[— Changing picture
Edinburgh’s ﬁlm and television festivals were brought closer together with the appointment of Scottish Television chief Gus Macdonald as chairman of the reorganised board of directors.
It’s a move which outgoing chairman Murray Grigor, who stays on the board, describes as giving the Film Festival more ‘leverage’. Certainly Macdonald stepping in to guarantee the festival‘s overdraft two years ago was the kind of leverage that probably saved it from collapse. Now Grigor is conﬁdent that the festival’s ﬁnancial ‘Alamo’ is over, with a lucrative sponsorship deal in the ofﬁng. ‘We’re on the mend — the bones have set and we’re back to being cheeky again,’ he comments.
However the grouses about funding continue, particularly as the festival’s grant from the British Film Institute looks likely to evaporate completely next year. Though the funding of the London Film Festival comes from a different pocket within the BFI, the comparatively small amount which is sent up to Edinburgh has been interpreted as an indication of priorities. ‘They have decided in effect that they are dropping us. which is quite unreasonable,’ says Grigor. ‘1 suppose it’s up to us to get more funding from other sources.’
Film Festival director Penny Thomson believes the BFl’s position makes it hard tojustify the ‘British’ in its title. ‘lt’s arguably the English Film
Council,’ she comments. ‘1 don’t regard it as fair that the London Film Festival is funded separately.’
The BFl accepts that its approach to supporting festivals was muddled but hopes to set up a special festival fund after a recent review of policy. Head of
5 exhibitions Marion Doyen refused to : comment on how the Edinburgh ﬁlm
festival was likely to fare under new funding criteria but said: ‘Broadly
f speaking, any work we support has to fulﬁl cultural criteria of innovation and i diversity.’ She added that Edinburgh is
one of several ﬁlm festivals in the UK
3: regarded as interesting by the BF].
This may all seem like internal
g politics, and to some extent it is. But 3 the standing ofa ﬁlm festival on the
' international circuit enormously affects the ﬁlms, and stars. it can attract. London shows more ﬁlms, and so can
I claim to be bigger. and Edinburgh is
I having to work hard to hang on to its
; Gn'gor hopes that as Britain’s
television and ﬁlm industry have
become inextricably linked, principally
through Channel 4, Edinburgh’s offer
of simultaneous ﬁlm and television
festivals will make it a good place for
industry types to ‘schmooze’. That
should mean better ﬁlms for audiences
and the chance for local ﬁlmmakers to
rub shoulders with established directors
l and commissioning editors. (Eddie
‘ _ ‘ _
I Artists wanted Art for Bosnian Children is an Edinburgh-based
fundraising group set up to send money - to all children caught up in the war. it hopes to raise money by selling original
' artwork by local artists and is looking - for contributors to the scheme. Artists ‘ : retain 50 per cent of proceeds and ABC
can help with some costs like pn'nt making and framing. The money raised will be channelled to Bosnian children through Edinburgh Direct. Details from 1 Shannon Malkiewicz on 031 661 4718. 1 I Rising star Practised media ' manipulator Stuart Cosgrove is about to join Channel 4 as commissioning editor ' for independent ﬁlm and video. with special responsibility for developing Scottish talent. The company he formed i with director Don Coutts, Big Star in a Wee Picture, is being wound down and Coutts plans to set up a new company, Move On Up.
I Resin d’etre The possession of cannabis would be effectively decriminalised if the Government accepts a recommendation to introduce ﬁxed penalty ﬁnes for the offence, according to a report in The Scotsman this week. Reducing the amount of time spent prosecuting ‘soft’ drug offences would enable the police and courts to step up their ﬁght against dealers in ‘hard-drugs’. it claimed. The recommendation is expected shortly
from the Scottish Drugs Task Force.
