A NEW fund dedicated to documentary making
- the first of its kind in the UK - has been
launched in Glasgow.
The Scottish Factual Development Fund, worth
£200,000, is a partnership between Channel 4
and Scottish Screen. The two organisations recently
co-funded Gas Attack, the drama-documentary
which won the Michael Powell award at this years
Edinburgh International Film Festival.
The scheme will benefit four companies in Scotland
who can demonstrate they have factual projects
in various stages of development, focused on
major television networks and international
documentary markets. Companies will receive
around £50,000 support for one year to develop
Factual programme production in Scotland is
estimated to be worth in excess of £10 million
per annum. However, London-based companies dominate
the UK documentary-making market, and a new
Scottish fund has been broadly welcomed as a
Seona Robertson, of Glasgow-based Caledonia
Sterne and Wyld, said: "If companies are going
to break into the big markets, they need a depth
"Research and development backing is critical
to build up that kind of pattern, enabling Scottish
companies to grow," added Ms Robertson, whose
company has just completed a series on Scotlands
regiments to be broadcast on BBC2 next spring.
Steve McIntyre, chief executive of Scottish
Screen, said the scheme was a means of building
the technical infrastructure within the screen
industries: "To be successful in this genre
it is important to build companies with a sound
financial base and sound business strategies.
The importance of this initiative is its support
for companies with ambition to develop their
work at the UK and international level."
Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4s head of programmes,
nations and regions, said: "We are keen to promote
the growth and competitiveness of independent
production companies in Scotland. One way to
achieve this is to encourage them to aspire
outwards to bigger audiences - not to make programmes
that only have limited appeal to Scotland."