Media Release: SFTN announce major new talent initiative and shortlisted filmmakers for New Talent Shorts


Scottish Film Talent Network

Major new initiatives for Scottish film talent announced

14 projects selected for New Talent Shorts programme

SCOTTISH Film Talent Network (SFTN) has today announced the launch of their First Feature Development and Emerging Talent Shorts initiatives, alongside the 14 filmmaker teams selected for the New Talent Shorts programme.

The SFTN initiative is worth £450,000 over the next 12 months – the biggest resource made available for new and emerging talent over the past six years, which represents a major step forward and will help find the next wave of Scotland’s international screen talent. The SFTN is part of the UK-wide BFI NET.WORK talent development initiative.

The First Feature Development programme offers opportunities for emerging talent to develop their first feature project, with support covering many areas.

The Emerging Talent Shorts programme runs in conjunction with the First Feature Development programme and is aimed at filmmakers who are ready to make bigger budget shorts as a step towards realising their first feature.

Also announced today are the 14 successful filmmaking teams that have been shortlisted for the New Talent Shorts programme. SFTN welcomed applications from talent across Scotland arising from a range of backgrounds including film, TV, radio, theatre and literature, aiming to make the transition to the big screen.

The selected teams will participate in development workshops between January and April 2015, when projects will be pitched to an industry panel in early April comprising representatives from SFTN, DigiCult, Hopscotch Films and Creative Scotland.

Five projects will then be selected for production with individual budgets ranging from £5,000 – £10,000 per project. Shortlisted films range in genre and include drama, thriller, horror, animation, fantasy and comedy.

SFTN is led by talent development executive, Claudia Yusef, and is being managed and delivered by Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), DigiCult and Hopscotch Films. Yusef is Scotland’s first full-time dedicated executive focussing solely on identifying and nurturing the development of Scotland’s film talent.

Guidelines for the First Feature Development and Emerging Talent Shorts can be found here:

The projects and filmmakers selected for New Talent Shorts are:

  • 72 Hours (Drama)
    writer/director: Katri Vanhatalo
  • Crowman (Drama)
    writer/Ddirector: Duncan Nicoll
  • Dave (Animation)
    director: Garry Marshall; writer/co-director: Chris Watson
    producer(s): Rhona Drummond and Victoria Watson
  • Grimm Street (Drama/Fantasy)
    writer: Emma Lennox; producer: Jill Pryde
  • Mary’s Maiden Voyage (Drama)
    writer: Henna-Leena Kallio
  • Maunderer (Psychological Thriller)
    writer/director: Tim Courtney
  • Meet Me By the Water (Drama)
    writer/director: Raisah Ahmed; Producer: Karen O’Hare
  • No Place Like Home (Animation)
    writer/director: Cat Bruce
  • Resurface (Drama/Thriller)
    writer/director: Michael Crumley; producer: Sam Ferguson
  • Spores (Comedy/Drama)
    writer/director: Richard Poet; co-writer: Frances Poet
  • The Lookalikes (Comedy)
    director: Robbie McIntosh; writer: Sandro Sotirchos
  • The Necklace (Drama)
    writer/director: Rose Hendry
  • The Rat King (Horror)
    director: Pavel Shepan; writer: John Gibb; Ppoducer: Bianca Herold
  • Vespers (Drama)
    writer/director: Artur Zaremba; producer: Hannah Smith

Claudia Yusef, talent development executive at Scottish Film Talent Network, said: “The quality and variety of the selected projects is testimony to the wealth of talent coming up.

“We received a huge number of applications and it was tremendously difficult to narrow it down to these fourteen teams. We are delighted to have such a varied mix of final projects and participants and very excited to start working with them all.”

Lizzie Francke, production executive at the BFI Film Fund, said: “In working recently with emerging Scottish filmmakers such as Scott Graham on Shell and Iona, Paul Wright on For Those In Peril and Gregory Burke, the writer of ’71, we are excited about discovering and supporting the next generation of Scottish filmmaking talent which we aim to achieve with this programme and we look forward to putting that into action with these filmmaker teams.” 

Ross McKenzie, development officer at Creative Scotland, said: “The excellent response received by the New Talent Shorts programme indicates the high calibre and diversity of talent Scotland has to offer. The launch of these two new initiatives should ensure that emerging talent is placed firmly on the path towards making their first feature, thereby completing the journey from shorts to features and giving talent at all levels the opportunity to further their careers”.

SFTN is a consortium made up of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), DigiCult and Hopscotch Films. SFTN represent Scotland in the UK-wide BFI NET.WORK initiative which connects the UK’s film talent development agencies, bringing together experienced development and talent centres to offer hands-on and holistic development opportunities for promising UK writers, directors and producers who are yet to make their first feature film.

The UK wide BFI NET.WORK partners are Creative England, Creative Scotland, Film Cymru Wales, Northern Ireland Screen and Film London.

All shortlisting decisions are made by the SFTN Management Group. The panel is made up of Claudia Yusef (SFTN), Carolynne Sinclair Kidd (Hopscotch Films), Holly Daniel (CMI), Paul Welsh (DigiCult) and Ross McKenzie (Creative Scotland).


Notes to Editors:

About Scottish Film Talent Network

SFTN is a consortium made up of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), DigiCult and Hopscotch Films. SFTN will represent Scotland in the UK-wide BFI NET.WORK initiative as it connects the UK’s film talent development agencies. The Scottish Film Talent Network consortium has been awarded the contract by Creative Scotland and is supported by BFI & Creative Skillset. For further information please visit and follow us at @SFTNetwork


BFI NET.WORK is a key initiative to support promising writers, directors and producers from the nations and regions of the UK and is central to the British Film Institute’s strategy, detailed in its Film Forever five year plan, to discover and support the next generation of UK feature filmmaking talent, no matter where they live. Find out more about NET.WORK at

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and


Scottish Film Talent Network
Arlen Barke Scottish Film Talent Network Co-ordinator
T: 0131 228 4051

Creative Scotland
Helen Sim
Media relations & PR assistant
T: 0131 523 0019

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