I Edinburgh Development Fund Finding finance for a script or treatment at deveIOpment stage can be one of the most difficult tasks in bringing a project to completion. it’s the riskiest time, when commercial or even artistic viability can’t be easily predicted. Now, a new fund has been created to assist independent producers of films and television programmes in the Lothian area to get over this hurdle.

The Edinburgh Development Fund, supported by Lothian and Edinburgh Enterprise Limited (LEEL) and Edinburgh District Council, will be administered by the Edinburgh and Lothian Screen industries Office. For a three-year period, £40,000 will be made available annually in the form of loans to help with the development of scripts and business plans for ‘commercially orientated projects across the range of feature and short film, non-broadcast video and television programme formats and genres‘.

‘There are other local funds to aid production, but the development stage is where a project most needs work and


finance.‘ says Edinburgh lntemational Film Festival Director Penny Thomson, who will chair the Awards Panel. ‘The Fund will allow local and incoming producers to establish the necessary groundwork to get their proposals in real shape before approaching other financiers.‘

The rest of the panel will consist of representatives of the funding bodies and a number of independent producers. nominated by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) Scotland, and will make its decision on the first awards imminently. A second round of applications will be assessed in March, before regular panel meetings begin throughout the year. Although awards may be given to writers, preference will be given to projects with a producer attached, as the loans are intended to assist with practical steps such as

: research, budgeting and sales planning.

Other details concerning terms and

eligibility are available from Edinburgh

and Lothian Screen industries Office,

Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road,

: Edinburgh EH3 9BZ (031 228 5960).

f I Games Of Tenor What exactly is the

attraction of going into a darkened

! cinema and being scared rigid? That is

; but one of the questions to be raised by

the Filmhouse‘s six-week examination

f of horror films, which will introduce

notions of psychoanalysis, voyeurism

: and feminism into the equation. The

j course, which costs £20 (£15) begins on Wed 2 with The Exorcist and

continues weekly after the 6pm public

' screening. Details on 031 228 6382.

Chris Book: We may never have been world- famous for churning out feature films, but Scotland has always retained an lntemational reputation for documentary filmmaklng, both by local talents and in terms of breathtaking locations. Over the last few years, the country has also gained ground in the iields of electronic imaging and video art. The two traditions are about to combine in The Sound Of Taransay, an es-yet-unmede half-hour film which begins with all the markers of a nature documentary, set on the liebridean island of llarris, home to the world’s largest grey seal population, but soon veers off as the naturalist narrator slips from his


28 The List 28 January—10 February l994

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environmental brief into subjective groughts about his life, his family and od.

‘The purpose of the content is such that, when you watch programmes about landscape, religion or environmental concern - important aspects of life - they rarely attack (visually) the genuine tears about existence, family, grief or universal problems,’ says the film’s director, Chris Cooks. ‘They tackle personal problems impersonally.’ With original music by Edinburgh-based composer llebecca llowe and a bilingual Gaelic/English script, The Sound Of Taransay is a technically audacious project that takes a unique slant on the relationship between islanders and the natural history around them.

The 22-year-old filmmaker, originally from Cleveland but currently studying at Edinburgh College of Art, plans to begin shooting in March and has secured half of the necessary £2000 budget. Sponsorship has already been forthcoming in the shape of broadcast shooting facilities from Gaelic production company Abu Tele, film stock from Picardy Television and assistance at editing stage from triple Emmy award-winning video artist Daniel Reeves, whose Shakti Productions is based in Argyll. Others who can help in any way should contact Books on 031 225 6199. (AM)

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