Edinburgh International Film Festival today confirmed the eight screenwriters from across the UK selected for the next edition of the EIFF Ideas Lab supporting them to find inspiration in the world of science and cutting edge scientific research.

Between now and June 2019, when the 73rd edition of the film festival will take place, writers will be invited to attend three events based at high end research labs across the UK where they will have the opportunity to develop project ideas with science and humanities researchers.


The confirmed writers are:

Ronan Blaney

Ronan currently has two films due for release in 2018: A Good Woman is Hard to Find, a revenge thriller for February Films directed by Abner Pastoll (Road Games) starring Sarah Bolger (Spiderwick Chroicles) and Don't Go, a chilling horror for Wide Eye Films and the Irish Film Board by director David Gleeson starring Steven Dorff and Melissa George. In 2015, Ronan and Michael Lennox’s short film Boogaloo and Graham won the BAFTA for Best Short Film and was nominated for an Oscar.

Kefi Chadwick

Kefi started her writing career as a playwright, and has worked with the Royal Court Young Writer's Programme, Paines Plough, The Arcola and Nottingham Playhouse. Kefi has adapted her critically acclaimed play Any Means Necessary for Wellington Films. Her shorts include, Girlpower, which won Best Comedy Short at Aesthetica Film Festival 2014 and Sexlife, which was screened at Tribeca in the USA and Encounters in the UK.

Kieran Hurley

Kieran is a writer, performer, and theatre maker based in Glasgow. His Fringe First-winning & critically acclaimed play Heads Up played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016 and 2017, and toured the UK between February and June 2017 and again in February 2018. Kieran’s debut screenplay is an adaptation of his play Beats co-written with Brian Welsh who also directs. Rosetta Productions Ltd are producing with Steven Soderbergh attached as an executive producer.

Jane Linfoot

Jane is a writer - director from Yorkshire.  Her debut feature The Incident was nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British feature at Edinburgh International Festival in 2015. She was BAFTA nominated for her short film Sea View in 2014 and selected as a Star of Tomorrow by Screen International in 2008.

Simon Lord

Simon’s debut feature Jellyfish had its World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival in April 2018 and its European Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival, where stars Liv Hill and Sinéad Matthews won the prestigious Best Performance award. Jellyfish also won the Grand Jury, Critic, Screenplay and inaugural Performance awards at Dinard Film Festival 2018. His second feature Above The Clouds had its World Premiere at Raindance Film Festival 2018 and will have its International Premiere at Austin Film Festival in late October. 

Gillian Roger Park

Gillian is a writer from Ayrshire whose work focuses on women. Since graduating NFTS, she has been working in features and TV with a number of projects at development stage. She was nominated at BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards 2015 for Best Writing, for her short Flotsam, which she wrote and directed.

Matt Redd

Matt’s feature script The Toll, a black comedy thriller developed on Ffilm Cymru Wales’ Cinematic scheme, has been greenlit for production. It will shoot in November 2018, produced by Vaughan Sivell at Western Edge Pictures. Matt is also developing a feature adaptation of the poem The Highwayman with producer Vivien Muller-Rommel at Studio Hamburg UK and a relationship comedy Dating Katie, produced by Kathy Speirs and Andee Ryder.

Wilma Smith

Wilma has been writing and making films for 25 years. Including a number of micro budget feature films, that have won awards and screened internationally including, Black Coffee and My Life as a Bus Stop. She edited and sound designed the viral campaign for Mark Millar’s graphic novel Kickass and in 2016 was commissioned by the Scottish Documentary Institute and Creative Scotland to make a short creative documentary, The Review.


EIFF will deliver the Ideas Lab with story editor Kate Leys. The programme is supported by Wellcome and EIFF is working in partnership with the Beltane Public Engagement Network who provide links and facilitate access to research at The University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.

The initial visit of the programme will be to the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridgeshire, home to the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute. Leading institutes in genomics and computational biology, they are committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale, and imagination to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.