Announcing the Producer Accelerator 2022 Participants

We are excited to announced the eight emerging producers who will participate in this year’s Producer Accelerator programme.

Eight of the most promising Scotland-based emerging producers will take part in training and networking sessions from industry speakers and will be matched with a carefully selected mentor.

L-R Top Row: Angelina Nagenthiran, Isabella Bassett, John Stuart, Karen Kelly
L-R Bottom Row: Kieran Padraig Smyth, Michaela Barton, Natalie Allison, Riad Arfin

The programme, led by producer Rosie Crerar, features a variety of well-established producers and industry experts. Producer Accelerator will take participants through the whole journey of deciding whether a producer should take film on, development, IP and rights, budgeting, scheduling and working with the crew and creative team all the way to sales and festival tours.

In August 2022, Short Circuit invited applications from producers across Scotland who are ready to take the next step into the industry and would benefit from support to further their knowledge of the industry and expand their skillset and gain confidence in seeking funding for their next projects.

Find out more about the participants and what they’re most looking forward to about the programme:

Angelina Nagenthiran

Prior to pursuing her passion in the Creative Industries in 2019, Angelina studied Mathematics with Management & Finance at King’s College London and worked within Corporate Finance for a number of years. Since leaving Finance, Angelina has produced two short films and worked within HETV, Educational Programming and various freelance positions within the Arts. She currently works as a freelancer within HETV and as a theatre stage manager. With a particular interest in real stories and poignant events in everyday life, Angelina aspires to produce docudramas to bring these true stories to screen.

“I’m very excited to have been selected to be in the 2022 cohort of Short Circuit’s Producer Accelerator scheme! Most of all, I’m looking forward to gaining some formal education in producing, preparing me for my next projects.”

Isabella Bassett

Isabella is an emerging Producer based in Glasgow. She currently works in television as Development Coordinator for BBC’s River City where she helps to source new talent and to deliver training initiatives for the continuing drama. Prior to working on the Scottish soap, Isabella cut her teeth as a theatre producer, including with Oran Mor’s lunchtime theatre company, A Play, a Pie and a Pint where she worked on just shy of 100 new plays and produced a theatrical film for the company during lockdown. Isabella has previously produced live shows for the female-led company, Witsherface, in venues across Glasgow.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be selected for Short Circuit’s Producer Accelerator initiative. As an early-career Scottish Producer, being able to learn from Rosie Crerar and the Short Circuit team is an invaluable opportunity which I hope will help me to move into producing film and television in the future. The mentorship is a brilliant chance for me to have one-to-one support and to ask specific questions about how to transfer my existing knowledge and skills into producing film.” 

John Stuart

John Stuart graduated in 2011 from the Central Film School, London, going on to launch I Know A Guy Productions the following year. Originally focussing on theatre, John produced  several plays including four national tours and three runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. John went on to produce the award-winning drama short Eggshells in 2016 and has recently successfully completed production on TV sitcom Dirty Water, expecting its release in 2023.

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected for the Producer Accelerator course, I am incredibly excited to work with the Sharp Shorts team. I can’t wait to get started as I know this is going to be a massive learning experience and a chance to meet and with talented creatives.”

Karen Kelly

I am a Glaswegian creative short film producer and production manager. With a background in journalism and TV production, I began producing short films in 2020. My journey in filmmaking started at GMAC through the Little Pictures Programme where I produced hybrid and creative documentaries The Way I Welcome You and Dear F. Inspired by working with crew from all backgrounds, I am excited to bring these modern and diverse Scottish voices to the screen, while championing working class and LGBTQIA+ communities. I have nurtured a passion for creative storytelling and I’m fascinated by borrowing from both documentary and narrative filmmaking to tell incredible stories.

“Being empowered through the Producer Accelerator course will give me the skills and confidence to produce films I care about sharing with the world. I am really excited to take this next step in my career with the support of Short Circuit as I plant my feet in the Scottish Screen industry as an emerging Producer. I’m keen to learn more about development, getting a film idea off the page and into production, as well as distribution and festival strategy.”

Kieran Padraig Smyth

For the past couple years Kieran has been working in the production and assistant director departments of TV productions such as Peaky Blinders, Outlander and commercial shoots for Canada Goose and EE. But his love of cinema goes way back to watching Mark Cousins’ Story of Film series as a teenager and discovering the bold, personal visions of filmmakers like Pedro Almodovar, Wong Kar-Wai, Agnes Varda, Leos Carax, Lynne Ramsay, Terrence Davies and Richard Linklater. 

“Mostly I’m looking forward to learning from Rosie Crerar one of the most exciting producers working in Scotland in my opinion and a model for the sort of films I’d love to work on. I’m also hoping to find a network of fellow storytellers and boundary pushers in the other producers on the course.”

Michaela Barton

Michaela Barton is a queer filmmaker based in Glasgow. They worked as Development Executive for an independent film production company and they now make their own short films. They adore horror, with a particular affinity for the work of Mike Flanagan but they also love finding stories about the queer experience in any genre. What draws them most to producing is the opportunity to uplift voices, develop talents, and create work environments where anyone can feel comfortable.

“I’m so thrilled to be taking part in this training course. I’m looking forward to meeting others in this scheme and hearing what their goals for the industry are. The opportunity to learn from industry experts and hear about their career progression will be so inspiring. I honestly can’t wait to get started!”

Natalie Allison

Natalie Allison is an independent producer of theatre and film working across the subsidised and commercial sector. As a theatrical producer, her diverse portfolio of work spans regional and international touring, transfers, West End shows, festival and fringe runs. In 2020, Natalie was invited to support the adaptation of Sir Robert Cohan’s Afternoon Conversations With Dancers into the filmed series, Lockdown Portraits premiering at the Barbican, with screenings at the Royal Opera House and the V&A. Casting work includes background and featured artists for: Trainspotting 2, Gunpowder (BBC), Victoria (ITV), The Windsors (Channel 4) and Outlander (Starz USA).

“I am completely thrilled to have been selected for the Producer Accelerator and can’t wait to start! Over the past few years in particular, film became a very necessary and vital way of communicating, storytelling and sharing powerful theatrical work with wider audiences. With live work as my comfort zone and thrown in the deep end on those earlier experiences of filmmaking, the course will help me make a smoother transition and expand my skill set as a producer surrounded by a host of experienced and brilliant professionals.”

Riad Arfin

Riad Arfin is an independent film producer and director based in Scotland. His short film A Bus Ride won the best film award at the Dhaka International Short and Independent Film Festival 2014 and screened at various film festivals. His other film A Fishing Story won the jury award at Chitrovasha Film Festival 2020. He has been working for BBC Media Action as a producer/director for the last few years, where he was producing drama series on mental health and gender-based violence for the Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh. 

“I am excited to take part in Short Circuit’s Producer Accelerator programme. I think it will be a fantastic opportunity for me to meet and learn from the industry experts and create a network with other producers in Scotland for future collaboration.”

If you would like to know more about our Producer Accelerator development programme, click here.

Interested in applying for Short Circuit’s future training programmes? Join our mailing list to be the first to know about upcoming opportunities.

Connect with us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Featured image: Still from Sharp Shorts funded film A.V Van – Written/directed by Morayo Akandé; Produced by Moyo Akandé (Lucid Dreamers Productions) and Helen Gladders (Gingerbread Productions)