International Screen Residencies

Minilabs and residencies for composers and film-makers including a series of events, workshops, masterclasses and also support, advice and advocacy.



Network is a feature film development programme, one of several talent development initiatives run by EIFF throughout the year. Network seeks to support and mentor filmmakers and/or filmmaking teams in progressing their film projects forward and provides opportunities for its participants to meet and learn from a variety of film professionals, build connections with the right people and organisations, and ultimately progress their film projects in the best direction. The project is built around a dedicated website that allows participation by filmmakers from across the UK regardless of circumstance.

With a visit to the Edinburgh International Film Festival accomplished and a meet-up at the London Film Festival imminent, screenwriter Neil Hepburn provides an insight to his experience of the programme so far:

“Hello, my name’s Sisyphus and I’m a screenwriter. No, you haven’t seen anything I’ve written. I’ve got this big bastard screenplay and every time I push it up the mountain it rolls right back down again, right before I reach the top. I think they call this ‘development’. Sometimes, I feel damned to repeat it for eternity. So why bother?

Well, this time it’s different. I’ve got ace writer-director Ben Soper sharing the weight. We’ve got producers (Blue Iris Films) lashing us from behind with whips. And behind them, we have the Network cavalry: a team of industry pros providing support, sage advice and the odd heckle. The odd heckle is good. The number one thing about development is that you’re only as good as your work. Your success depends on your ability to defend yourself against the odd heckle. So heckle away. Because the cold hard road ahead requires a thick skin…

We have a project that we believe in: an intense, sweaty, provocative psychological thriller, set in a hotel, and entitled Night Falls. When Blue Iris took it onto their development slate, to be produced as Ben’s feature debut, we were looking for the right people to help us take things to the next level. Not with a little step up, but with a mammoth leap forwards. We want to leave the programme with a blisteringly good script that demands to be made. We want a greater depth of industry experience so that we can better weather the shit-storm of production and distribution that is coming our way. And we want funding from people who will believe in the project as much as we do.

Our initial meeting with project director Kate Leys quickly put to rest any doubts we had about choosing Network. Kate is terrific with story. She’s a bulldog when it comes to theme. I mean that with the utmost respect. If your theme is in the right place, it can survive the mauling. If it gets covered in bite marks and starts haemorrhaging blood, time for a re-think.

Kate set us up with our group mentor, Peter Ettedgui. Peter’s credits include assistant directing for the great Ken Russell, producing the film Kinky Boots and working as development consultant on the scripts for some hokey spy thing under the working title ‘BOND 24’. Safe to say; the man knows a thing or two about the film industry. He didn’t disappoint.

Peter flew up from London to meet us at the Blue Iris offices. We talked intensely for three solid hours. Story, theme, influences. Great hotel films, great three-handers. Kubrick, Polanski. The cinema of anxiety. Production, casting, finance. How we were going to get our first feature made. I think I ate a cheese sandwich at some point but I can’t be sure. If Network had ended there and then, we would have left with an education.

But that was just the beginning. The next stage took us to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where we were placed in a room full of important industry folk with intimidating job titles and great haircuts. It was time to endear ourselves to the powers that be whilst, half-cut, attempting to gracefully consume unidentifiable meat sticks in the vain hope it would soak up the booze that had just hit our empty stomachs. Nobody wants to be the drunk guy waving the meat sticks
around at a networking event. That could ruin any promising career and perhaps even lead to incarceration.

Luckily, it was a relaxed affair, no one was arrested and we were surrounded by people who were as passionate about cinema as we are. People like Celine Haddad, who once watched Hitchcock’s Notorious every day for a year. Major kudos to that! We made connections, learned lots, and it turned out the meat sticks had a pleasant texture and a subtle spiciness.

So as we madly work on Night Falls in preparation for our next Network date at the London Film Festival, I’m confident that it’s not just our story that’s in a better place. I think we’re a stronger proposition as a filmmaking team – ready to produce a white-hot thriller from our script. And maybe that script is going to roll down the mountain once more. But next time we push it back up we’re going to be stronger than ever before. Go Sisyphus!

So, if you’ll excuse me (and my tenuously linked, somewhat pretentious, Greek myth analogy) I have a mountain to climb.”

Network is a collaboration between Edinburgh International Film Festival and story editor Kate Leys supported by Creative Scotland’s Creative Futures Fund and by the Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund, a part of a Bigger Future 2.

Keep up to date with Network by visiting our website or follow us on Twitter @EIFFNetwork.


Now in its third year, the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Composer Lab is a unique programme for emerging Scottish composers, offering them the chance to meet with some of the most successful professionals in the field and discover what the real score is in the world of moving image composition.

