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 BlindersOutlander 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 2Gunpowder (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.

Short Circuit is thrilled to announce the seven films that will be produced through the short film scheme Sharp Shorts.

L-R Top Row: Ali Taylor, Ana Songel and Ciara Elizabeth Smyth
L-R Bottom Row: Ciaran Pasi, Eilidh Loan, Lisa Clarkson and Theo Panagopoulos

The Sharp Shorts scheme aims to identify and support through training, 1-2-1 meetings, funding and mentoring the most exciting filmmaking talent in Scotland in the early stages of their career. 

In April 2022, Short Circuit invited writers, writer/directors or filmmaking teams of writer, director and producer to submit a one-page outline of their film idea. After a rigorous selection process, 12 ideas were selected to take part in further development, supported by industry experts and the Short Circuit Talent Executives, to take their project from idea to script.

The twelve teams then pitched their project to a panel that was formed by Short Circuit Talent Executives; Claudia Yusef, Head of Development at BBC Film; and Brian Coffey, Producer at The Highland Midgie for the chance to receive production funding to make their film.  

The following seven films are today announced as the selected projects:

A Beating Wing – Writer/Director: Ciaran Pasi; Producer: Shona Mackenzie

  • Over the course of one day, two young boys in South Glasgow face the pressures of the streets.

Beatless – Writer/Director: Ana Songel; Producer: Misha McCullagh

  • 7-year-old Ailsa grew up with an old island tale, woven by her Mum to explain her Dad’s absence. Beginning to notice the hole in their family, Ailsa bravely sets out to find the truth of her mum’s tale, hoping she can make their hearts whole again.

Just Jackie – Writer: Ali Taylor; Director: Michael Lee Richardson; Producers: Reece Cargan and James Heath

  • Plus-sized 9 year old Jackie, who loves dressing up in his mum’s clothes, seeks sweeties (and approval) from the girl-next-door.

Paternal Advice – Writer/Director: Lisa Clarkson; Producer: Alex Polunin

  • 1994. A Scottish working class man teaches his son a Scottish working class lesson.

Slay + Prepare the Animal for Meat – Writer: Ciara Elizabeth Smyth; Director: Oisin Kearney; Producers: Tony Wood and Anna Burns at Buccaneer Media

  • When a suburban housewife’s world falls apart, she meticulously plans revenge against her husband.

Soul – Writer: Eilidh Loan; Producers: Paula McGann and Zoe Fowlie

  • A coming-of-age story rooted in an electric subculture, Soul deals with the grief of letting your child leave home and the guilt working class people feel when leaving their town behind. Soul expresses the love for music, the values of community, the bravery to start again and the importance of identity.

The Lost Keys – Writer/Director: Theo Panagopoulos

  • After her estranged Palestinian father passes away, Linda returns to her childhood home in Glasgow and attempts to sell it and quickly move on. However, once she realises that her car keys are lost somewhere in the house, her 10 year old self appears and offers to help her find them.

The selected teams will each receive up to £15,000 to produce their film, plus an additional uplift for COVID costs of up to £5,000. Teams will also take part in intensive production training, and will be paired with an established Producer, Director or Writer who will mentor the team to help them to deliver their final film.

Since the launch of Sharp Shorts in May 2020 the Short Circuit team and pool of readers have assessed over 800 submissions for the scheme. 44 short film projects have received development support and 25 projects have been awarded funding.

Featured image: Behind the scenes of Sharp Shorts funded film Folding, directed by Paul Sng
Photo credit: Chris McCluskie

Join us at the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh on Wednesday 21st September to celebrate some of the newest short films made in the capital!

We’re excited to have a varied programme of excellent short films supported by either Short CircuitScreen Education Edinburgh and the 48 Hour Film Project.

After the screening, there will be networking drinks in the Cameo bar and we encourage our audience to stay and connect with other filmmakers in Scotland in a relaxed environment. There will also be representatives from all host organisations to chat about current and upcoming opportunities.

