New talent showcased at ‘young Baftas’

Garry Fraser. Picture: Andy Buchanan
Garry Fraser. Picture: Andy Buchanan
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makers from the Capital dominated last night’s Bafta in Scotland New Talent awards, taking the honours in two thirds of the categories as Edinburgh reaffirmed its reputation as the country’s cultural heart.

A raw, autobiographical documentary on the perils of drug use and crime in one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods by 34-year-old Garry Fraser was among the standout winners.

Tollcross pair Joseph Atkinson and Kate Charter capped off a successful night by claiming the best new work and animation categories at a glittering ceremony at Glasgow venue Òran Mór.

Composer Chris Bradley, writer Rory Alexander Stewart, film-making trio Elia Ballesteros, Gloria Bartolomé and Kate Campbell, sound designers Pier Daniel Cornacchia and Ana Irina Roman, and director of photography Alan McLaughlin rounded off the Edinburgh winners list.

A total of 33 city talents were nominated across the 11 award categories.

Alan de Pellette, acting director of Bafta in Scotland, said: “The city is famous in the world over for its culture, particularly with the festivals, but it is also a screen city, with the Film Festival being internationally recognised, the city being used as a film location and, of course, the number of talented students and film-makers based there.”

Garry has no regrets taking the hard road

FORMER drug abuser Garry Fraser once resembled a character from Irvine Welsh’s hard-hitting novel, Trainspotting, as he obsessed over finding his next hit.

But last night he was celebrating after a film which detailed the turbulent phase in his life won the best factual work award.

In the documentary, the 34-year-old returns to Muirhouse to face up to the damage that crime and drugs inflicted upon his life.

Now a married father of three young children, the respected film-maker discusses waiting for an HIV test to establish whether he could one day fall victim to Aids as part of the gritty piece.

He said: “I don’t regret being a drug addict. I wouldn’t have been able to write anything if it wasn’t based on my own experiences.”

Moving win for animation

PRODUCER Joseph Atkinson says last night’s win in the Channel Four-sponsored Best New Work category is a sign of the growing momentum behind Scottish animation.

The 26-year-old from Tollcross shared the award victory with animator Kate Charter, 23, for short Hannah and the Moon.

The endearing six-minute animation piece tells the story of a girl who leaves her house in search of the moon after finding it missing one night.

Mr Atkinson, who moved into film production after graduating from Screen Academy Scotland, said that it was the first animation film he had ever finished.

He said: “Year on year, the young animators are getting better and better. I think we’re building something here.”

‘Film music is labour of love’

Singer-songwriter Chris Bradley took the Best Original Music category with his first-ever composition, Killer.

The 33-year-old completed a music degree with honours in Newcastle before returning to study a masters in composition at Edinburgh University.

He got into film music by writing for stage productions at university and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Mr Bradley then started contacting student filmmakers while completing his degrees, offering his services as a composer. He said: “Film and TV music is to me a labour of love – a lavish, in-depth safari through the musical desert in search of the perfect sonic partner for the on-screen action.”

Rory named best writer

HE has been described as one of the most exciting talents in Scottish film-making.

Edinburgh-based writer, director and editor Rory Alexander Stewart last night lived up to the billing by claiming the best writer award for Liar – a short film exploring a group of Scottish youngsters testing the limits of their environment.

Mr Stewart studied at Bournemouth’s Arts University College, graduating two years ago before being shortlisted for production house Collabor8te as a screenwriter. He is also working on a documentary about the infamous Port o’ Leith bar on Constitution Street.