Three Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) graduates have been commissioned to make two films by the Scottish Film Talent Network (STFN), as part of their Scottish Short scheme. Kevin Pickering and Lewis Wardrop (Film & TV – BA (Hons), 2013) will be working together on a psychological drama called Close to the Bone, while Gordon Napier (Film Directing – MFA, 2015) will be co-producing and directing a period drama, 1745.

Close to the Bone is written and directed by Kevin and produced by Lewis. The film is about a tortured man with an eating disorder who must confront his demons to save a relationship that teeters on the brink of collapse.

“We’re both really excited to have Close to the Bone commissioned. Undertaking the development process with SFTN has really helped the script come to life and all of the support and advice from the team has been invaluable,” said Lewis, “Gaining this commission will help us to develop as filmmakers and allow Close to the Bone to reach a much wider audience.”

Filming for Kevin and Lewis’ film will begin on 27th June 2016.

1745 is about two young, black slaves who escape into the wilds of 18th century Scotland, and who must use all of their courage and strength to survive, unite, and stay free.

1745 immediately grabbed my attention with its originality and its core fundamental and universal themes of freedom and injustice which people can readily relate to,” said Gordon, “It's going to be a complex, emotional journey for the characters”. The film is written by Morayo Akandé and produced by John McKay who has previously worked on Shetland, Life on Mars and Piccadilly Jim.

Filming for 1745 is due to start in autumn of 2016.

SFTN offers new and emerging filmmakers support for their individual film projects and professional development. Their Scottish Shorts scheme is a fiercely competitive and prestigious award which targets Scottish-based writers, directors and producers who are starting out and are yet to gain industry recognition.

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David Cairns on the set of The Northleach Horror

In 2015, SFTN commissioned The Northleach Horror, produced by Film & TV – BA (Hons) graduate David Jack and directed by David Cairns, a tutor on the Film & TV – BA (Hons) programme. It was co-written by David Cairns and Alex Livingstone, another graduate of the same programme.

The Northleach Horror is a short comedy-horror-sci-fi about the exploits of a deranged scientist called Whitsuntide, and it will have its premiere at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). Numerous current students from ECA and Napier worked on the film, and some of them have received television work from executive producers Plum Films as a result.

Also commissioned by SFTN in 2015 and showing at the 2016 EIFF is Grimm Street, directed by Film & TV graduate Siri Rødnes – BA (Hons). Grimm Street is a drama about a young girl who is afraid of the wolf at her door and the wheelchair by her bed. The film has already won a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award for the lead actress, Sarah Miele.