Film Programme:

  • Go Home dir. Razan Madhoon
  • Meat dir. Szymon Clivaz
  • Made in North Edinburgh dir. Jenny Souter
  • OK Bloomer dir. Jamie Sundance
  • Folding dir. Paul Sng

All of the above films will be captioned.

Please note the film programme is rated N/C 15+ and you must be over 18 to attend the networking drinks.

In order to make our events more accessible, tickets are available on a sliding scale. We have tickets available at free, £3 & £5. Please choose how much you can pay based on your circumstances. – there is no proof required.

Filmmaker Sarah Grant and producer Misha McCullagh recently chatted to us about challenging societal norms and reclaiming female sexuality in their Sharp Shorts-funded film, Candy.

Pictured: Sarah Grant takes centre stage behind-the-scenes of her Sharp Shorts funded film, Candy
Credit: Kevin J. Thomson

When did your interest in filmmaking start and what were you doing before you became a filmmaker?

SG: I’ve known I wanted to make films since my early teens. I remember watching Moulin Rouge for the first time and having an epiphany that behind all the colour and songs and theatricality was someone making all the creative choices. I wanted to be that person. I studied Film and English at Uni and after I graduated, I worked as a waitress. I had a five-year savings plan to buy a camera. I won a competition that gave me £8k worth of industry equipment, so I was able to start making films which led to my first videographer job. 

MM: I trained as an actor and always imagined the theatre was where I would end up… When I graduated I did a work placement at STV Creative and saw the production process for the first time. Long story short, I got hooked on the quick turnaround buzz of making short content. Since then, I have pin-balled around the creative industries, juggling jobs and trying to stay afloat. The most rewarding work I’ve done has been centred around people, their stories and bringing out the best in them then sharing that energy with audiences. In the last year I have really committed to training up as a producer in film and TV. There doesn’t seem to be a clear path but making short films has been a great training ground and has allowed me to work on fresh ideas, with exciting talent and brilliant teams.

What made you want to apply for Sharp Shorts?

SG: I had worked with Short Circuit through the First Features programme and got so much out of the development process. I had a lot of self-funded, crowdfunded and zero budget shorts behind me, but not an industry funded short. Applying to Sharp Shorts was the obvious next step for me so I could continue my relationship with the team and create a short that would support my work on First Features.

MM: The support you get alongside the commision is an invaluable package for filmmakers looking to gain experience. As a producer in training I knew that the masterclasses would be really beneficial and ultimately having the support of Screen Scotland and BFI NETWORK through Sharp Shorts is a great jumping off point. I had previously produced a GMAC Little Pictures film, so Sharp Shorts was the logical next step for funded shorts in Scotland – although it is still quite a jump.

Tell us a bit about your Sharp Shorts-supported film.

SG: Candy is about plus size burlesque enthusiast Mandy, and the run up to her first public performance. But only when her best friend needs her help does she find the confidence to perform in her full power.

MM: Sarah got in touch with me after she had been selected for Short Circuit funding so I wasn’t part of the initial development. I’d been recommended as a producer through a mutual friend. We hadn’t worked together before but it turned out to be a match made in heaven. Candy is a body positive comedy that joyfully reclaims female sexuality and self confidence. It’s a story I relate to and I loved the vibrancy and vivacity of the script. It’s a colourful, empowering, showstopper of a film and I think it’s a great time to be telling stories that lift people up and leave audiences buzzing. 

What did you learn through taking part in Sharp Shorts? How was your experience working with the Short Circuit team?

SG: I loved the whole development process. Being part of peer review, the masterclasses and one-to-one script development process meant that when it came to putting Candy into production I felt really ready for it.

MM: I learned a hell of a lot. Particularly how hard it is to produce a film! The Short Circuit team were a great support, offering advice, guidance and insight throughout the process.

“The bodies we see on screen have looked the same for far too long and it’s not representative of the world we live in. Everyone should get the opportunity to see themselves reflected on screen, especially a character who totally owns their sexiness and stands in their power. “

What was your creative process? How did you get ready to make your film?

