2010 and won several awards, including BAFTA New Talent, and screened at over 100 international film festivals.

After being awarded a WorldView Multi Media Grant, she traveled to Nepal to shoot Himalayan Sisters, which later won an editing award at the 2011 Underwire Festival. Since then she has been working on a number of commissioned films. Into Deep Space, a short film about the search for exo-planets, was shown at the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York and Dublin, where it was awarded a Special Mention.

Most recently, she directed and edited a feature length documentary, The World In One City, commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival, and produced by the Scottish Documentary Institute, on the festival’s 70 years.

She has also produced a number of shorts with the Scottish Documentary Institute, the most recent of which, Swan, was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland Award 2016 and shortlisted for a Grierson Award in 2017.

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Contact: Anna Hendry