THE independent film and television company behind the hit comedy The Inbetweeners has moved from London in favour of a full time base on the shores of Skye.
Young Films is owned by acclaimed producer Chris Young, who first moved to the island in the 1990s.
The ambitious firm is expanding its creative team at Fas, on Skye, with the help of development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which has provided grant funding of £106,000 to support an investment in five new staff.
Mr Young has just returned from the Cannes Film Festival and was yesterday (Wed) at the Edinburgh Film Festival announcing their latest project - Gaelic drama serial Bannan – which will premiere as part of the international event next month.
He said: “This a very exciting time for Young Films. It has long been my ambition to integrate more fully Young Films’ Film and Television activity with the Isle of Skye and its people.
“Bringing together HIE and Creative Scotland in partnership with Young Films’ existing commissions from C4, BBC and BFI allows the company to expand significantly its workforce in Skye and to establish a substantial operation at FÀS - the Centre for Creative and Cultural Industries at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.”
Bannan is BBC Alba’s first Gaelic drama serial. Unusually, the show will have its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival on 28 June, with the producer stating: “TV is the new film.”.
After its festival launch in Edinburgh in June, the first three half-hour episodes will air on BBC ALBA in September.
A further 15 episodes have been commissioned and developed by Young Films, with the first block of filming set to start in September on location in Skye.
The company has set up a new base at Fas, the centre for creative and cultural industries at Gaelic college Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Sleat.
Young Films is also launching its latest feature film at Edinburgh Film Festival on 21 June, the first ever co-production between the Scotland and Portugal, entitled The Invisible Life.
The film was in selection in Rome and Rotterdam earlier this year and this will be its UK premiere.
Mr Young added: “The new long running drama Bannan will provide a huge impetus for training and production.
“With a long running TV show and three new feature films set in Scotland to be produced by Young Films, it is certain that Skye will become a hub for film and television production in the future.”
The three films in development include an adaptation of the classic Neil Gunn novel The Silver Darlings by Olivia Hetreed, best known for writing Bafta winners Wuthering Heights and The Girl with The Pearl Earring.
There is also a new original Scottish drama written by John Collee best known for “Master and Commander.
It also includes Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald’s next film.
Caroline Forsyth, HIE development manager based in Portree, commented: “Young Films’ reputation and its success in developing productions will have a significant impact on generating opportunities locally, regionally and throughout the Scottish film and television industry.
“We are delighted that home-grown talent is being nurtured in the area – first through education and training at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and then through industry opportunities locally.
“The film and television industry is a hugely competitive arena. There is currently considerable collaboration between Young Films and the business and organisations that make up the media village in Stornoway. The continued strengthening of the sector will also benefit other parts of the economy – including tourism – which is a key focus for HIE.”