SG: Because I was playing ‘Mandy’ I approached the film differently than I normally would. I’m not normally an actor, so I had a lot of fear about being both the performer and the director in front of a crew I had never worked with before. I tried to use that fear as much as possible. Mandy knows she has everything she needs to take centre stage and do what she loves, I tried to feel the same way.

MM: I read the script multiple times and broke it down into lists of what needed done and the priority. I spoke to Sarah about what her vision was for the film and we talked in depth about the characters, their motivations and how we wanted to portray them. With our execs Lauren and Gabriel and 1st AD Charlotte, Sarah and I had lots of conversations about our more complicated scenes and discussed the various ways we could get the shots we needed in the best and safest way. Although this is very practical, it’s such a rewarding part of creative problem solving when preparing for a shoot.

Why do you feel stories like this are important?

SG: Plus size women are never allowed to have a main character moment on film. They are either the ‘Fat Girl Best Friend’ trope or the butt of the joke. I wanted to make a film that unapologetically placed a comedic plus size character front and centre and have her own her sexiness. Women who look like me don’t get many opportunities to feel good about ourselves and the film industry has been historically unkind to us. Candy is a message that everyone who doesn’t fit the societal norm of sexy should still get to have a dance-topless-on-top-off-a-car moment. 

MM: The bodies we see on screen have looked the same for far too long and it’s not representative of the world we live in. Everyone should get the opportunity to see themselves reflected on screen, especially a character who totally owns their sexiness and stands in their power.

Pictured: Producer Misha McCullagh behind-the-scenes of Sharp Shorts funded film, Candy
Credit: Kevin J. Thomson

What are you hoping for audiences to get out of your film?

SG: Simply put, pure joy.

MM: I want audiences to feel empowered, inspired and elated. The final scene makes me want to whoop with joy and I hope audiences will feel that energy too!

What was the greatest hurdle you encountered whilst shooting, can you tell us how you overcame that?

SG: Shooting on top of a platform in Kinning Park in February had its challenges. We had so much to do that day that we were running over late at night, and I felt I couldn’t be as hands on at that time because I was getting ready for a really intense scene in the film. But the whole crew was so supportive and kind, I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing group of people. As hard as the day was it was so rewarding. 

MM: The biggest challenge for me was navigating cast and crew safety during a night shoot in Glasgow especially since we were shooting a sensitive scene. We had to change our shoot schedule at very short notice due to concerns about football crowds, this was the first hurdle which the crew and cast managed beautifully. On the night, we had security personnel standing by. When there was a bit of trouble it was handled calmly, safely and efficiently by the team.

How easy was it to navigate the COVID-19 situation? What support did you have?

SG: We had a covid supervisor with us who made everything easier for us.

MM: We were very fortunate to get an additional £5k funding to navigate COVID which allowed us to get PCR tests for all cast and crew. We also had a COVID coordinator who organised everything, monitored the results and maintained COVID protocols on set. The additional budget made it possible for us to work with safety as a priority instead of cutting corners due to cost restrictions.

What piece of advice would you give to someone applying for Sharp Shorts?

SG: It’s all about your story outline. Make sure it’s clear and concise, don’t try to pack too much into it, and put as much of your voice into it. This will be your calling card film so make sure you are pitching what you want, not what you think the panel wants to hear. 

MM: Go for it! Even if you feel like you don’t have enough experience. We are always our own biggest critics so chances are you’d rise to the challenge and do great (and you’ll learn loads)! The Short Circuit team are brilliant at supporting the filmmaking teams no matter their experience. They can always link you with the right people to support you if there are skills you are yet to learn. 

Candy is set to premiere at BAFTA & BIFA-qualifying Bolton Film Festival this October with physical screenings taking place from 5th-9th and online screenings taking place from 12th-23rd. The film will also be screening at Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York between 1st-6th of November.

Last month we announced the 12 shortlisted projects that will be developed through our short film scheme Sharp Shorts this year. We recently asked a member of our freelance Script Reading team to summarise their thoughts on the assessment process and experience reading your applications.

