The BFI London Film Festival opens tonight on Leicester Square and this year’s shorts programme features DigiCult’s first Gaelic language production, Catriona Macinnes’ A Cuillin Rising.

Shot in Autumn 2010 on Skye, this twenty minute film is a powerful, poetic evocation of contemporary life in the North West of Scotland featuring memorable performances from two local actors Lorne MacFadyen (The Angel’s Share, Foxy & Marina) and Annie Macleod (Seachd – The Inaccessible Pinnacle).

As Catriona eloquently explains in her notes on the film, she embarked on A Cuillin Rising “to examine the draw of my heritage, but also my disassociation with it. I wanted to try and capture the space between tradition and modernity; the isolation of being young compounded by living in a remote place, with its ancient landscape, rising above.”

Born in Inverness, Catriona first trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama before completing a Masters of Fine Arts in Advanced Film Practice at the Screen Academy in Edinburgh. Her graduation film I’M IN AWAY FROM HERE premiered in competition at the 65th Venice International Film festival in 2008; was nominated for a BAFTA emerging Talent Award the following year, and has been screened at festivals throughout the world.

Produced in association with Urbancroft – an emerging Scottish production company based in Glasgow’s Film City – producer Martyn Robertson assembled an impressive team to realise the piece including cinematographer Tania Gallis (Burn My Body, Whore, Fulll Firearms), composer P.G. Six and Catriona’s regular collaborator editor/associate producer Ian Waugh (Leaves).

A Cuillin Rising was developed and commissioned through DigiCult’s Scottish Digital Shorts programme 2009-10, with production investment from Creative Scotland, UK Film Council and BBC Scotland.

Catriona is currently developing her first feature script.

For clips and more information, please visit the film’s website.


DigiCult Berths In Portobello

Record number of cult films selected for London festival

The PORTOBELLO FILM FESTIVAL opens next weekend in London with 6 DigiCult productions featuring in one of the UK’s premiere showcases for new and emerging talent. Scour the extensive festival programme and amongst the latest Italian, Irish, Spanish and Caribbean films, you’ll find some of our best films of the last three years:

Battenberg (Stewart Comrie)
Ever Here I Be (Kate Burton)
Fixing Luka (Jessica Ashman)
Labour (Michael Keillor)
Paris/Sexy (Ruth Paxton)
Rite (Michael Pearce)

If you are interested in watching some of the best shorts on the circuit, the festival runs from 1st to 18th September at the Portobello Pop Up Cinema and Westbourne Studios – all screenings are free – and special programmes include work by new London film makers and talks/Q&A’s with top directors.

Screenwriting Residency Anyone?

Scottish Playwrights' Studio Teams With Binger For Better Scripts

Applications are open for the Playwrights’ Studio Screenwriting Residencies in association with Binger Film Lab. Over the next 6 – 9 months, up to 12 Scottish or Scottish based writers will have the opportunity to develop a feature film script working with experienced mentors, including tutors from Binger Film Lab in Amsterdam. You’ve only got a few weeks till the deadline so get your application in.

Staged over three residential weekends in Glasgow, there will also be two public events with inspiring contributors from the world of film. Participants in the residency will take part in master classes with these speakers.

For more information visit the Playwrights’ Studio website. The screenwriting residency programme are supported by Creative Scotland’s Creative Futures programme.

Incubator Shorts Commissioned

Two new shorts complete DigiCult's 2011 slate

Following two months of hard graft on their story, script and project ideas, Eva Riley and Tom Chick have been commissioned  by DigiCult and Creative Scotland to produce their first funded shorts with the company.

Eva’s naturalistic piece ‘Sweetheart’ tells the story of two sisters struggling with their inter-dependency and competing sexuality. And Tom’s lyrical re-telling of the traditional tale ‘Death In A Nut’ draws inspiration from the films of Bill Douglas, deftly exploring a son’s struggle with a stranger who comes to visit his ailing mother.

Congratulations to both these film-makers and commiserations to the remainder of the short film talent pool. Everyone worked hard throughout the development process: Ryan Adams, Antonia Bain, Hugh Farrell, Sam Firth, Neil Hepburn and Mark Rossi. DigiCult wishes you every success with your future film projects.

Alongside Zack Copping’s ‘Foxy and Marina‘ (in post production), ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Death in A Nut’ complete DigiCult’s short film slate for 2011.

Fancy Some Jersey Cream?

Three DigiCult shorts play Branchage

Congratulations to one and all! Three of DigiCult’s recent productions - Fixing Luka, Paris/Sexy and Rite – have all been selected to play the boutique but influential Branchage Film Festival in Jersey (September 22nd – 25th 2011).

From personal experience, Branchage does deliver on its hype: a young, ambitious and imaginative film festival combining cutting-edge commissions and creative programming with all that’s charming about Jersey. The festival specialises in site-specific live sound-tracking, music and film screenings, matching each to a complementary and unusual venue on the island.

