Film Access Scotland Newsletter: May 2023

This month we wrapped up our Spring programme of events and with summer fast approaching we are excited to give you a roundup of all the inspiring projects our members have been busy delivering over the last few weeks and give you an overview of upcoming events and opportunities.   


Our third workshop took place on 19 April 2023 at Media Education in Edinburgh with participants from across Scotland. 

Case studies on outreach and engagement were presented by Katie Paterson from shmu, Felix Gilfedder from Mobile Film School and Solar Bear, and Alasdair Satchel from Screen Argyll. 

In this Workshop participants discussed outreach and engagement strategies. Through presentations and discussion groups, the session helped Film Access practitioners identify the challenges in outreach and engagement and offer examples of activities and strategies that have proven to work across the Film Access Sector.  

With a wonderful mix of practitioners from all over Scotland, discussions focusing on each case study in small groups and pairs allowed participants to connect with peers from the Highlands & Islands, the Central Belt, the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway. The day ended on a high note with tea and biscuits.  

The strategies, tips and tools compiled following the Film Access Scotland Outreach and Engagement Workshop cover: 

  • Overarching Considerations 
  • Attracting Participants and Communications 
  • Practical Considerations 
  • Preparation
  • Finalisation and Legacy 

 You can read more about outreach and engagement strategies, tools and tips on our Resources Page. 



Our second online Film Access Coffee Morning with a focus on Dumfries & Galloway took place on 9 May 2023. 

Filmmaker, Photographer, and Visual Artist Colin Tennant from Coulson & Tennant and Artist Filmmaker and Cample Line Programme Coordinator, Emma Dove, shared insight into their Film Access activities, and challenges working with remote and isolated communities. Amy Marletta , Creative Director at Upland, joined the conversation giving insight into outreach strategies and challenges. 

We discussed opportunities for arts and cultural activities in Dumfries and Galloway and tackling the barriers to access them for the community, mainly young people. It ended with an engaging discussion for new collaborations with other film access and film exhibition practitioners from Dumfries and Galloway.   

You can read more about the Coffee Morning here. 



This practical session facilitated by biggerhousefocused on neurodiversity awareness in conversation with three filmmakers they previously worked with. 

 The three filmmakers’ films, which are part of the ongoing film talent development programme Different Voices for emerging Neurodiverse filmmakers and creatives from the Bristol area, were extremely emotional, moving as well as being very political.    

The stories were developed through their own personal lived experiences and frustrations. The training was very eye-opening about the true empowerment and facilitation needed and presented a good practice and example of biggerhouse’s work of enabling filmmakers with different perspectives and requirements to achieve their artistic vision. 

The interactive session engaged filmmakers in conversations with the participants through the Q&A. The session was very inspiring and helpful for the film access practitioners and organisations to understand co-creative practice better, improving skills and knowledge while working with diverse participants from different backgrounds. 

You can read more about the training and watch some of the films here. 



This month Media Education has had the pleasure to work on three films showcasing some of the work of Thrive Edinburgh. The films are designed to share best practice within the city with other cities internationally. We looked at creative arts projects which supported people’s mental health and wellbeing. Projects involving cooking and eating together were also profiled. The final film detailed a course at Queen Margaret College called Our Mad Histories which looks into the history surrounding societies approach to mental health.  These films demonstrated the wealth of amazing projects taking place in Edinburgh and we were only able to showcase a few. 

Congratulations to Thrive Edinburgh and all those involved on your work. 




Our stage 2 and 3 Positive Transition courses have just started up again with a new cohort of young people.  Positive Transitions is an employability course run by shmu for 16 to 24-year-olds who are not in education or employment. Through Film and TV, Music and Radio the young people develop strengths and new skills that will help them in future work and education. 



Throughout the last month we have been producing a series of films for Mental Health Awareness week covering both the experiences of individuals and the organisations which offer support across Aberdeen.


We have had an excellent response to our call for help, with over 20 people and organisations volunteering to be filmed. The greatest strength of this work will be the breadth of perspectives, including coping strategies, myths about mental health, and the variety of places to go and types of support on offer. 




The 9th Annual Scottish Youth Film Festival will take place in Perth 29-30 September 2023. Over the two days awards will be presented for the best films in live action, documentary and animation categories in age ranges 12 and under and 13-19.


Films can be submitted free via FilmFreeway and will be judged by young people from Into Film’s Youth Advisory Council. Details on how to submit and the link to FilmFreeway can be found here. 




As part of their legacy of work in Dumfries and Galloway, David and Heather from SYFF delivered a film analysis/filmmaking day to the entire first year of Moffat Academy on Monday 15 May. Students learned about shots, storyboarding and how to analyse a film and then were tasked with making their own short films using the school iPads. Class teacher Emma McNaughton said,  

“Throughout the day, our S1s learned about the importance of film. Through discussing the skills that film requires and develops, as well as what goes into film production, they now have a working understanding of ways into film and filmmaking. They came back with an array of creative short films which demonstrated the breadth of their learning. “ 


The Portal Arts is delighted to have commissioned our first project through funding from The Sean Connery Foundation. Led by award winning writer, director, actor and filmmaker, Sarah Grant, Sarah worked with a group of young participants through The Princes Trust to create a number of short form, impact films. Through training workshops and masterclasses, Sarah guided the participants through their first foray into filmmaking, working to show them the power and impact of shorts, through accessible filmmaking. 