Recently, I became part of the freelance Script Reader team, and let me tell you, it has been a joy. Over the course of a whopping 110 projects I read that were submitted to the Sharp Shorts scheme, I traveled far and wide. From the noughties, American-teen film-inspired Scottish high schools to the shadowy underworld depths of Glasgow. At one point, I even ended up in the post-apocalyptic desert plains of the Scottish Highlands. It’s been a wild ride to read such exciting stories from so many incredibly talented writers.

From personal experience, most writers (me included) want to think that their story is wholly original and conceived out of whatever picks their fancy. But, of course, we are all products of our time. Therefore, it is only natural for a certain level of awareness to prevail through such a large volume of projects. Recurrent themes throughout the projects reflected the need for diversity and inclusivity for those from under-represented backgrounds. Particularly those from the disabled and transgender communities, respectively. The beautiful thing about many of these stories is that they are not stories defined by their protagonist’s identities, abilities, or any other societal prescriptions. They are so much more than this. These brilliant stories provide an insight into who these characters are, the lives they lead, and how they change along the way. Beyond this, many stories reflect the need for friendship and community (I expect this is born from lockdown). Whether dramatic or comedic, your stories are urgent responses to pressing issues. As a reader, it is an incredible privilege to have my worldview informed and changed by reading 110 unique perspectives. So, to all those who entered Sharp Shorts, I thank you.

“As a reader of Sharp Shorts, I found that the most compelling proposals struck a balance between good storytelling (i.e. a journey of change/transition), prowess over project vision, and an authentic voice. That latter point is crucial, as we need to hear how your story sounds.”

It might be a bit cliche, but an unprecedented level of talent was found throughout these submissions. So many proposals were clearly knock-out projects, and it was tough to make a selection. As a writer, I totally understand the pain of conjuring that black magic required to effectively convince the reader that your project is the BEST. As a reader of Sharp Shorts, I found that the most compelling proposals struck a balance between good storytelling (i.e. a journey of change/transition), prowess over project vision, and an authentic voice. That latter point is crucial, as we need to hear how your story sounds. This works particularly well if you’re propelling us into a unique world that you know exceptionally well. It’s a great way of allowing us readers to immerse ourselves in the world of your story.

In addition, sometimes less is more. Ensure every word and sentence is necessary to effectively communicate your proposed project. You might not necessarily need to fill the word count on each section. The following note extends beyond Sharp Shorts: ensure you’re versed in the BFI Diversity Standards. As writers and filmmakers, it is our duty to make sure our art is inclusive and reflects the diversity within our broader society. At first, they might seem daunting, but trust me, these guidelines are your best friend and will do wonders for your stories. And finally, love your characters. If I see that you clearly exude passion and love for your characters (even if they’re nasty), they jump off the page with life and vitality. Love is an infectious thing. If you love your characters, so will we.

Clearly, some brilliant energy is manifesting amongst emerging and early-career filmmakers in Scotland. This is incredibly exciting and something we ought to be proud of. Short Circuit is doing an incredible job of promoting and supporting early-career filmmaking talent. With the success of recent Sharp Shorts films such as Too Rough, there is undoubtedly a strong global appetite for hyperlocal Scottish narratives. People all around the world want to see our stories.

Before you know it, the submission window for Sharp Shorts 2023 will be open. So what are you waiting for? Start getting those ideas down on paper. We can’t wait to read them next year!

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

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We are very excited to share the 12 shortlisted projects that will be developed through our short film scheme Sharp Shorts this year.

In April 2022, we invited writers, writer/directors and filmmaking teams of writer, director and producer to submit a one-page outline of their short film idea for the third round of Sharp Shorts.

This year we received over 270 applications of an exceptional standard and the competition was very high. There was a great range of diverse stories: from coming-of-ages dramas, to supernatural thrillers, to high-concept science fiction. We were blown away by the level of talent and originality showcased within the submitted projects.

