Sean Connery Foundation and Edinburgh International Film Festival offer renewed hope to Scottish screen industry – Scotsman comment

The revival of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and plans for a Sean Connery Talent Lab film school provide welcome news for an important economic sector

With films and television shows like Outlaw King, Avengers: Infinity War, Outlander, Guilt and The Rig, Scotland’s screen industry began to make something of a name for itself after a period in the doldrums.

However, last year’s collapse of the Edinburgh International Film Festival – amid hard times for the arts and culture sector – was a worrying sign that all this progress might perhaps start to fizzle out. So the event’s revival and the optimism and ambition expressed by its new director, Paul Ridd, will be heartening to many in the sector. “I aim to lead the festival into a bright new future with world-class films, world-class filmmakers and engaged audiences at the heart of everything we do,” he said.

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The renewed sense of hope will be further encouraged by plans announced by the Sean Connery Foundation to set up a new film school, the Sean Connery Talent Lab, at the new studio complex in Leith Docks. As The Scotsman has said before, the arts industries not only feed our souls, they can have a major effect on the economy too.

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