Plans to create a ‘media village' on the Clyde which would house tttost of Scotland's film organisations look likely to fit in with tlte Scottish ()ffice's apparent desire to shake up the movie industry. The Scottish film centre proposal comes at a tittte of unprecedented optimism about homegrown productions. with the announcement of £2 million of National Lottery tttottey being channelled ittto Scottish movies. They include art adaptation of John Byrne’s T/Ic’ Slab Buys attd Neil (iunn's The Silver Darlings.

The film centre. which is being promoted by the Glasgow Development Agency to assett the city’s position as Scotland‘s undisputed media capital. would house organisations like the Scottish Film Council. Scottish Film Production Fund. BAFTA Scotland arid Scottish Broadcast attd Film 'l‘raining in a specially refurbished office complex on Glasgow‘s Broontielaw. After an in- depth review of Scotland‘s film bodies. the Government appears to favour the idea of a single agency covering film

The Slab Boys: John Byrne’s drama is to

transfer from stage to screen

development. training and location finding.

The review by consultants commissioned by Scottish linterprise found ‘significant overlap' between tlte organisations. Scottish ()fl'tce tttiuister

hints that the Scottish Office is ill favour of a new film agcttcy with greater clout to attract Hollywood productions like Rob Roy to Scotland. and encourage local talcttt to stay.

Not all the agencies tttentioncd itt Lord .lattics Douglas-llamilton's statctttent back a new super-quango for film. ltowever. with any loss of idetttity likely to be resisted. Scottish Broadcast attd Film Training. whiclt is funded by commercial media organisations. has still not fully cottuttittcd itself to [lie principal of the media village. let alone a single film body. ‘l’hy'sical closeness may have sottte benefits bttt agencies focused on the industry are already working closely.‘ said chiefexecutive

5 John McVay. ‘ln terms of a single-tier

Lord Jatncs Douglas-l lamilton said last

week. The consultants‘ report is expected to be subtttitted later this month. but there are already strong

orgattisatiott. there are are a nuutbcr of problems for its. The tttodel we all favour is a federal structure so we cart maintain ottr own fttnding base.‘

The Scottish l‘ilm Council. the (loverntttent-futtded body itt charge of promoting film lll Scotland wlticlt also funds the l‘ilmltousc and (il’l‘. is takittg

a lead itt discussions with the (il).-\

Movie industry zooms in on Glasgow as new media capital

over tltc proposed move to Brootttielaw. But it is anxious to avoid accusations of empire building. ‘lt would be silly if all the bodies maintained a water-tight arrangement witltin the building.‘ said an Sl"(‘ spokesman. ‘\\'e want the perception to be that everyouc's working together.‘ However tltere does seem to be a feeling witltin the Scottish film industry that bringing the \ arions bodies closer togctltcr could simply result lll more bureaucracy and Scottish (ifficc interference. ‘l-‘ilm keeps getting coralled ittto bureaucratic structures up here which iii the end goes against the maverick mentality of filttttttakcrs.‘ said one independent film producer. (liddie ('iibb) I The Flilllllttlls’c’ was awarded £000,000 frottt tlte National Lottery to help pay for the tcfut‘bislttttcnt of the exisiting auditoriuttts and to create a new third screen. This will enable the cinema to do more cultural development attd education work in

a film. according to director Jiut l Hamilton.

Scott inquiry played out in TV drama

With John Major expected to take delivery of the long-awaited Scott Report into the anns-to-lraq scandal any day now, speculation is rife in Westminster about who will be the fall guys.

While the inquiry itself was widely reported in the papers, Lord Justice Scott banned cameras to avoid an 0.J.-style media circus. But shortly after the Scott Report is published next week, the public will get a flavour of proceedings in a television docu-drama co-written by Edinburgh- based filmmaker and theatre director John McCrath. ‘The public ought to know what was really going on in there so they can understand the intracacies,’ he said.

All the inquiry room scenes in Half The Picture are based on transcripts of proceedings, but McCrath adds the ‘other half’ using fictional monologues from characters directly affected by the Government’s support of the Iraqi arms trade. They include a Kurd who saw thousands oi his countrymen die in gas attacks and an English woman made redundant from Matrix Churchill, the UK armaments company at the centre of the scandal.

‘Even though Scott did a fantastic job, these people were missing from the inquiry,’ said McCrath. ‘The whole affair reveals a lot about the way Whitehall and Westminster get on together. There is a constitutional issue about who civil servants are responsible to - government ministers or parliament. That kind of issue is brought out very clearly in the TV version.’ (Eddie Gibb)

half The Picture is shown on Sun 18

Feb on 8802.

