Tracks 2006 (Martin Smith) Producer Karen M Smyth

Twelve teams of emerging writers, directors, animators and producers have been shortlisted for the Scottish Shorts programme 2012/13. The twelve live action and animation films will be developed over the next 3-4 months before being pitched to an industry panel. Four high-quality projects will then be selected for production in spring 2013.

The programme is a collaboration between Hopscotch Films and DigiCult with investment from Creative Scotland, and draws on the experience of acclaimed producers John Archer, Carolynne Sinclair Kidd and Paul Welsh. They bring an extensive mix of talent and experience to the programme offering invaluable support and expertise to the chosen film-makers, helping to create high quality projects and equipping film-makers with the skills to break into features and promote their work on a national and international platform.

Several of those shortlisted have already achieved acclaim for their previous work. Ian Robertson’s highlights to date include Best European Animation at the Young Director Awards in Cannes, a BAFTA New Talent Award in 2011 for The Chameleon, Best Drama at Exposures Film Festival and Best Film at the British Student Film festival in 2012 for his short film ‘The Phone Box’. Ainslie Henderson’s Edinburgh College of Art graduation film ‘I Am Tom Moody’ won awards for Best British Short at Encounters 2012, Best Student Film at Krok 2012, and both the Grand Walt Disney student short award and Ottawa media prize at Ottawa International Film Festival 2012. Martin Smith won the 2006 BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Short Film with his short film Tracks.

The shortlist:

‘As He lay Uncertain’ Writer/Director: Ian Waugh
‘Exchange and Mart’ Writer/Director: Cara Connolly & Martin Clark
‘Frankie and Adam’ (Animation/Live Action) Director: Michael Hughes; Writer/Director: Jessica Connell
‘Hedgehog’ (Animation) Writer/Director: Ania Leszczynska; Co-writer & Producer: Jessica Connell
‘Monkey Love Experiments’ (Animation) Writer/Director: Ian Robertson: Producer/Co-writer: Sam Ferguson
‘Take Your Partners’ Writer/Director: Siri Rodnes
“The House That Makes Children Old’ Director: Matt Cameron: Writer: Tom K McCarthy
‘The Whale’s Song’ (Animation) Writer/Director: Andy Kaiser; Joseph Atkinson
Untitled Project Writer/Director: Martin Smith
‘Wild’ Writer/Director: Alasdair Bayne
‘Wiyuld’ Writer/Director: Rory Alexander Stewart

Paul Welsh of DigiCult said:

“Judging by the quality of entries for the programme, Scotland has a strong passion for narrative film-making. We’re excited about working on these wonderful projects with the talent.”

John Archer of Hopscotch Films commented:

“We were overwhelmed by terrific submissions and have a very strong shortlist to develop further. We look forward to some brilliant productions.”

Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland commented:

“Congratulations to the film-makers shortlisted for the first Scottish Shorts programme. This programme brings talent to the forefront and their skills and knowledge will thrive under the guidance of Paul, John and Carolynne, taking them to the next level in their careers and strengthening film-making in Scotland.”

Over the coming moths Digicult will release more information regarding the talent and progression of the Scottish Shorts Programme 2012/13.


Stuart Elliott‘s Saved, Tom Chick‘s Death In A Nut. Eve Riley‘s Sweetheart and Zachariah Copping’s Foxy and Marina will all be playing on Sunday 11th of November at the Inverness Film Festival. The festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary and aims to look at how cinema has changed over the past century.

Well done to all the directors and teams involved.


Iain Gardner‘s The Tannery will play the London International Animation Festival on the 27th of October.
The international programme is comprised of the best recently released short animated films from all over the world, carefully chosen from 2000-plus entries.
A huge well done to Iain Gardner, Anke Hilt, Axis Animation and the whole crew involved.


Michael Pearce‘s 2010 short film Rite will play today at the MIX lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual film festival.

MIX Copenhagen is the oldest running film festival in Denmark and one of the oldest LGBT film festivals in the world. This year from the 19th to the 28th of October marks the 27th MIX Copenhagen.

Rite portrays a compelling story about an estranged father and son and was nominated for a BAFTA in 2011.

Congratulations to Michael Pearce, Ross Mckenzie and everyone involved in this powerful short film.


Jessica Ashman’s Fixing Luka plays Eberswalde International Film Festival, which runs from the 6-13th of October in Brandenburg, Germany.  Every year the organizers select more than 60 films from hundreds of submissions that come from more than 30 countries.

It will also be playing at the Indian International Disabilty Festival, Abilityfest from the 10-13th of October.

Congratulations to Jessica Ashman,  Anna Odell and the whole crew involved.

Cutting Loose has won the best documentary award at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in Bristol.

The Festival, which ran form the 18-23rd of September, is one of the world’s best-known showcases and meeting points for emerging film and animation talent.

The jury had this to say about Cutting Loose:

” The winning film is one full of respect, love, optimism and stylistic exuberance. It contains a simple and strong social message: treat people – however badly they have erred – with respect, and they will repay you in kind. The lead character really stayed with the jury – we all discovered in out meeting that we had wept at the same point. There were so many tiny moments. And the access the filmmakers got was simply extraordinary”

A massive congratualtions to Adrian McDowall and Finlay Pretsell for their beautiful documentary and this impressive win.



Iain Gardner‘s The Tannery will be in competition at the International Youth Cinema Festival from the 23-30th of September.

For the past 30 years the festival, based in Quebec, has endeavoured to make youth cinema accessible and educational. In order to mark the anniversary, this year’s edition will be under the theme of “Picture the Time”.

Congratulations to Iain Gardener, producer Anke Hilt and Axis Animation.

Sweetheart To Play Message To Man

Eva Riley's Sweetheart will have its first international screening in Russia

Still by Janet Lindsay Wilson


Eva Riley‘s Sweetheart will have its first international premier screening at the Message to Man Festival in Saint Petersburg. Running from 22-29th of September the international festival featurs an impressive selection of documentaries, short films and animated films.

Congratulations to Eva Riley and all the crew involved in this beautiful short.

Time To Hatch?

Incubator Scripts To Be Pitched At Toronto's IFF


After a year of intensive development through DigiCult’s Incubator Programme, producer Paul Welsh will be pitching  Gregor Johnston’s ‘Night Of The Wolf’ and Norrie Bissell’s ‘Last Man In Europe’ in Toronto, including two days at the prestigious International Financing Forum (IFF), 9th/10th September 2012.

These projects represent DigiCult’s first move into the feature market after many years producing world class shorts with emerging UK talent.




Working in partnership with Hopscotch Films, Digicult is about to launch a new short film development and production initiative for Scottish based producers, writers and directors for 2012/13.

Over the next five months, Scottish Shorts will develop up to 10 teams with short film proposals before commissioning four high quality live action and animated films early in 2013.

Keep up to date with this new project on the Digicult and Hopscotch websites. Scottish Shorts 2012/13 is due to launch Monday 10th September.