Producers demand cash for Scottish film industry

The Proclaimers make a cameo appearance in Scottish hit Sunshine on Leith. Picture: Hemedia
The Proclaimers make a cameo appearance in Scottish hit Sunshine on Leith. Picture: Hemedia
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LEADING Scottish film producers are demanding millions of pounds of additional funding is ploughed into the troubled industry to help turn it around.

The main lobby group for the nation’s screen sector has warned a proposed film studio risks failure unless it is accompanied by a new dedicated incentive fund.

And it has urged the Scottish Government to ensure arts agency Creative Scotland, which has overall responsibility for the industry, is properly resourced in future.

Just £3.5 million a year is ring-fenced for Scottish film productions, with the maximum grant pegged at just £500,000.

The Independent Producers Scotland group has issued a call for ministerial intervention in the wake of a damning report from a Holyrood inquiry into the state of the screen sector.

MSPs on the economy committee said there was an urgent need for a decision to be made on Scotland’s first permanent film studio, two and a half years after £1 million in funding was ring-fenced for the project.

IPS, which represents more than 40 of the nation’s leading filmmakers, was formed two years ago in a bid to win a better financial deal for the industry, but has been highly critical of the lack of response from key funders to date.

A statement from the group said it was prepared to join a leadership task-force proposed by the parliamentary inquiry - but said there was a need for “decisive action to develop a more sustainable, vibrant, commercially and culturally significant film industry for Scotland.”

It has also called for the reinstatement of a dedicated national screen agency, even though Creative Scotland was formed less than five years out of a merger of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.

The statement said: “IPS acknowledges it is the responsibility of Scotland’s producers to develop world-class competitive film projects.

“But given the level of competition within the UK and abroad, £3.5 million across production and development remains simply not enough.”

Arabella Page Croft, producer of “Sunshine on Leith,” said: “Scottish producers really want to make more fantastic films for the Scottish audience, which project our nation around the world.

“More films mean more Scottish hits. That’s what we all need to be working towards.”

John Archer, founder of Glasgow-based Hopscotch Films, said: “To capitalise on a strong generation of Scottish producers we need many more films made in Scotland.

“A studio - along with the support of an inward investment fund - will enable producers and companies to grow, creating sustainable businesses.”


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