If you can make the trip to the island, you will be rewarded in style.

No Fix Here, It’s Pure Quality

Fixing Luka wins Van D'Or Best Film & Best Director

The inaugural Van d’Or Awards in London (August 11th) was another great night for Scottish independent film. DigiCult’s Fixing Luka scooped the Best Director prize for Jessica Ashman and Best Film for Jessica and her producer Anna Odell.

Big congratulations to all the winners on the night, the nominees, organisers and sponsors including MovieScope Magazine who offered subscription and editing software packages to multiple winners. And Giles Consulting who sponsored the Best Direction award with a cash prize of £250, a princely sum in these days of economic austerity. Eat well Jessica!

Short Road To Success

DigiCult Finds International Audiences

Developed and produced through Scottish Digital Shorts, Digital Nation and 4Mation slates, an impressive number of DigiCult’s films continue to travel the world with summer and autumn screenings across UK, Mainland Europe, South America and North America.

Congratulations to the talent, cast and crews involved in all these productions:

Fixing Luka (W/D Jessica Ashman, Producer Anna Odell):






Rite (W/D Michael Pearce, Producers Ross McKenzie/Paul Welsh):

RUSHES SOHO SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2011 (London, UK) – Winner of Long Form Award

Paris/Sexy (W/D Ruth Paxton, Producers Rosie Crerar/Paul Welsh)

GIMLI FILM FESTIVAL (Manitoba, Canada)


The Tannery (W/D Iain Gardner, Producers Anke Hilt/Richard Scott)


More information on all these films can be found in  our catalogue.


Rite Wins At Rushes

Long Form Award Goes to DigiCult Production

Congratulations to Michael Pearce and the team behind DigiCult’s Rite for winning the Best Long Form Drama award at Rushes Soho Shorts (July 2011). Since completing the production in October 2010, Michael has continued to develop his writing and directing career, participating in the Torino Film Lab with the Jersey set thriller ‘Beast’.



Mike (Martin Herdman above) takes his estranged son out for his birthday; desperate to prove he’s a reformed man. But drink and the simmering violence of match day threaten to bring out the worst in him.

Rite premiered at the 54th London Film Festival. For more information on the film, please visit its catalogue page on the site. And click below for information on all the winning films from Rushes Soho Shorts website.

Incubator Hatches Its Talent Pool

Scottish filmmakers gather for inaugural workshop at GFT

After a tough selection round, DigiCult’s Incubator programme has launched in Glasgow. Following a national call for Scottish-based talent, 13 writers and writer/directors have been selected from 85 applicants to join our intensive development and production programme. They are:

Ryan Adams – Antonia Bain – Tom Chick – Sam Firth (also feature film) – Neil Hepburn – Eva Riley – Mark Rossi (Shorts)

Norman Bissell – Hugh Farrell (also short film) – Marcus Harben – Gregor Johnstone – Lorraine McCann – Tom McCarthy (Features)

To kick-start the development of the individual projects, the group was invited to attend a two-day Story Room workshop led by Paul Welsh, the first of three development workshops scheduled over the next 9 months (Tuesday 17th, Wednesday 18th May).


Hosted by Incubator’s partner Glasgow Film Festival at the historic Glasgow Film Theatre, the talent watched a selection of classic and contemporary feature films including Cries & Whispers, Hanna, Skeletons and My Dog Tulip, plus short animations and live action films including The Tannery (Iain Gardner), Rebecca (Nick Whitfield), Over The Hill (Peter Baynton) and Rite (Michael Pearce).

With these films acting as inspiration (and target practice), the discussion on story and script was wide ranging and interspersed with opportunities for personal storytelling as well.

Incubator’s Story Room workshop was promoted and supported by Virgin Media Shorts – thank you VMS! - with Ex-Culter Jonny Barrington and Greg Andrew our guests through our partner’s network.

At this point, DigiCult wants to thank everyone who applied to join Incubator 2011. Our resources are finite but our respect goes out to everyone who aims to tell a story for the screen.




Culter Under The Microscope

Jessica Ashman – writer/director of DigiCult’s recent stop-frame animation Fixing Luka – has been selected for the highly competitive B3 Talent Lab masterminded by producer Marc Boothe. The Cult applauds you, Jessica!

Fixing Luka is Jessica’s first short film, a project developed and produced by Anna Odell as part of Scottish Digital Shorts 2010 with funding from Scottish Screen, UK Film Council and BBC Scotland.


Within a month of completion in February 2011, the film was nominated for two BAFTA in Scotland New Talent Awards for Best Animation and Best Score, with Pete MacDonald winning for his excellent original soundtrack. Fixing Luka will receive it’s international festival premiere later in the year.

If you would like the opportunity to develop and produce your first professional quality animation or live action short, or write a feature film with support from DigiCult, applications are currently open for Incubator, our new programme for new and emerging talent backed by Creative Scotland. Deadline 29th April 2011.