EIFF NETWORK offers a fantastic opportunity for screenwriters, directors and producers from across the UK – individually or in teams – to be supported in developing their filmmaking careers and feature film projects. NETWORK will connect them with each other and with industry mentors so that with guidance, feedback and pooled skills they can move faster and more effectively through the development process.

NETWORK is based around guided development.

Every participant or participating team will develop a feature project and each project will be supported and mentored individually. All developments are different: some participants will be writing a screenplay; some will be learning how to package, pitch and finance a film; some will be putting together a creative team and some will be doing all of these.

An industry mentor will work with each participating individual or team. An experienced mentor might be assigned to more than one team.


We are delighted to announce the 2015 EIFF NETWORK participants:

• Writer/director John Addis and producer Sukey Richardson with their crime farce DEADBEAT
• Screenwriter Brian Martin and his prison based drama INSIDE
• Screenwriter Nat Luurtsema, director Isabelle Sieb and producer Diarmuid Hughes with their black comedy drama POPPY
• Writer/director Iain Mitchell with his highland thriller KEEPER
• Screenwriter Melissa Iqbal with her science fiction thriller THE ARK
• Screenwriter Line Langebek and director Samantha Harrie with the fantastical love story WHEN I COULD FLY

Mentors will not run a project but will support and guide participants to run it themselves. They will suggest areas of focus; identify questions to ask and possible answers; suggest targets and deadlines; give feedback; and recommend other people you might be in touch with. If mentors think it is appropriate they can arrange for participants to meet and talk with other film professionals. They will also encourage you to talk to other participants in Network.

Kate Leys runs Network with Holly Daniel at the EIFF. Kate is in touch with all the mentors, all the time. She is available to speak to throughout the year and is always available to give script feedback. Holly and Network coordinator Becky Brazil are on hand to support, answer questions, listen, liaise and organise.

Development will be further supported throughout the year by a wide range of industry professionals including agents, producers, sales agents, screenwriters, festival programmers, script editors, directors, distributors and executives. These might meet participants individually, they might take part in our exclusive online Q&As (answering participants’ own questions) or they might be available to talk to informally at Network events.

In June 2015 all Network members will be invited to attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival and be given a complimentary delegate pass and hotel accommodation.  This will allow them access to industry events and screenings throughout the Festival, in addition to exclusive Network events.
Network builds your connections with the film industry and puts you in touch with the people and organisations you need.  The project will run this dedicated website featuring exclusive discussion forums, blogs, a news site for relevant industry updates, an online message board, guest speakers, email feedback and more.  Participants can list their biogs, contact details, project information, CVs and showreels.  A virtual network is always available to you: nobody needs to suffer from last minute scheduling or lost earnings.
NETWORK doesn’t tell you what to do.  It doesn’t have a fixed theory or a fixed timescale.  It’s a project based on the working film industry in which all projects are different; all developments are different; and professionals ask each other for advice, and work together to share information.
What past NETWORK participants said about their experience:
• [My project] is ready to go out! I am much clearer on what it is and how to make it. Ready to start.
• Both me and the project benefited from not only the expertise of the mentor, but the voice they offered up creatively.
• I hoped to finesse both my project and my creative self, and Network helped me achieve that, and more.
• Network moved forward my confidence in decision making. From ‘it could happen’ to it is happening, first stage development is in place, we have an exec producer, we have a profile.
• Network was great as it helped me focus on one project, guiding me from inception through to a working treatment – which has now been optioned. Network lived up to it’s tag and opened up a great ‘Network’- introducing me to a plethora of industry contacts including Producers whom I now have a working relationship with.
• This is not a scheme to help you “become a filmmaker”. It is tailored for those who are already proactive in their filmmaking strategy and might benefit from specific guidance, or sometimes something as simple as some quick knowledge. Through emails, an online forum, face-to-face meetings and a culminating festival experience, Network showed me that making independent films wasn’t quite the lonely path that I had always thought!

Network is a collaborative project between Edinburgh International Film Festival and story editor Kate Leys, supported by Creative Scotland and by the Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund.

2015 Festival Diary:

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