This year’s participants were Sonia Allori, Matthew Hogg, Francis Macdonald, Shona Mackay, Brian McAlpine, Rory McIntyre, Conrad Molleson and Matthew Whiteside.  An eclectic group, these eight individuals brought to the programme a diverse range of skills and abilities, from former band members turned composers to classically trained musicians making music for moving image, and everything in between.

During the 2013 EIFF in June these eight individuals attended five days of workshops, masterclasses, and networking events developing their understanding of the industry, increasing their contacts list and connecting with their peers in other areas of filmmaking. Many of the sessions were intimate round-tables where the participants and guest speaker would take part in discussions about composition and the film industry, creating a unique, relaxed learning environment.

Industry professionals attending EIFF to meet with the participants included composers Jim Sutherland (Festival, Brave), Laura Rossi (Song for Marion, London to Brighton), Jim Williams (Kill List, Sightseers) and Daniel Pemberton (The Awakening, The Counselor); orchestrator Matt Dunkley (Kick-Ass, The Great Gatsby); directors Paul Wright (For Those in Peril) and Andrew Douglas (uwantme2killhim?); and Oscar-winning sound-designer Jon Johnson (U-571).  Jon even brought his Oscar to meet the group!

Reactions to this year’s lab have been very positive. Feedback from the participants includes:

Every session was worth its weight in gold. Whether or not that was obvious at the time, on reflection there was not a minute wasted.”

Brian McApline

I learned much, much, much more than I had anticipated.”

Francis Macdonald

I think the range and eclecticism of talent we encountered was first class.”

Rory McIntyre

However, the Lab is not over yet. New to this year’s programme, all eight of the participants will travel to Belgium in October for the Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent. Famous for its focus on film composition, the Festival hosts the World Soundtrack Awards now in its 13th year and will be a completely new adventure for all involved. The participants will take part in a range of industry events, screenings and concerts, including the awards, whilst also networking with a whole new group of individuals.

For now the participants are back with their guitar/harp/flute/instrument of choice taking stock of all they experience at EIFF and readying themselves for Ghent.

Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced the participants for this year’s Composers Lab and Sound Lab. These programmes will offer a variety of advice sessions, workshops and masterclasses for the next generation of film talent during the 2013 Festival.

The Composers Lab invites participants to talk with and learn from experienced industry professionals from the world of composition including composers Laura Rossi (London to Brighton), Jim Sutherland (I Am Breathing) and Jim Williams (Sightseers), orchestrator Matt Dunkley (Stoker) and Oscar© winning sound designer Jon Johnson (U571).

2013 Composers Lab Participants are:

Sonia Allori, Matthew Hogg, Francis Macdonald, Shona Mackay, Brian McAlpine, Rory McIntyre, Conrad Molleson, Matthew Whiteside

The Sound Lab is partnered by Savalas, one of the UK’s leading sound post-production facilities offering a unique opportunity for participants to fully understand feature film sound from beginning to end. The emphasis will be on the creative practice of film sound design, demonstrated with hands-on experience in a film production house.

2013 Sound Lab Participants are:

Bethan Parkes, Ross Buchanan, Adrianne Louise Calgie, Patrick Collins, Jonathan Crosbie, Michael John Cumming, Ugne Pikutyte, Simone Smith

The 2013 Sound and Composers Labs are supported by the Creative Scotland Creative Futures Fund.

Chris Fujiwara, Artistic Director of EIFF said: “I’m very happy that our festival will once again this year contribute to the development of filmmaking talent through these vital programmes. The high level of accomplishment among the participants is an encouraging sign for the future of cinema.”

Full details of all EIFF Talent Development programmes can be found on the Festival website:

Let us introduce Screen Gurus, an exciting new opportunity for film professionals in Scotland…

What is it?

Screen Gurus is a new talent hub for film professionals working in film skills , film literacy and film education across Scotland aiming to build the skills, expertise and experience of individuals working in the sector.

Centred around a virtual network based within the website LinkedIn, Screen Gurus will seek over the coming months to conduct a skills audit, alongside the running of a number of skills development workshops and networking events in key centres across Scotland.

How do you get involved?

If you feel that you feel that the Screen Gurus project relates to the work you do, please visit our virtual network and apply to join the group. This network will bring together organisations and individuals providing an opportunity to share knowledge, identify and develop skills, and broaden connections.

We are also pleased to announce that our first Screen Gurus workshop with take place at the DCA in Dundee on Tuesday 23rd October. To book and place and find out more please check the Events section of 38 Minutes, or visit our Eventbrite webpage.

Screen Gurus is being developed and delivered by the Centre for the Moving Image, which incorporates the Edinburgh International film Festival and Filmhouse, and is supported by Creative Scotland’s Creative Futures Fund.