Script Starter is working with 8 writers who are either new to screenwriting, or who haven’t received previous funding for a film and who already have an idea for a story that they would like to work on. The selected participants will be supported in the development of their ideas into either a short film script or a feature film treatment.

Headshots of the eight Script Starter participants

EIFF is delighted to confirm the 2021 Script Starter’s participants are:

Nathalie Ahmadzadeh, Nathaniel Brimmer-Beller, Yusuf Javed, Rory Power-Gibb,

Kamala Santos, Aimee Shenton, Paul Sng, Julie Tsang

The programme will encourage those with a clear talent for writing - in any genre - to turn their hand to writing for film or to come to a more defined and nuanced appreciation of story structure and industry standards.  

Script Starter will also further a clearer understanding of the writers’ own creative voice and participants will finish the programme with a clear idea of the story that they want to tell and the options available to them, enabling them to move forward in the industry.  

The programme has sought applications from the following under-represented groups:

  • Those from low-income/socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds 
  • Black, Asian, mixed heritage and ethnic minority applicants 
  • Those from refugee and/or migrant backgrounds 
  • Disabled or D/deaf applicants 
  • LGBTQIA+ applicants 
  • Rurally excluded people 
  • Care-experienced applicants and current carers 

We are also committed to a minimum of 50% of selected applicants identifying as women. 



Script Starter will take place across seven workshops, starting in August 2021 and running to February 2022. The monthly sessions will feature guest speakers. 

The programme will be flexible to ensure that any delivery timelines and workshop content are accessible and manageable for all participants. Workshops will focus on areas ranging from character development, to presenting with confidence. 

If you have any queries, please get in touch with us at

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Script Starter is funded through the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government - through Creative Scotland - the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals. Script Starter is supported by The William Syson Foundation and The McGlashan Charitable Trust.








Scottish Government and Creative Scotland