Young Talent at EIFF

Young Programmer Douglas Greenwood sums up his experiences on the Young Talents programme.

I always have, and always will, argue that EIFF has an unrivaled communal spirit in which everyone’s treated the same. Whether they are a prestigious filmmaker, or a 16 year old kid who just loves the thought of making movies, there is a place for them at Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Since 2010, the Festival’s Young Talents program has been the highlight of my year, giving young people aged 16-18 the opportunity to immerse yourself in an environment of film, directors, actors and producers.

The team at EIFF and Filmhouse, notably Nicola Kettlewood (Knowledge & Learning Events Manager) and this year Breige Swift (Learning Events Assistant) have worked tirelessly to compile a program of recommended films and industry events for the 21-strong group, as well as a series of private events with accomplished filmmakers and actors.

This year, the itinerary was as strong as ever. Within the first few days, we had already experienced a panel interview with the cast and crew of Svengali (after our recommended screening) at the Traverse Theatre, as well as a private meeting with the star of Trainspotting and Michael Powell Award juror Kevin McKidd. Both of these events were wildly different, but both were great in the sense that they showed the differentiation between filmmakers own views of how the industry works and how to get started in it.

As the ten days ran on, the Young Talents packed loads of films (in some cases, 25+) into their program that was already bursting at the seams. We attended private Q&A’s with Matt Hulse (Director, Dummy Jim) and Paul Wright (Director, For Those In Peril), as well as grabbing the opportunity to see legendary animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) being interviewed.

EIFF’s Young Talents is undoubtedly the best experience a young filmmaker can get. Three years on, I’ve learnt exceptional knowledge and made great links to filmmakers.

You never know, the people you meet during the Festival may be your future employers in the industry!

– Douglas Greenwood

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This intrepid band love cinema and love EIFF. The 2015 Young Programmers' strand, 'The Young and the Wild', includes an excellent selection of films that explore issues pertinent to young people around the world. During EIFF 15, various young programmers will be bringing you blog posts on a variety of subjects.


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