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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
New scheme promotes Scottish film
Ewan McGregor in the Scottish film Trainspotting
A new scheme offering three Scottish film-makers 1.2m each is being launched at the Cannes Film Festival.

The scheme, open to all Scottish-based film-makers, was set up by Scottish Screen, BBC Scotland and BBC Films.

The money is designed to help them make the transition from short films to feature-length works.

The process of selecting the three films, to be shown in cinemas, is expected to take 12 months with the results announced at Cannes 2005.

Speaking in the French town, Mr McAveety said: "The Scottish film industry is developing into a significant part of the film community.

This new initiative will provide an opportunity for up and coming film-makers to show what they can do
Frank McAveety

"The recent success of films produced in Scotland, and by Scottish film-makers, demonstrates that we have great expertise already within Scotland.

"However, it is important that we create the right atmosphere in which to encourage new talent.

"This new initiative will provide an opportunity for up and coming film-makers to show what they can do and I have no doubt that the results will be first class."

The initiative will fully fund three low-budget feature films and give them worldwide distribution.

It is open to all Scottish-based writers, producers and directors, both budding and established.

'Learn the trade'

Celia Stevenson, from Scottish Screen, said: "It is not a huge amount but it is a reasonable budget, a budget you can make a reasonable film with. We are used in Britain to making lower budget films and this is an amount film makers can work with.

"It isn't about great block busters that fill cinemas all the time, we have to give film makers a chance to learn their trade."

Claire Kerr, a Scottish-based film producer, said that if she had access to 1.2m to make a film "she would be delighted".

She added: "At the moment I am making a 10-minute film for kids with a budget of 40,000 and we are developing a script with Scottish Screen other scheme called New Found Film."

Mr McAveety was in Cannes for Scotland Day - which promotes the country as a film location and highlights the work of Scottish film-makers.

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