Six films commissioned for Scottish Shorts programme

Scottish Film Talent Network (SFTN) have announced the six short films commissioned for the New Talent Scottish Shorts 2016 programme.

Over the last four months the films have been developed through a series of intensive story, script and production workshops, along with one-to-one project development sessions led by producer Paul Welsh (DigiCult) and supported by SFTN’s Talent Development Executive Claudia Yusef and producer Carolynne Sinclair Kidd (Hopscotch Films).

We’re delighted to once again be offering these teams the opportunity to make high quality films that will showcase Scotland’s creativity to the world, and allow them to take the next step in their careers as filmmakers.- Ross Mckenzie, Screen Officer

Claudia Yusef, Talent Development Executive at Scottish Film Talent Network, said:

“We’re so excited to give these six teams of talented filmmakers this opportunity, and help introduce them and their wonderful, unique films to the wider industry.” The six films will go into production later this year with individual budgets of up to £15,000.

The films were selected from 14 filmmaking teams who pitched to an industry panel comprising of representatives from SFTN, the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), DigiCult, Hopscotch Films and Creative Scotland.

Ross Mckenzie, Screen Officer at Creative Scotland, said:

“The calibre of this year’s projects was incredibly high, which demonstrates the wealth of talented filmmakers we have living and working in Scotland. We’re delighted to once again be offering these teams the opportunity to make high quality films that will showcase Scotland’s creativity to the world, and allow them to take the next step in their careers as filmmakers.”

Supported by Creative Scotland, the BFI and Creative Skillset, SFTN forms the Scottish element of the BFI NET.WORK, designed to discover, nurture and advance new and emerging filmmaking talent from across the UK. SFTN is a consortium made up of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), DigiCult and Hopscotch Films and is led by Talent Development Executive Claudia Yusef.

Matimba Kabalika, BFI NET.WORK Talent Co-ordinator & Content Editor, said:

“The BFI NET.WORK supports, nurtures and invests in bold and original voices from across the UK. Scottish Shorts is an exciting opportunity to spotlight new Scottish filmmakers and stories and we can’t wait to see these projects progress.”

The UK wide BFI NET.WORK partners are Creative England, Creative Scotland, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Northern Ireland Screen and Film London.

The films

1745 (Drama)

When two young black slaves escape into the wilds of 18th century Scotland, they must use all of their courage and strength to survive, unite, and stay free.

Writer: Morayo Akandé
Director: Gordon Napier
Producer: John McKay

CLOSE TO THE BONE (Psychological Drama)

A tortured man with an eating disorder, caused by a traumatic past, must confront his demons to save a relationship that teeters on the brink of collapse.

Writer/Director: Kevin Pickering
Producer: Lewis Wardrop


An ardent fourteen-year-old girl has a crush on a local lobster fisherman in his mid twenties. They go out creeling together and she discovers the attraction is mutual, sexual tension simmers below the surface as they navigate difficult terrain and ultimately both are confronted by the full implications of their desire.

Writer/Director: Sam Firth
Producer: Ciara Barry 


A carefree backpacker returns home to find his family dead and horribly mutated. Things go from catastrophically bad to exponentially worse as he discovers that his own death is now imminent, and that the worst is yet to come.

Writer: Vincent Deighan
Director: Will Adams
Producer: Mal Young
Technical Director: Tom Bryant 

SPINDRIFT (Animation)

A girl, more eagle than human, must decide between a life on the wing and her humanity when a stranger arrives on the tide.

Writer/Director: Selina Wagner
Producer: Anna Thomson 


A scruffy young man is about to arrive in a mysterious city by ship, when he finds himself lost and on the run in its labyrinthine hull. On his surreal journey he’s being chased by the inescapable: himself, the very luggage he was hoping to leave behind. 

Writer/Director: Sven Werner
Producer: David Brown 

Notes to Editors

The Scottish Film Talent Network (SFTN) is a consortium made up of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), DigiCult and Hopscotch Films. SFTN represents Scotland in the UK-wide BFI NET.WORK initiative as it connects the UK’s film talent development agencies. The Scottish Film Talent Network consortium has been awarded the contract by Creative Scotland and is supported by BFI & Creative Skillset. For further information see

BFI NET.WORK is a UK-wide programme supported to discover and support the next generation of feature filmmaking talent - writers, directors and producers - on the way to making their first feature. A collaboration between the BFI, Creative England, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Northern Ireland Screen, Scottish Film Talent Network and Film London, £3 million of National Lottery funding is invested in emerging film talent who take part in a tailored editorial and professional development programme. Films made by filmmakers who have participated in the BFI NET.WORK have attracted award nominations, including three BAFTAs and an Oscar. Find out more at

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

Media contact

Scottish Film Talent Network

Arlen Barke, Scottish Film Talent Network Coordinator
Tel: 0131 228 4051

Creative Scotland

Sophie Bambrough, Media Relations & PR Officer
Tel: 0131 523 0019
Mobile: 07747 606 146