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As from 1 July 2010, this site will no longer be updated and will be retained for Archive purposes only.

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Case Studies

Case Study: Valhalla Rising

Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £500,000 (Content Production Fund)

Valhalla Rising, directed by Nicholas Winding Refn (Bronson) and starring Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Clash of the Titans) is the latest co-production from Glasgow-based production company La Belle Allee and Denmark’s / Nimbus Film Productions. 

The film is an action adventure story set in 1000AD, focusing on one man’s quest to discover his identity. One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, is held captive in the remote Scottish Highlands by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by a boy slave Are, One Eye escapes capture and sets off on a journey to a world with a band of warriors. As the new world unleashes its menace, the warriors confront their terrible and bloody fate and One Eye discovers his true self.

Valhalla Rising was selected to screen at Venice Film Festival 2009, Toronto International Film Festival 2009, London Film Festival 2009 and International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010. It was shot entirely on location in Scotland, and is to be released in cinemas on 30 April 2010.

“The most significant British co-production of recent years”, Sight & Sound Magazine.

For further information, visit www.labelleallee.com.

Case Study: Crying With Laughter



Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment:, £150,000 (Express Film Fund) £3,300 (Market Development Fund) £2,000 (Content Development Fund)


Crying With Laughter, winner of the BAFTA Scotland Best Film 09 Award, is the debut feature film from Scottish writer/director Justin Molotnikov and producer Claire Mundell of Glasgow-based Synchronicity Films. The film was a co-production with producers Rachel Robey and Alistair Clark of Wellington Films.

Crying With Laughter is a bold and darkly comedic revenge thriller about stand-up comedian Joey Frisk (Stephen McCole) who one night tells an ill timed joke about an old school friend, Frank, who just happens to be in the audience. Before long, Joey finds himself caught up in a violent web of revenge against a childhood incident he can’t remember but Frank can’t forget.

The film has screened in competition at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009, Dinard Festival of British Film 2009, Rotterdam Film Festival 2010, the inaugural Czech Republic Festival Cinema MUNDI 2010, and had its US premiere at SXSW film festival in March 2010. Most recently, Crying With Laughter screened at Celtic Media Festival in  April 2010 and picked up the award for Best Feature Film.

Crying With Laughter
was released in UK cinemas on 16 April 2010 by distributors Britfilms.

For further information, visit www.cry.britfilms.tv.

Case Study: Bridging the Gap 

Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £430,200 from 2003 to 2009 (Short Film Award Scheme and Talent Development Fund)

Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) has been given long-standing support from Scottish Screen for the Bridging the Gap initiative - one of the only documentary talent development initiatives for the big screen in the UK - offering an intense creative training programme alongside production.

Bridging the Gap is an open competition for seven filmmakers to produce a 10-minute film in a creative and experimental environment. The filmmakers are trained to explore the use of digital technology, pushing the boundaries of short documentaries for cinema. Throughout the competition, SDI offers public documentary master classes in Edinburgh.

For Bridging the Gap 7, 12 directors were initially selected and put through a training process. In March 2010, seven projects were commissioned in an industry pitching session and each project provided with a production budget of £16,000.

Listed below are the selected Bridging the Gap 7 projects on the theme “Surprise” that will be delivered in July 2010:

Previous Bridging the Gap productions have achieved great success in the international festival circuit. Peter in Radioland (Bridging the Gap 6 – ‘Future’) won Best Scottish Short Documentary at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009. Breadmakers (Bridging the Gap 4 – ‘White’) was awarded the Black Pearl Award of £46,000 at the Middle East International Film Festival 2008 and Christmas with Dad (Bridging the Gap 5 – ‘Home’) won the Best Short Documentary Award at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2008. Eva Weber’s Steel Homes (Bridging the Gap 5) screened at Sundance Film Festival 2009, and Irene (Bridging the Gap 5) won Best International Short Documentary at Palm Springs International Film Festival 2009.

For further information, visit www.docscene.org.

Case Study: Summer

Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £112,751 (Content Production Fund)

Summer is a feature film from Sixteen Films, Ken Loach’s production company, directed by Kenny Glenaan (Gas Attack, Yasmin), and starring Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, Stone of Destiny, The Full Monty) as Shaun.

Shaun and Daz are vibrant kids, wasted by their experience of education. All they have is their friendship and for Shaun his first love Katy. From the moment Shaun steps into our world he is bound to lose. Labelled as a violent bully he destroys himself and takes Daz with him. Shaun has twelve years to reflect on an intense summer of love, sex and loyalty. But Daz's imminent death forces Shaun to go on a journey to confront his past. This is the story of a man full of intelligence and promise struggling to reclaim his life.

