Film project a dab hand at attracting talent

COURTESY, partly, of its lead actress, a Scottish movie – that is still some months away from being completed – has already captured the attention of Polish television news.

Anna Kerth may not be a household name in Scotland, but she is in Poland. And the cast list also includes well-known Scottish actors, Kenneth Cranham, Atta Yaqub and Anne Downie.

‘Running in Traffic’ tells the story of two characters as they attempt to rebuild their lives, following an emotionally traumatic incident. And with a sub-plot that highlights what it’s like to be an immigrant in Scotland, Kerth – who lives between the UK and Poland – has already appeared on Polish television, talking about the movie and her developing career in both countries.

Says Kerth: “Although my character in the film is Polish, this is really a universal story. My character’s journey is essentially more difficult because of her status in the UK, being miles from her homeland with less people she can turn to during her struggle throughout the story.”

Now in post-production, following filming across the central belt of Scotland, the film is also proving a triumph of passion over budget.

It is operating on a budget of which is “probably less than the catering budget on Taggart”, says scriptwriter and lead actor, Bryan Larkin.

“What this project will prove is that it is possible to produce a quality feature film with a high calibre cast and crew on a very tight budget, so long as you have a story that people can begin to feel passionate about and committed to.

“For me, it is about making films that you want to make and just making it happen. To get a film made in Scotland, without financial backing, you have to find the right people for the job, passionate and talented people who just want to work in the industry. But the miles of red tape makes it happen for very few people.

“For us, it is not and has never been all about the money. It seems to hold so many other people back. The first question people seem to want an answer to is how was the film funded.

“It is not the most essential ingredient to green light a project these days. Yes, people got paid on the shoot and they were happy to take a reduced fee because, not only was there little in the way of work on at the time, but they had a lot more creative freedom than they might normally have on higher budget shoots.”

The film is being produced by Glasgow-based Dabhand Films – run by Larkin and Marc Twynholm – with Dale Corlett of Jigsaw Productions (also based in Glasgow) directing.

Also producing is Abigail Howkins of Alcoba Films – another Glasgow-based outfit. Scot, George Geddes, is the cinematographer.

Larkin was chosen ‘Best Scottish newcomer (actor)’, at the 2006 BAFTA Scotland awards for his performance in Dabhand Films short film, SCENE, that could be in the running for an Academy Award next year thanks to its place in the Grand Prix of short film festivals.

He adds: “Since its conception, Dabhand Films’ main objective is to produce a slate of diverse short and feature-length films on a low budget, using the latest technology and recruit a strong core group of passionate individuals with wide-ranging experience to collaborate with.”