Next week, the 74th Edinburgh International Film Festival gets underway presenting a fantastic programme of 31 new features and 73 short films celebrating the long-awaited return to cinema, all screened at the Filmhouse and Festival Theatre in Edinburgh and available digitally at filmhouseathome.com.

The Festival also offers an inspiring range of events for film industry professionals and those keen on pursuing a career in the industry, from the annual Talent Lab to a new Script Starter programme.

Industry Taster Day
A free programme of online events aimed at the future generation of filmmakers and industry professionals, the sessions will target those interested in working in the screen sector but who have not previously accredited for a film festival. The Taster Day will give them a better idea of the types of events that film festivals have to offer and an insight into how film festivals can support their progression.

Jennifer Thomas, Matimba Kabalika, Tracey Hyde; Talent Lab – An Insight into Representation; Sunday 23 June 2019; Photograph: Pako Mera

The sessions include:

How to make the most of a film festival – whether you have a film in the programme or not, getting the most out of your festival experience is about so much more than just turning up and pitching your project to anyone you meet. This is an opportunity to get tips and advice on how to make the most of being at a festival from programmers and filmmakers.

Producers in conversation – join emerging Scottish producers to discuss how and why you should want to make the move into producing, how you find the right talent to work with, how you balance creativity with making a living and the challenges facing new producers following the pandemic.

Know the score: what a composer can bring to your film (supported by PRS for Music) – join our panel of composers and music industry professionals to look at the composer and director relationship and why you should consider an original score for your film.

Film journey roundtables – sign up to our roundtables with BFI NETWORK Executives and industry professionals and partake in up to three sessions looking at the key stages of filmmaking from financing and development through to production and distribution strategies.

Talent Lab
Reworked for the 2021 hybrid format, EIFF Talent Lab will this year take place online across two weekends: 13-15 & 20-21 August.

The programme will provide 24 participants with a full programme of workshops, panels and specially tailored one-to-one session to support the development of their knowledge, skills and networks.

Participants will meet with industry professionals including representatives from: Ardimages UK, BBC Films, BFI, Bankside, Blinder Films, Casarotto Ramsay, Film4, Film Republic, Great Point Media, Lionsgate, Netflix, Peccadillo Pictures, Protagonist Pictures, Together Films, We Are The Tonic and United Agents.

EIFF is delighted to confirm that the Talent Lab participants are:

Screenwriters: Roisin Agnew, Catriona McNicoll, Morna Pearson
Writer/directors: Dipo Baruwa-Etti, Mike Callaghan, Eleanor Capaldi, Toby Fell-Holden, Rebekah Fortune, Sarah Grant, Jack King, Josephine Lohoar Self, Ciaran Lyons, Razan Madhoon, Iqbal Mohammed, Eric Romero, Victoria Thomas
Producers: Reece Cargan, Chloe Chudasama, Emily Everdee, Rachel Gold, Jamie MacDonald, Nick Rowell, Annika Ranin, Sanam Soleimany

EIFF Talent Lab; 23 June 2017; Photograph: Dechlan Nicholson

Script Starter
Script Starter is a new screenwriting programme for under-represented, early-stage writing talent from across Scotland, designed to support them to develop both their screenwriting skills and their creative voices.

The programme will work with 8 new writers to develop their ideas into either a short film script or a feature film outline, will be led by EIFF with producer Carolynne Sinclair Kidd, and will give priority to applications from the following under-represented groups:

  • Low Income/Socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds
  • People of Colour
  • Refugee and/or Migrant backgrounds
  • Disabled or D/deaf People
  • LGBTQIA+ people
  • Rurally excluded people
  • Care Experienced and Carers

This project aims to support the skills development of those that have writing talent and an interest in working in film but not had the opportunities to develop those skills due to personal circumstances or lack of accessible opportunities. Script Starter participants will gain a more defined understanding of story structure and writing for film and finish the programme with a clear idea of their creative voice, the story they want to tell and the options available to them to move forward in the industry.

EIFF is delighted to confirm the inaugural Script Starter’s participants are:
Nathalie Ahmadzadeh, Nathaniel Brimmer-Beller, Yusuf Javed, Rory Power-Gibb, Kamala Santos, Aimee Shenton, Paul Sng, Julie Tsang.

DR Roundtables; Monday 24 June 2019; Juan Daza-Pulido

EIFF Talent Lab and Script Starter are funded through the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals.
Talent Lab is supported by The William Syson Foundation and The Fenton Arts Trust. Script Starter is supported by The William Syson Foundation and The McGlashan Charitable Trust.

The Industry Taster Day is supported by the Gannochy Trust and PRS for Music. For more information and details of how to sign up visit www.edfilmfest.org.uk/press-industry/industry
Those keen to apply for an Industry pass giving them access to Press & Industry digital screenings can still do so here.

Please note that due to restrictions relating to Covid-19, Script Starter will take place virtually this year with monthly workshops running from August 2021 to February 2022.

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