On Wednesday 17th August, Culture Secretary Angus Robertson and President of Screen Talent Europe, Mette Bihl, visited GMAC Film to meet with staff and alumni.
GMAC Film is an open access media centre that delivers a creative and artistic programme for all people to realise their ambitions in film and the creative sector. Its growing programme spans across youth work, film education, training, film commissioning schemes, open access screening events, outreach work and office hire. As well as its offer to filmmakers, GMAC Film also runs a series of youth programmes, ranging from summer school workshops to targeted outreach events for those at risk of offending.
Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to developing skills and nurturing talent in Scotland’s screen sector, so that we can secure continuing success for our creative industries and further develop a sustainable creative economy.
“GMAC, which receives funding from our specialist screen agency, Screen Scotland, plays a vital role in ensuring that the industry has the crew and talent it needs to grow, including people from under-represented backgrounds and across our diverse communities.”
President of Screen Talent Europe Mette Bihl said:
“GMAC Film is the newest partner of Screen Talent Europe, and they will contribute to the network with a variety of experience and programs for all of us to be inspired from. I have enjoyed my visit and look forward to our collaboration in the future. It is crucial for film talents to have a strong network in other countries, but it is just as important for film talent developers and organisations to have a network. These are the two most important things and the third is of course to get film talent development up front on the European political agenda.”
As part of its talent development work, GMAC Film supported rural filmmaker Catriona MacLeod to deliver her first short film via the Little Pictures commissioning scheme, funded by Screen Scotland.
Award winning writer and director Catriona MacLeod said:
“I’ve not been in the world of filmmaking for very long, but those early days were definitely characterised by a long, patient wait for someone to say ‘yes’ to my ideas. GMAC Film gave me that first, massive ‘yes’, and since commissioning my debut short, Little Lark, as one of their Little Pictures films in 2021, Wilma and the team have been truly brilliant supporters of my work and it’s such a gift to have their creative brains as sounding boards.
“To be representing Scotland and GMAC Film at CineSud’s Director’s Village this September is the greatest honour of my career so far. The Scottish film industry is buzzing with immense talent right now, and to feel like I’m on the edge of it is thrilling. I have GMAC Film to thank for getting me here.”
Director, editor and producer, Kieran Howe, explains how getting involved with GMAC Film at an early age shaped his career and connections.
“GMAC Film has done more for me than any other institution, school or organisation in my life. I remember walking into GMAC Film as a nervous, shy wee boy — over 10 years ago — to join the first ever summer school filmmaking programme. Thanks to GMAC I now have life-long mentors, friends and a career; I have my dream job, making films and working for an incredible production company Forest of Black. None of this would have happened without GMAC Film. Recently, I joined their board of trustees to help enable more young people to achieve their goals and tell the stories they deserve to tell. Changing lives is exactly what this amazing organisation does for young people and filmmakers every day. I am one of those people.”