Following from a structured assessment process, involving a team of readers and external assessors, 12 teams have been selected to work with the Short Circuit Talent Executives to develop their short film.

The following 12 projects have been shortlisted:

A Beating Wing Writer/Director: Ciaran Pasi; Producer: Shona Mackenzie
Beatless Writer/Director: Ana Songel; Producer: Misha McCullagh
Can I Live?Writer/Director: Paul Morris; Producer: Martin Conaghan
Derevo (дерево)Writer/Director: Kristin Atwood; Producer: Amanda Rogers
Paternal Advice – Writer/Director: Lisa Clarkson
Slay + Prepare the Animal for Meat – Writer: Ciara Elizabeth Smyth; Director: Oisin Kearney
Soul – Writer: Eilidh Loan
The Lost Keys Writer/Director: Theo Panagopoulos
Time After Time – Writer: Linda Campbell; Director: Jack Allen
Tongue – Writer: Raman Mundair; Director: Tom Gentle; Producer: Jessie Magnum
Tuck Writer: Ali Taylor; Director: Michael Lee Richardson; Producer: Reece Cargan
四 Purvey – Writer: Julie Tsang

Over the next 3 months, the selected teams will develop their short film proposals into a draft script. Teams will be supported by Short Circuit’s Talent Executives and will have access to masterclasses, editorial feedback, peer workshops and additional bespoke training and access support as required. This will also include training to help prepare to pitch in front of the funding panel.

Following the development stage, the 12 shortlisted teams will be pitching their packaged projects to the Short Circuit funding panel. Up to 9 projects will then receive a maximum of £15,000 (with an up to £5,000 covid uplift) each towards their production budget, plus further training support to see them through production, post-production, delivery and distribution.

We can’t wait to work alongside the shortlisted teams to support their respective creative journeys!

To stay engaged with all goings-on, subscribe to our newsletter and/or follow us on social media @shortcircscot.

Interested in taking that career-defining step towards making your debut feature? We recently announced new deadline dates for First Features.

The scheme is for writing, writing/directing and producing talent from all across Scotland who have bold and compelling fiction projects with theatrical ambition and the potential to resonate with audiences globally. 

First Features will support projects from initial idea to fully polished draft. There will be two levels of awards, distinguished between early development (to treatment or first draft) and further development (second draft and beyond). You will be able to apply for support at either level. 

Deadline dates for 2022:

  • Sunday 29th May 2022, 11.59pm
  • Sunday 28th August 2022, 11.59pm

Since 2020, a variety of projects have received funding towards their project along with creative/editorial support from the Short Circuit Talent Executives and the Scripted team at Screen Scotland. You can check them out here.

We encourage you to get in touch with the Short Circuit Team if you would like to discuss your application and need support in order to apply. You can also register for a 1-2-1 surgery with one of our Talent Executives on Thursday 26th May to discuss your project before the upcoming deadline.

We are now accepting applications for Sharp Shorts – our short film development and production scheme for new and emerging talent.

Sharp Shorts – which opens for applications today (Friday 25th March) – seeks to spotlight up-and-coming writers, directors and producers based in Scotland; granting funds to create inspiring, engaging and boundary-pushing short films that resonate with audiences worldwide. Both live action and animated projects will be considered.

Up to 12 projects will be selected to take part in a 3-month development phase. After pitching for a production award in September 2022, up to 9 projects will be selected to receive up to £15,000 of funding.

A live webinar will take place on Tuesday 12th April to guide applicants through the online form and answer any questions. Book your spot here.

New and emerging filmmakers living in Scotland are welcome to apply for Sharp Shorts, including those looking to make the transition to fiction from documentary or experimental film, as well as practitioners working in other mediums such as television, theatre, literature and other forms of visual and/or performing arts. All applicants should be able to demonstrate some experience of crafting a dramatic narrative or professional artwork in at least one of these formats.

“Short Circuit has recognised my voice as a Palestinian filmmaker living in Scotland and supported my directing vision towards making my professional debut short film. I encourage every filmmaker with a bold new idea to submit to this great scheme.”

