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Film school public funding 'meagre'

Published 04/06/2015

A movie producer has called for more funding to go to Screen Academy Scotland
A movie producer has called for more funding to go to Screen Academy Scotland

The Scottish producer behind the Mad Max: Fury Road movie has said that the "meagre" public funding of Scotland's film school must change if local talent is to flourish.

Iain Smith, whose other production credits include Wanted, The A-Team and The Fifth Element, made the comment at an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the national film school Screen Academy Scotland.

Smith said the success of graduates from the academy, which is a collaboration between Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College of Art, showed the talent was "clearly here".

Glasgow-born Smith, who received an OBE in 2008 for his services to the film industry, said: "Over the past ten years the entire UK film industry has benefited hugely from Scotland having its own national film school.

"Screen Academy Scotland graduates have been nominated at the Oscars, won dozens of Bafta awards and outshone literally thousands of their peers to compete in Cannes. They are now working across the film, television and the games sectors from script to screen.

"All this has been made possible by the support of industry and by a relatively modest amount of public sector funding. However, compared to other national film schools, that funding remains very meagre.

"It's now high time that the Academy was put on a more secure footing, giving it the resources to be able to plan ahead and to fully integrate with developments such as the much-awaited Scottish film studio(s) and the growth of high-end television drama that we've seen here recently."

He added: " The talent is clearly here - let's make sure we give them the time, the space and the tools to shine even more brightly."

The Ten Years of Talent at Screen Academy Scotland event is showing prize-winning films by graduates at an Edinburgh cinema, where Smith is guest of honour.

Professor Robin MacPherson, whose 10-year tenure as director of the film school will end in July, said: "We've achieved an enormous amount in Screen Academy Scotland's first decade and I'm confident that, if the vital support of our public bodies is there, over the next few years both Scottish film and the academy will reach new heights."

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