Although the film was shot in location in Derbyshire, where writer Hugh Ellis is from, it creatively involves key Scottish talent, including Executive Producer Rebecca O’Brien, and has a lead Scottish character. The film provided two young unknown Scottish actors the chance to play Shaun at key points in the character’s development. Post-production of the film was carried out in Scotland by Serious Facilities and Savalas.

So far, the film has screened at Branchage Film Festival and Cambridge Film Festival in September 2008 and Edinburgh International Film Festival in June, where Robert Carlyle won the award for Best Performance. Summer recently screened at Rome International Film Festival in October, where it won the main award in the Alice in the City (Alice nella città) category, the festival's youth section. The film picked up the top film prize at the BAFTA Scotland Awards 2008, where Kenny Glenaan was also recognised with Best Director Award. Summer was released in the UK on Friday 5 December 2008 by Vertigo Films.

Case Study: Trouble Sleeping

Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £75,000 (New Talent Development Fund) £6,250 (Content Production Fund)

Trouble Sleeping was an innovative new talent development initiative run by Theatre Workshop, experienced in community theatre productions, with film production company, Makar Productions. The project provided structured mentoring and support, backed up by Screen Academy Scotland, and it was aimed to involve participants from the refugee communities in Scotland, typically people outside the film industry, .

The resulting feature film deals with difficult issues facing asylum seekers as they attempt to make new lives for themselves here in Scotland.The film shows how they cope with painful memories of torture, war and poverty, from their recent pasts, bringing such experiences to the attention of the general public in a compelling, moving and often humorous way.

Theatre Workshop Artistic Director, Robert Rae, said of making the film: “I wanted to tell the story of the experience of refugees in Edinburgh, and I wanted them to be at the heart of the creative process – as actors and writers.”

Scottish Screen invested in the project to involve people who are currently under-represented in the film industry, and to present a picture of a multi-racial, multi-cultural and physically diverse Scotland.

Trouble Sleeping was broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on 25 August 2008.  In March 2008, it won a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award for Best New Work (Fiction), before going on to win Best Narrative Feature at the 2008 Peace on Earth Film Festival; the lead actress, Alia Alzougbi, is nominated for her role at the BAFTA Scotland Awards 2008.

Case Study: Hallam Foe

Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £500,000 (Content Production Fund) £42,150 (Content Development Fund) £1,500 (Markets and Festivals Fund)

Hallam Foe is David Mackenzie’s (Young Adam) fourth feature film, adapted from the Peter Jinks’ novel of the same name. The film stars Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles, and is produced by Gillian Berrie at Sigma Films. Set amid the rooftops of Edinburgh’s Old Town, this is a dark and twisted, romantic comedy.

Scottish Screen has supported Hallam Foe since 2002 through development to production. As well as being a Scottish story, investment in the film also meant we could support Glasgow-based production company, Sigma Films, and key creative talent Gillian Berrie and David Mackenzie. Shot on location in Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders, using local crew and facilities, Hallam Foe showcases a very contemporary Scotland to an international audience.

The film opened the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2007 and has gone on to charm audiences around the UK and abroad, gaining a number of international awards including, the Silver Bear for Music at Berlin International Film Festival, and the Hitchcock d’Or (Jury Prize) at Dinard British Film Festival in France. Sophia Myles won Best Actress at the BAFTA Scotland Awards 2007, and the film was nominated in six categories at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs).

“Scottish’s Screen’s investment, support and expertise were integral to the development, production and marketing of Hallam Foe.” – Gillian Berrie, producer, Sigma Films


Case Study: Seachd - The Inaccessible Pinnacle


Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £162,500 (Content Production Fund) £9,975 (Supplementary Funding)

Seachd - The Inaccessible Pinnacle is a family-friendly feature film about an aged and mystical story-teller (Aonghas Padruig Caimbeul) who helps his three grandchildren, including Angus (Padruig Morrison), face the tragic loss of their parents by taking them on a magical and epic journey through the history of the Gaelic people. The film, directed by Simon Miller (Foighidinn - The Crimson Snowdrop) and produced by Chris Young (Festival, Gregory’s Two Girls, Venus Peter) was shot on Skye amid the breathtaking Cullin mountains and is unique in that it is the first feature film in the Gaelic language on general release.

Scottish Screen invested in this project as it presents Scotland’s cultural heritage in a contemporary context to modern audiences, helping to promote the Gaelic language. It also allowed the development Scottish talent, providing director Simon Miller with his first feature film, and helping to further develop Skye-based production company, Young Films, employing a Gaelic-speaking cast and crew from across Scotland, but particularly the Highlands and Islands.