Razan Madhoon, Filmmaker and Sharp Shorts 2020 Participant

We are seeking applications from complete teams of writer, director (or writer/director) and producer or from individual writers or writer/directors. Individual producers or directors not currently attached to a project will be invited to submit for consideration as a potential collaborator at a later date.

Applications are encouraged from individuals who are currently under-represented within the sector, including Disabled and D/deaf people, people from global majority ethnic groups, women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex people (LGBTQI+), and those who have been socially and economically disadvantaged by their circumstances

The deadline to apply for Sharp Shorts is 11:59pm on Monday 2nd May.

Click here to find out more and apply.

Photo credit: Kevin J. Thomson

Join us on Monday 7th of March as we’ll be taking over Glasgow Film Festival’s Industry Programme.

Meet our Talent Executives, find out how to create your own short film strategy, learn all about filming in a pandemic and much more.

Glasgow Film Festival’s 2022 Industry Programme will run Sunday 6th – Thursday 10th March at DoubleTree Hilton (36 Cambridge Street, G2 3HN), in person and live streamed on the GFF Digital Hub for delegates.

The full schedule for Short Circuit’s Industry Day can be found below:

Networking Breakfast with DIFF

Time: 09:00 – 10:00

A breakfast to welcome the filmmakers behind the Best of DIFF (Dublin International Film Festival) – Shorts From Ireland Programme.

Come along for breakfast and coffee and meet other filmmakers attending the festival. Breakfast will be followed by a screening of the Best of DIFF programme at Cineworld, Screen 2 at 10:15am.

Location: Robert Burns Suite at DoubleTree Hilton


1:2:1 Surgery with Miriam Newman – Short Circuit Talent Executive

Time: 10:00 – 12:00

Sign up for a 15-minute meeting with Short Circuit Talent Executive Miriam Newman.

These slots are available for Scottish or Scotland-based filmmakers and talent who require access or communication support with a Short Circuit application they are currently working on, or would like to discuss a particular project or specific aspect of their own professional development.

To ensure you get the maximum possible benefit from the session, please come prepared with questions or points you would like to discuss with Miriam.

More info on all the GFF 1:2:1 sessions can be found here.

Location: DoubleTree Hilton (Room TBC)


Best of DIFF – Shorts from Ireland

Time: 10:15 – 11:45

We have partnered up with our friends at Dublin International Film Festival to bring you the Best of DIFF Shorts from Ireland Programme. This screening is open to all delegate passholders.

Location: Screen 2, Cineworld Renfrew Street


Pitch Me Perfect with Sasha Damjanovski

Time: 09:30 – 11:45

Start your Monday morning with our GFF Short Circuit Industry Event, a PITCH ME PERFECT workshop delivered by Sasha Damjanovski, award-winning writer-director-producer, coach and associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins (UAL).

The workshop will cover the key aspects of pitching – from identifying the hook of your project and how to make it appealing to others, to adapting a pitch for new audiences.

Location: Robert Burns Suite at DoubleTree / Digital Platform


Screenplay Principles – Writing Your Short Screenplay with Sophia Wellington

Time: 12:15 – 13:30

In this 75 minute masterclass Sophie Wellington will cover some of the screenwriting fundamentals all writers need to be aware of when tackling the page. Aimed primarily at the new writer and focusing mainly on shorts, these principles and the topics covered will also be of interest to the intermediate writer and those embarking on their first feature. Topics covered include characterisation, plotting, some simple tips for dialogue and next steps. At the end of the session, writers will have tools and tips to help develop a successful short film.

Location: Robert Burns Suite at DoubleTree / Digital Platform


In Conversation with Ruth Paxton and David Liddell

Time: 14:00 – 15:15

A chance to hear from Filmmaker Ruth Paxton and Cinematographer David Liddell. Ruth and David have been collaborating on projects for years, most recently with GFF Scottish Premiere A Banquet. They will be joining us to talk with Short Circuit Talent Executive Miriam Newman about their careers from the first shorts to the current feature. This session will include time for questions from the audience.

