Screen Scotland sets strategy to 2030

05/03/2024
Screen Scotland strategy

SCREEN Scotland has today published a new strategy, setting out ambitious plans for the continued economic and creative growth of Scotland’s film and TV sectors across the next six years.  

Screen Scotland’s strategy seeks to further develop Scotland as a centre of global production, and a nation with its own vibrant, confident film and screen culture.  

An economic growth target of £1billion GVA within the Scottish economy is matched with an ambition to see that growth driven by new work from Scotland, devised, developed and produced by Scottish talent, sustaining rewarding and creative jobs across the country, at all career levels. 

Building on the momentum in the industry since the creation of Screen Scotland in 2018, there will be a renewed focus on skills, talent and infrastructure development, supporting Scotland’s success as a centre of and destination for film and TV production.  

Isabel Davis, Executive Director of Screen Scotland, said: “We’re starting this new strategic period from a position of strength. Many of our films are now enjoying international recognition through A-list festival debuts and commercial distribution. The number and scale of films and TV series shooting year-round in Scotland has rapidly increased, employing Scottish crews, locations and facilities. These tremendous results have come about through a focussed work programme, close collaboration with industry and dedicated funding. We fully intend to build on this in order to continue to effect positive change in the Scottish film and TV sector.” 

David Smith, Director of Screen Scotland, said: “It’s a time of significant change in the film and TV sector globally. Screen Scotland’s work will always be responsive to the changing landscape, seeking fresh opportunities for Scotland’s people to make their mark globally in film and TV. The one thing that is certain is that audiences respond to compelling, well-told stories and under this strategy we are doubling down on creative origination, supporting Scotland’s creative talent to develop the skills, relationships, and opportunities they need to make their best work, alongside an understanding of how to bring those projects successfully to market.  

“An area where Scotland is genuinely breaking new ground is our work developing “film and screen” as an arts subject in Scottish schools. That is a long-term investment that will have benefits well beyond the screen sector and kindle creative expression in the next generation.” 

Key areas of focus include:   

  • Increasing the scale and ambition of film and TV content from Scotland 

Prioritising ambitious, locally originated projects through targeted development funding, editorial support and production funding, and in training and development of Scotland-based talent. Screen Scotland already invests 90% of its annual budget in film and TV projects where there is a Scottish writer, director, producer or production company attached or on skills programmes for Scotland-based talent including crew.  Recent productions supporting Scottish talent include: The Outrun, co-written by Orkney-based writer Amy Liptrot, which premiered at Sundance in JanuaryScottish writer/director John Maclean’s Tornado which is currently in production in Scotland starring Jack Lowden; and the critically acclaimed BAFTA winning Aftersun from Scottish director Charlotte Wells and Edinburgh-based producer Amy Jackson 

Recent examples of talent development programmes include entertainment formats initiative, FormatLab, scripted producer development programme Film FastTrack and the BBC Scotland/Screen Scotland Emerging Directors Initiative. 

  • Creating a sustainable centre of gravity for production from and in Scotland, with Scotland as a centre of global production 

Building a full ecosystem that encourages a year-round pipeline of productions, both locally generated and inbound. Supporting crew and talent to live in Scotland in the confidence that they can have a sustainable career here. Screen Scotland will provide leadership on Scotland’s training, brokering of relationships with industry, and enhancing investment in the skills base including through Screen Scotland’s role as a BFI Skills Cluster

This work will involve supporting Scottish crews to be internationally competitive, bringing through new trainees, investing in ongoing professional development and looking at the wellbeing of the freelancer workforce in Scotland (e.g. Timewise and BECTU Vision were commissioned by Screen Scotland to undertake a research report on flexible working hours in the film and TV industry). Work is also underway on this with trainee opportunities like Screen NETs and the rad TV trainee scheme, the Outlander: Blood of My Blood trainee programme supporting new trainees right across the Cumbernauld-based production, building on the hugely successful Outlander Trainee Scheme.    

  • Exciting and inspiring Scottish audiences of the future 

Ensuring that every corner of Scotland has access to cinema and a diverse range of screen content by supporting commercial operators, community owned-cinemas, touring operators (e.g. Regional Screen Scotland’s Screen Machine) and film clubs, in a way that not only enriches Scotland’s culture but also sustains its screen industry for generations to come. Screen Scotland will also continue to support Scotland’s film festivals (e.g. Glasgow and Edinburgh Film Festivals and Sea Change Film Festival in Tiree) which showcase the rich tapestry of Scottish and international cinema, fostering cultural exchange and nurturing emerging talent.  

Distribution will also be a priority in audience development, enabling filmmakers to reach audiences across Scotland and on an international stage, providing opportunities for Scottish talent to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape. Recent productions to be supported through Screen Scotland’s Distribution Fund include Hopscotch Films’ Janey, Adura Onashile’s stunning debut GIRL and BAFTA-nominated Is There Anybody Out There? co-produced by Glasgow-based Tigerlily Two.  

  • Every child in Scotland having the opportunity to learn about film and tv making 

Transforming film and screen education to ensure every child and young person in Scotland has the opportunity to make a film or programme during their school years. Enabling children and young people across Scotland to feel that filmmaking is within their reach and is something they could be involved in either as creative practice or a career. This will help children and young people to begin to realise their potential as filmmakers.  

To achieve this, Screen Scotland has been working with the Scottish Government, Education Scotland, the SQA and screen education specialists across Scotland to develop a draft Film and Screen Curriculum to work towards Screen Education being embedded into the national curriculum as an expressive artform. The draft curriculum is currently being tested in primary and secondary schools across Scotland through Screen Scotland’s pilot project, Screen Educator in Residence Programme.  

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “Screen Scotland has driven the remarkable transformation of Scotland’s screen sector and has played a pivotal role in developing every facet of our film and television industry, fostering growth and innovation at every turn.  

“The impact of our thriving film and television industries cannot be overstated – they contribute millions to our economy and serve as a catalyst for job creation and talent development across the sector. 

“As we look ahead, Screen Scotland’s forward-thinking strategy charts a course for inclusive and sustainable growth, prioritising talent development and industry expansion. We remain steadfast in our commitment to sustaining that phenomenal growth and our aim is clear: to position Scotland as a premier production base and a thriving hub for creative talent, making it an ideal place for world-class creatives to call home.” 

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