Seachd - The Inaccessible Pinnacle screened at the Celtic Media Festival on Skye in March 2007 and was selected for Edinburgh International Film Festival in August 2007, competing for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film. It was also selected for the Vancouver and Rome International Film Festivals. The film was released in the UK in October 2007 by Soda Pictures.

“The funding from Scottish Screen was invaluable to the production of Seachd. It was a thoroughly ambitious production and the support from Scottish Screen ensured that we as filmmakers remained loyal to our original vision.” – Chris Young, producer.

For further information, visit www.seachd.com.

Case Study: Bounci.tv


Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £25,000 (Future Fund)

MNE Media is one of Scotland’s largest independent television production companies. In 2007, Scottish Screen made an award from its Future Fund to MNE for the creation of bounci.tv (www.bounci.tv/), a prototype for a complete multi-sport web platform and social networking site for sports fans.

The prototype site, which is live, shows coverage of shinty and football matches, including archive footage from the Scottish Screen Archive; it also hosts a photo gallery, discussion forum and provides listings of matches. It has become a virtual community for the fans with them contributing to discussion groups, uploading images and footage and sharing information, and is growing rapidly in popularity, with over 246 registered users and an average of 6,000 visitors a month from 150 cities worldwide.

The award allowed MNE to develop the site, build links with the sports communities, and explore its future potential, which is huge with the current focus on health and fitness and the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow in 2014. MNE also hope to expand the current coverage of shinty and football, to include other non-mainstream sports, which don’t enjoy mass coverage, and to tap into a huge audience of sports fans, hobbyists and spectators.

MNE are currently investigating how to take bounci.tv forward, potentially working in partnership with other organisations. Allan MacDonald, Managing Director said: “It’s an ambitious project and Scottish Screen were absolutely fantastic in sharing our ambitions and allowing us to explore the development of bounci.tv. We’ve been working on it a year and the potential of the site is only now becoming clear.”

Case study: GMAC Shortcuts


Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £75,000 from 2005 to 2007 (Short Film Production Award and New Talent Development Initiative)

Glasgow Media Access Centre has supported and developed independent filmmakers and new talent for 25 years. Scottish Screen has worked in partnership with GMAC for the past eight years, and in 2007 awarded funding for Shortcuts, a short film initiative.

Shortcuts is open to anyone with strong, original ideas – it is not necessary to have already made a film - and GMAC is actively seeking applications from previously under-represented talent, providing that first rung on the ladder of progression to a career in the screen industries.

Shortcuts will produce high quality, original, innovative films that promote Scotland’s identity and talent. GMAC has a strong proven track record in this area. Recent successes include: Best Short Film BAFTA Scotland for the past three years including 2006 (Tracks, written and directed: Martin Smith); Berlinale for the past three years including Crystal Bear Winner 2007 (Snakebite, written and directed: Matt Pinder) and Golden Bear Winner 2005 (Milk, written and directed: Peter Mackie Burns) and BBC New Talent Award Runner Up 2005 (Who do you love, written and directed: Jim McRoberts) and 2006 (Mono, written and directed: Richard Smith).

In addition, Shortcuts will raise the overall level of skills and knowledge in the art, craft and business of filmmaking and provide opportunities to build sustainable careers in Scotland.

This partnership between GMAC and Scottish Screen has played a significant role in the development of talent within the screen industries over the past eight years, with future generations of directors, writers and producers benefiting from this strategic partnership and mutually beneficial relationship.” – Dale Corlett, Chief Executive.

For further information, visit www.g-mac.co.uk.

Case Study: Dog Altogether

Scottish Screen National Lottery Investment: £35,000 (Short Film Fund)

Dog Altogether, the directortial debut for Paddy Considine (My Summer of Love, Hot Fuzz) who also wrote the script, is a co-production between Sigma Film’s Anna Duffield and Warp Film’s Diarmid Scrimshaw, starring Peter Mullan (My Name is Joe, True North) as Joseph.  The film is a brutal, yet moving look at a man of violence, fighting to keep his rage under control.

Scottish Screen invested in the production of this short film, which provided Anna Duffield with her second producer credit following last year’s Tartan Short, Trout, and helped to build the relationship between Sigma Films and Warp Films.  The film, culturally relevant to Scotland with its central character played by Peter Mullan was shot in Scotland using Scottish crew and key talent, providing an opportunity of working with such high profile talent as Paddy Considine.

Dog Altogether premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2007, where it was in competition for the Short Film award.  It went on to win the top prize, the prestigious Silver Lion for Best Short Film, at the Venice International Film Festival, and also won Best Short Film at the British Independent Film Awards 2007 (BIFAs).  The film also screened at the Times BFI London Film Festival in October, Encounters Short Film Festival in November 2007 and was shown in selected UK cinemas along side the feature film Somers Town in 2008.


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