A Banquet is screening at GFF on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March as well as online at Glasgow Film at Home.

Location: Robert Burns Suite at DoubleTree / Digital Platform


Meet the Sharp Shorts Filmmakers

Time: 15:45 – 17:15

Short Circuit Initiative Sharp Shorts launched in May 2020 with a call for short film ideas. From over 400 applications, 16 projects were chosen to go through script development with the Short Circuit Talent Executives. Nine film projects were awarded funding through Sharp Shorts at the end of August 2020, and you can read more about them here.

Six of the nine films are now complete and in their festival run, with the remaining three about to be delivered. The films have been accepted into festivals all around the world. This session is a chance to hear from some of the filmmakers behind the films about the journey through the initiative and to ask questions you may have.

Sharp Shorts will open for the next round of applications in Spring 2022.

Location: Robert Burns Suite at DoubleTree / Digital Platform


Industry Focus Daily Networking Reception

Sponsored by Short Circuit

Time: 17:30 – 19:30

To wrap up this jam-packed day of Short Circuit activity, join other delegates and filmmakers for a drink and opportunity to socialise in person.

Please note that for your safety, you will need to show proof of a negative lateral flow test at the door to access the Networking Reception.

Location: Restaurant at DoubleTree

Will you be joining us? Let us know what session you’re most looking forward to on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

We’re excited to announce the participants taking part in Convergence 2022 – our programme for aspiring screenwriters.

In December 2021 we invited submissions from Scotland-based professional writers, filmmakers and creative practitioners, currently working in other fields, who were interested in moving into writing for screen.

After an internal assessment and selection process – carried out by the Short Circuit Talent Executives and course leader David Pope – eight participants were chosen to take part in Convergence and learn the fundamentals of screenwriting shorts and feature films.

The selected participants are:

  • Imogen Stirling 
  • Juulia Kalavainen 
  • Kate Hammer 
  • Matthew Hickman 
  • Megan Shandley 
  • Patricia-Ann Young 
  • Ruaraidh Murray 
  • Zyra Evangelista

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

Imogen Stirling

Imogen is a writer, performance poet, theatre-maker and vocalist. Highlights: ‘Artist of the Year’ at Scottish Emerging Theatre Awards 2021; inaugural Writer-in-Residence for Paisley Book Festival; writer/performer on Sky Arts’ BAFTA-winning Life & Rhymes; BBC Words First participant. Her five-star debut show, #Hypocrisy, sold out at Edinburgh and Prague Fringe before touring the UK. Her gig poetry show-in-progress, Love The Sinner, is in development with the book version published this month. Imogen co-founded Siren Theatre Company, one of the Gaiety’s New Scottish Companies. 

“After a time of such strange creative isolation, I can’t think of a better way to start the year than by joining this cohort of varied, dynamic voices. There are stories I’ve long wanted to tell that I couldn’t find the words for through poetry, and I’m excited to delve into the potential of a new medium. Through the programme, I’m looking forward to pushing myself well out of my comfort zone, developing and expanding my craft, and learning more about myself as a writer.”

Juulia Kalavainen

Juulia Kala is a Finnish filmmaker, living in Scotland. She has directed four short films that have been screened and won awards at various international film festivals. With an interest in ritual, environmental and spiritual themes, her films explore the relationships between humans and nature, drawing inspiration from myths and folklore. She is passionate about telling the stories of characters who are in liminal phases of their lives – transforming or searching for their place in the world.

“Writing and directing my own scripts has felt like the next step I need to take in order to develop and grow as a filmmaker, but at times, I have been missing guidance and support. Convergence is a wonderful opportunity to develop as a screenwriter, to give and receive feedback and get to know other fellow writers. I look forward to honing my storytelling skills, getting inspired and learning a lot from David and my peers during these next months.”