j All publicity is good publicity, é particularly it it's tree; that seems to
be the thinking behind the Gitizens’
i Theatre’s new student representative ; scheme. The Gitz has enlisted the help ’ 5 ct Glasgow’s student community to ? promote the theatre among their
iriends, and all tor a couple oi tickets to see the show. For development manager lorna
; Ferguson it’s such a blindingly obvious idea, she’s amazed more arts organisations aren’t doing it too. liow
that students realise that indiiierent honours in Eng lit isn’t necessarin enough to land a lob on graduation, they are ialllng over each other to iind work experience opportunities. The glamour oi the iootllghts creates an extra pull and the Git: has already
. "l.- ‘ ‘ meet Peter McGuinness, currently appearing at the Git:
recruited representatives irom most oi Glasgow’s colleges, with inquiries now coming irom Edinburgh university
In return ior the tree tickets and the chance to put ‘theatre marketing assistant’ on their GVs, student representatives hand out leailets ' advertising perionnances, promote the theatre at student iairs and act as press contacts ior college newspapers. ilaving students advisers on band also helps the Oil: marketing department improve its targeting oi students, part oi a major drive to increase audiences. (Eddie Gibb) Details about the student representative scheme irom lorna Ferguson on 041 429 5561 .
I Glasgow ior People The campaigning group set up to oppose the growth of roads in Glasgow is holding an Extraordinary General Meeting on Thursday 24 Feb at 7.30pm. it is important that as many members. old and new, turn up as a new constitution. which will allow the campaign to seek charitable status. is to be ratiﬁed. There will also be a ‘brainstorming’ session and questions and answers on the group’s aims. The EGM will be held at the Friends Meeting House, 38 Elm Bank Crescent (near Charing Cross station). I SPOKES Public Meeting The hard- working Edinburgh cycling campaign has organised this meeting to discuss the links between cycling. transport and the environment. Speakers from the Worldwide Fund for Nature, Sustrans and FoE Scotland will be drawing the links. Get there at 6.45pm for a browse at the book-stall over a cup of coffee. Providing it is back from the printers, the new, updated, bumper Spokes Edinburgh Cycling Map will be on sale: a bargain at £3. Tue 15. 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Victoria Terrace. I In High Places This small, independent trekking and mountaineering company offers trips to the outer and upper reaches of civilisation. its annual slide show and question and answer session with trek leaders reaches Edinburgh this month on Fri 11 at 7.45pm, at the Appleton Tower. George Square. Entrance £1.50 goes to the Rio—Mazan project to conserve the cloudforest in Ecuador. I Greenpeace Sponsored Swims To keep the Rainbow Warrior ﬁghting for the environment, local Greenpeace support groups are holding sponsored swims all over the country on Sunday 20. in Glasgow, the main swim is at Govanhill Swimming Pool, 11am—4pm, details from Claire Davies on 041 636 1924. The main Edinburgh swim is at the lnﬁmtary Street Baths, 9.30am—5pm, details from Teresa Young on 031 228 8698. For details of other swims and sponsor forms contact 0555 82400. I Splat VAT! and All To Play For Advance notice for two conferences. On Sat 26, the Lothian Communities Campaign against VAT on Fuel is holding a ‘Splat VAT!’ conference at the Edinburgh Unemployed Workers Centre. 103 Broughton Street (details from lrene Thomson on 031 453 4656). On Friday 25, the John Wheetley Centre are organising ‘All To Play For’, a conference on the future of public sector leisure and arts in Scotland. This will take place at the City Chambers, Dunferrnline and details are available from Richard Norris on 0506 856170. I Steiner's Anthroposophy Janis Perry will give an introductory talk on the weird and wonderful ideas of Rudolph Steiner, the Austrian philosopher and spiritual investigator. at the Salisbury Centre, 2 Salisbury Road on Thursday 24, 7.30pm. Details from 031 667 5438.
I ll you have news oi any events or courses which you want publicised in this column, please iorward them to ‘Action’ at The List, 14 Illgb Street, Edinburgh Elli ill and Include a day- time phone number.
The List 1 l—24 February 1994 5