We first worked with the brilliant team and participants at The Princes Trust in 2022, where a great body of short form work was created. We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with them in 2023, to nurture, guide and inspire a new cohort of budding filmmakers. 



Screen Education Edinburgh is delighted to announce its involvement in the groundbreaking Culture & Business Marketplace Scotland. This innovative online platform is poised to connect businesses and cultural organisations throughout Scotland. Our team was thrilled to attend the platform’s launch event at the Scottish Parliament. 

As an enthusiastic participant in the Marketplace pilot, Screen Education Edinburgh offers a unique ‘Make a Film in a Day’ experience as a “seller” on the Marketplace, our goal is to establish meaningful partnerships. The Culture & Business Marketplace Scotland will act as a dynamic repository, enabling businesses, or “buyers,” to explore a wide range of opportunities presented by organizations like us. Using filters such as “supporting innovation, creative thinking, and problem-solving in the workplace” and “enhancing staff health and well-being,” potential buyers can identify collaborations that align with their specific requirements and objectives. 

Through our participation in the Culture & Business Marketplace Scotland, Screen Education Edinburgh aims to forge valuable partnerships that will unlock fresh avenues for creativity and growth. 



We had the honour of welcoming our esteemed patron, Irvine Welsh, to Screen Education Edinburgh. It was a pleasure to show him around our charity, catch up with our team, and witness him lead a masterclass with our talented learners, curated by the wonderful Morvern Cunningham. We are incredibly grateful for Irvine’s unwavering support of our mission to empower the next generation of filmmakers. Read more to Irvine’s support to SEE here and find out how you can support us too. 


Our Resources Page was designed to be a point of reference for organisations and individual practitioners in the Film Access Sector, providing support and advice through a range of materials.  

You can read Film Access Sector reports and advice on workforce and organisational development, as well as browse our filmmaking toolkits and useful links section. 

The resources are not only aimed at supporting organisational and workforce development, but also keeping practitioners informed on key issues that affect the Sector.  

Take a look at the page here.  

We need your support! Film Access Scotland is a registered charity that relies on funding and donations to deliver its key services. By donating to us you will be supporting our work to change lives through creating film. Film Access work is not simply about pathways into the film industry; Film Access organisations and practitioners work across sectors to address inequalities and contribute to improved outcomes in education and lifelong learning, community, health and wellbeing and employability settings.  

A donation from you would go towards Film Access Scotland continuing its work to co-ordinate capacity-building on behalf of the Film Access Sector through providing training, advice and spaces for peer-to-peer learning to its members.  

This work is critical for everyone in Scotland to have the opportunity to engage with Film Access activities wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.  

If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider adding Gift Aid to make your donation go further. 

Click here to contribute.  

Find out more about the value of Film Access activities here. 


Our BFI Film Academy cohort are all finished with their films and looking forward to sharing them with an audience.  They will premiere their films later this month at Cineworld Queens Links in Aberdeen followed by a short Q&A and then each participant will receive a certificate for completing the course. 

Their films will also feature in a short film programme running alongside the Local Hero 40th Anniversary celebrations taking place at Banff Castle. 

The participants spent a lot of time and effort bringing their ideas to life, so it is great they have this opportunity now to share them with a wider audience. 



The 48 Hour Film Project and Screen Education Edinburgh present a quarterly night of short films made by emerging filmmakers from Edinburgh and the Lothians at the Cameo. 

Alongside screening the top films from the 48 Hours Film Project, we are doing an open call to discover new filmmakers. We are looking for short films with a maximum runtime of 10 minutes, creative and thought-provoking films that showcase your storytelling abilities in a concise and impactful way. Whether you are an emerging filmmaker or an experienced professional, we invite you to submit your best work before 28 May 2023 to be considered for our upcoming screening event on 15 June 2023. Check out our website for further guidance. 



Applications are now open for our BFI Film Academy SEE Craft Skills Residential 2023. Taking place from Saturday 29 July to Saturday 5 August in Edinburgh, with screenwriting, film watching, and group development taking place via virtual learning from early July in the lead up to the Residential. The course is open to young people aged 16 to 19 across the UK. Participants will work with professional actors, use industry standard equipment, and collaborate in teams to produce short films, which upon completion are screened for industry guests, friends and family. Each learner is also given key advice on industry entry and supported to produce a personal development plan to aid their next steps in film. 

Our previous Craft Skills course participants have learnt from talent working on a diverse range of films and tv drama including Dunkirk, Slumdog Millionaire, Slow Horses, Eden Lake, The Angel’s Share, Children of Men, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The Descent, Wolf, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Girl with All the Gifts, I Daniel Blake, Nocturnal, Tell it to the Bees, Macbeth, Not Another Happy Ending, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Calibre, Sunshine on Leith, Under the Skin, Beast, Anna and the Apocalypse, Star Wars, Outlander, Downton Abbey, Skins, Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror and Sherlock. 

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