To direct a subversive romantic comedy.

If it is energy you want, look no further than Strays, Scottish director Robert McKillop’s graduation film from the NFTS. It is a free-falling ode to youth, excess and a skewed brotherly love which practically rubs sparks off the screen. No surprise, then, that McKillop and writer Daniel Kanaber are developing it into a feature (or that as a striking showcase it resulted in star Richard Madden also being featured on these pages). But McKillop is on his way; he may talk about luck but it is clear he has made it for himself. Having studied photography and film at Edinburgh Napier University, he was selected for a Scottish Arts Council residency at a mental-health arts centre and the Guiding Lights mentoring scheme (with Justin Chadwick). Now he is attached to direct Panic Buddy, a subversive romantic comedy about two neurotic people who meet in a group therapy class in Croydon, written by Duncan Barrett and produced by Tom Leggett. He is also working on another romantic thriller, set in Glasgow, written by Catriona MacLean. “Mental health has become an enduring pre-occupation for me,” he says. “It led to Strays and it’s really part what interests me the most.”

Contact: Humphrey Elles-Hill - Humphrey@independent