Community arts group aims to find new dance partners

The mid-90$ dance boom ~ sparked by

the emergence of big star talents like f

American wunderkind Mark Morris and

movies like the glitterineg ironic Strictly Ballroom - appears to be filtering through to grassroots level with a new initiative from the Scottish Arts Council-backed organisation Edinburgh Touring Circuit.

Widely credited with having helped close the gap between the so-called highbrow theatre venues like Edinburgh Festival Theatre and community venues in areas like Craigmillar, Muirhouse and Wester Hailes, ETC has spent the last nine years establishing a community

touring circuit round Lothian that has signed up respected professional companies like Benchtours, Boilerhouse and Clyde Unity Theatre.

ETC co-ordinator Kresanna Aigner, who also runs the experimental

Artistic Upstarts events, now hopes to : fulfil a similar role with dance by

tapping into renewed interest in the artform.

As with previously successful drama and writing projects, the organisation aims to lay the ground for the dance initiative with a series of workshops in the nine ETC ‘member’ venues.

Workshops will be aimed at both youth and adult groups and will be led by

experienced teachers in styles ranging from breakdartce to jazz and contemporary.

The sessions will culminate in a day- long dance-jam with co-organisers Dance Base in April and through to a final phase in the autumn when professional dance companies will be encouraged to take in those venues that normally get left off the touring circuit.

‘If we can initiate things,‘ says Aigner, ‘Iike bringing in workshops and tours, then hopefully that’ll develop

people’s knowledge and they’ll go and

see shows in the city centre, or become involved in the Festival, or if they’ve done a placement maybe get ushering work. For a city that’s so arts-based there is potentially employment here at least on a part-

time basis.’ (Ellie Carr)

For more information about Edinburgh Touring Circuit call: 0131 668 2189.

Chernobyl kids still sufferig ten years on

With the tenth anniversary of tire ('Thernobyl nuclear disaster approaching in April. Adi Roche. the head of an Irish aid charity wlto w as named European Woman of the Year tltis week. has just published a book drawing attention to the continuing plight of children bortt attd brought up iii a hostile. radioactive ctty irotttuent.

Up to ten tttilliott people’s lives including those of fottr million children -- were shattered by the event. according to United Nations figures. The Chernobyl Children‘s Project was set up to alleviate sottte of the suffering caused by the accident. :\s well as paying for life-saving operations. equipping hospitals. clittics and orphanages itt Belarus. the organisation also offers Belarussian children a break frottt contiminated food attd air in Ireland. providing a boost to their damaged immune systems.

Roche hopes her book ('ln'lt/rwi ()f (.'liernnb_vl will draw attention to the

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85 .2 .‘ *

Children of Chernobyl: Adi Roche with two fallout victims

continuing crisis itt Belarus attd inform readers of the gruesome effects of the

accident which she describes as 'thc 1 world's greatest environmental catastrophe‘. While news of the disaster

was widely reported at the time. there is evidence that the Belaruss‘ian authorities and the western liuropean governments ltave suppressed the true scale of the accident.

‘The key thing for this tenth

j anniversary is breaking the silence.‘

said Roche. ‘.'\ly reason for writing tltc book was to tell the truth and to acknow ledge the experiences. the pain attd the suffering of those who have paid the highest price. those who live iii the region.

'l’eoplc tend to compare ('lternobyl with Rwanda or other areas of injustice like tltc lortttcr Yugoslavia because it is ittatt-tttadc. but the difference is lit the solutions. There are solutions to war. there are solutions to famine bttt tltcrc are no solutions to the radiation damage because it is permanent.‘ (Jonathan 'lTLWV) git/t Rue/re trill git (' t: Iii/ls (1/ ('/l_\' (fulfil/HWY. (Ir-urge .bit/lllll'l’, (i/(lsgmr' ml The EU l't'l) at 7.30pm rnn/ it: Lot/nun Region. I’m/lumen! Square. l'ft/fii/mrg/i rm ll'r'r/ 3/ fie/t ut fill/till. (‘ltl/t/l't’lt (2/ ('/lerno.’i_vi is urut/ith/e_/rmn .S’t'otn's/I (WI). /5 Burr/um! Street. Glasgow: (14/ lQll. l’rn‘e {7.90p/ns (ll/i par/(rec (Him/lies In l/l(' ('llerno/iy/ ('IIi/t/rt'lt is l’rrr/u'll.

4 The List 9-22 Feb 1996