Edinburgh International Film Festival Galas: skills funding success.
The 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) opening night gala film, God’s Own Country and closing night gala film, England is Mine have directly benefitted from training initiatives supported by Creative Skillset, according to their respective co-producers, Manon Ardisson and Alan Graves.
Both producers highlighted the importance of schemes such as iFeatures and Micro Market, funded by Creative Skillset, in developing their careers and equally, in supporting the next generation of film talent.
Alan Graves, co-producer, England Is Mine: “It has not been easy over the years to find the exact support that I felt I required in order to have the confidence and motivation to progress to producing. But then three came along in quick succession with Screen Yorkshire’s Triangle talent module, Film London’s Micro Market and last, but certainly not least, Creative England’s Lining Up. All three, funded by Creative Skillset, left me as passionate and excited about the industry as the day I entered it. They were invaluable in bringing through the next generation of talent. You only have to look at who has passed through these schemes to want to be a part of it...I know I did! It is true to say that I would not be where I am today without the support of these three excellent schemes that motivated me, gave me confidence and kept me inspired.”
Manon Ardisson, co-producer, God’s Own Country: “I’ve had the amazing opportunity to be selected on several Creative Skillset supported schemes over the past few years: iFeatures and Film London’s Build Your Audience were specifically focused on our feature film God’s Own Country, while others aimed to support my own development as an independent producer, notably Creative England’s Market Trader and Creative Producers’ Initiative. Coming from a production background and having never been to film school, I am hugely grateful for the knowledge and skills I gained thanks to these unique initiatives, without which I wouldn’t be here today! That’s why I sincerely hope such opportunities will continue to benefit emerging filmmakers in the future.”
God’s Own Country and England is Mine are each nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at the Festival.
Also showcasing at EIFF, and recognising the crucial support of Creative Skillset, is 104 films’ New Voices and the Scottish Documentary Institute’s Bridging the Gap. New Voices are ten short films celebrating the extraordinary talents of up and coming disabled filmmakers who are establishing their filmmaking voices. Bridging the Gap is six intimate, topical and thought-provoking shorts on the theme of Rebellion.
Alex Usborne, producer, 104 films “On behalf of 104 films, we are delighted that ten of our disabled short filmmakers have been selected to screen at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and we could not have done this without the support of Creative Skillset. Disabled filmmakers are excluded from the film industry for a number of reasons but it is vital that their original and different voice is heard and seen, and training and development programmes like The Magic Hour and Neurodiverse are essential at creating a level playing field and enabling these original and brilliant talents to find their place.”
Noe Mendelle, director of Scottish Documentary Institute:
“Bridging the Gap is one of the leading short documentary training initiatives in the UK. Creative Skillset's crucial support made it possible to expand Bridging the Gap workshop provision and to work with filmmakers across the UK this year. In such a divisive and unsettling political time, opportunities for collaboration and networking are vital to survive and thrive in the industry and to develop creative documentary talents.”
Lisa Howe, Film Lead, Creative Skillset: “The importance of skills and training has never been more vital in our fast changing film industry. To ensure we attract global filmmakers and continue producing award winning and internationally recognised home grown talent, training initiatives and schemes are the backbone of our creative success. Creative Skillset is delighted to have supported the production training of so many of the films showcasing at EIFF and wish them all every success.”
About Creative Skillset
Creative Skillset works with the UK’s screen-based creative industries to develop skills and talent, from classroom to boardroom.
About the Film Skills Fund
Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund invests in the skills and training of the UK film industry to secure its growth and sustainability and to ensure UK film remains world-class. The Film Skills Fund is backed by the British Film Institute (BFI) with National Lottery Funds.
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