New film and TV talent school to be created on Skye

New directors, editors, actors, producers and writers have been trained up to work on the BBC Alba drama Bannan.
New directors, editors, actors, producers and writers have been trained up to work on the BBC Alba drama Bannan.
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The Skye-based producer of the Inbetweeners is to set up a new foundation to help rear the next generation of film and TV talent in Scotland - inspired by Hollywood legend Robert Redford’s own initiative in the United States.

Chris Young, who was also behind the first Gaelic feature film and is masterminding the BBC Alba drama Bannan, will announce plans at the Glasgow Film Festival for a project to develop new industry writers, producers and directors.

Week-long script development residencies are expected to be run on Skye from later this year under the Young Films Foundation’s training and mentoring programme.

Participants will benefit from a series of workshops, seminars and mentoring sessions, and be given the chance to advance one of their own projects to “production level.”

Young has overseen the filming of 23 episodes of Bannan on Skye over the last three years, and is pursuing several other projects from his base on the island, including a feature film on the conspiracies over the Lockerbie disaster.

Young, whose foundation will be partly based on Redford’s own Sundance Institute Feature Film Programme, said around a fifth of his production costs had been spent on training and developing writers, directors, actors and editors.

Young, who unveiled his plans during a keynote speech at the film festival as part of the annual industry summit at the event, said they had “even more significance” in the wake of the BBC’s announcement about a dedicated new channel for Scotland, which is due to launch in the autumn of next year.

He said: “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’ve 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 bringing on the talent of the future. 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."