Kate Hammer

Kate Hammer is a writer and performer based in Glasgow. An award-winning playwright and published writer, Kate strives to create community representation in order to tell the stories that need to be heard. Recently graduating with Distinction from GCU with a Master’s in Television Fiction Writing, she is keen to enter the incredible film and television industry in the UK. Kate is a queer, neurodivergent creator who always stays close to her Canadian, goat farm beginnings.

“Just as we’re not supposed to live in solitude, we aren’t supposed to write in it. I cannot wait to meet an incredible group of people, and learn from David and the Short Circuit team. I’m most looking forward to collaborating, creating, and being challenged in creating impactful stories while knowing I’m in extraordinarily talented company.”

Matthew Hickman

Matthew Hickman is a songwriter and performer from Ayrshire, who’s stellar career in music to date has allowed him to write, release & tour his music under the moniker of brownbear as well as writing for many other artists. Hickman is now looking to develop his writing skills beyond music and start a new creative venture in the world of film.

“I am looking forward to further developing my skills as a screenwriter with mentorship from some of the industry’s top professionals. An opportunity like this is essential for a newcomer like myself to transition from the professional practice of writing songs to writing films.”

Megan Shandley

Megan is a LAMDA graduate and recently gained a screenwriting certificate from NFTS Scotland. Acting credits include short film Kingdom Come which premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, and the Michael Caton-Jones feature Our Ladies. She is currently performing in immersive theatre show Doctor Who: Time Fracture. As a stand-up comic, Megan performed at major UK festivals, as well as on the BBC. She was a 2017 Scottish Variety Award Nominee and 2018 Funny Women Grand Finalist.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Convergence 2022 and excited to learn the most effective ways to approach my writing and execute my ideas, as well as gaining an insight into the workings of the industry. I’m keen to explore the most engaging yet daring ways to tell my stories, drawing on both my classical drama and comedy backgrounds.”

Patricia-Ann Young

​​Patricia-Ann Young is a Glasgow-based features writer whose work has appeared in a variety of Scottish newspapers and magazines, such as The Sunday Post, The Courier, Scottish Wedding, IN BLOOM and No 1 Magazine.

“I am extremely excited to be part of this programme, and feel very privileged to get the chance to work and learn alongside my peers. I am most looking forward to learning from David Pope’s expertise and building a community with my fellow participants. Switching from journalism to screenwriting feels a little daunting, but I feel that I am now in the perfect environment to do so and to grow as a creative writer.”

Ruaraidh Murray

Ruaraidh is one of BBC’s Scottish Voices 2020/21. Critically acclaimed solo shows include Big Sean, Mikey and Me, Bath Time and Boxman and his plays Allie and The Club, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe 2012, until 2016. His solo shows and plays toured throughout the UK (Vault Festival, Park Theatre, London) and internationally (Under St. Marks Theatre, New York). Acting credits include Night Bus (BFI LFF Official Selection), Trainspotting (UK Tour), Borgia (Netflix), Bob Servant (BBC). Projects currently in development include TV drama Highlifers (Producer Jules Hussey), short film The Finger and feature film No Trees on Tiree (EP Douglas Mackinnon).

“I’m really looking forward to working with Short Circuit and meeting everyone involved in Convergence 2022, improving my screenwriting skills and making my short and feature scripts the best they can be.”

Zyra Evangelista

Zy is a developing artist with a strong academic background. Their lived experiences as someone with multiple marginalised identities shapes a lot of their work. They want to fuse their academic training and creative skills to produce impactful narratives that champion social justice issues in an engaging and accessible way. Zy’s working projects include an animated short, short story picture book, and an autobiographical essay.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Convergence because it provides a great opportunity for translating my lived experience, academic training, and creative writing skills into producing socially impactful films. I’m excited to collaborate and learn from industry professionals and experts such as David Pope, and other like-minded Scotland-based creators participating in the programme. I wish I grew up seeing more films that represented me and others like me so I’m eager to use what I learn from Convergence to successfully transition into writing uniquely entertaining screenplays that can connect with a diverse global audience while empowering marginalised communities and initiating progressive dialogues about structural inequalities, social justice, and social change.”

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