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Screen Academy Scotland launches second talent search

The low budget initiative will be run at Edinburgh Napier University for a second year.

A search for Scotland’s next generation of talented film-makers has been launched for a second year, with a call for screenplays.

Contemporary Scottish stories are being sought by lo-fi, a low budget film initiative run by Screen Academy Scotland - a Creative Skillset Film & Media Academy at Edinburgh Napier University.

lo-fi Phase 1 will see up to six screenplays developed over an eight month period by up-and coming Scottish talent.

The projects will then be pitched to an industry panel, where one screenplay will be selected for advanced development and financing – lo-fi Phase 2.

Last year, five Scottish film-making teams were selected for lo-fi and now, after three development workshops, the finance panel chose the feature film Rocket Surgery (written by Glaswegian writer Stewart Thomson, to be directed by Luke Snellin) to go forward for financing and intended production.

The story centres on a son’s attempts to raise the required funds to send his father’s cremated ashes into outer space by unleashing a spectacular UFO and extra-terrestrial contact hoax on the residents of a small Scottish village.

However two other projects were felt to be strong and will continue to be developed:

White Mice: Simon Arthur (writer/director), Lindsay McGee (producer), Rodger Griffiths (writer), Fiona McKee-Johnston (producer). Retired family man Terry travels from his home in Northern Ireland to Scotland on a mission to track down Ronnie who killed his son many years before. Vengeance is on his mind but can Terry become a killer and more importantly, will Ronnie let him?

Fireworks: Wendy Griffin (producer), Hannah Robinson (writer/director), Jonathan Hall (writer). Deluded teenager Kat hits upon an plan to fix both her mum’s epic grief and her uncle’s manic depression - a spectacular, homemade firework.

The lo-fi programme is supported by Creative Scotland, BBC Scotland and Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI and through the Skills Investment Fund.

Dan Simmons, head of film at Creative Skillset said: “One of Creative Skillset’s priorities is to invest in the development of new creative talent across the UK, and Lo-fi will provide these Scottish filmmakers with support from established industry professionals to develop their projects and strengthen their understanding of the film industry from development to distribution.”

Oscar van Heek of Screen Academy Scotland said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to help kick-start the next generation of talented film-makers in Scotland. By focusing specifically on generating low budget features, we aim to develop films that show a genuine ambition to find an audience in the current market place. Now after eight months of hard work, we have selected our first feature for intended production and I look forward to working with the film makers in getting their projects ready for the big screen.“

Organisers are looking for up-and-coming film-makers who have made a minimum of two short films that have each been screened in at least one international festival.

Applications will also be considered from individuals with a track record in writing/directing for theatre or television.

To submit a screenplay, or for more information, visit www.lo-fi-movies.com

Applications will be accepted until 5pm Monday August 20, 2013.

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