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Trailblazers in association with Edinburgh Fest and Skillset

In Cannes the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) in association with Skillset announced 2008’s set of Trailblazers.

These up-and-coming individuals have been selected from the EIFF programme and from the graduation shorts submitted by students of the Skillset Screen Academies.

The intention of the Trailblazers showcase is to unite the work of the Skillset Screen Academies with that of EIFF. The scheme will honour their joint commitment to the generation, encouragement and promotion of new British talent; offer Skillset Screen Academy students and graduates an introduction to the UK film industry and the festival circuit; and celebrate the new names issuing forth from the film festival that first brought Samantha Morton, Daniel Craig, Emily Blunt, Lynne Ramsay, David Mackenzie, Shane Meadows, Asif Kapadia, Andrea Arnold and more recently BAFTA Nominee Sam Riley, who was amongst 2007’s Trailblazers, to our attention.

Last year’s selection also included Riley’s co-star in CONTROL, Toby Kebbell, who went on to win Best Performance by a Supporting Actor BIFA for his role in the film, and Matthew Beard who was later nominated for Most Promising Newcomer at the BIFAs for AND WHERE DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FATHER? both of which premiered in Edinburgh.

Rachel Connors, producer of SUGARHOUSE, was also named a Trailblazer in 2007 and will return to the EIFF in June with two films: BANANAZ, which follows the band Gorillaz and premieres as part of the Mirrorball section, and the Closing Night Gala, FAINTHEART.

The Trailblazers selected from the EIFF features programme are:

Lol Crawley – Cinematographer, BETTER THINGS
David Bloom – Co-writer, DONKEY PUNCH
Lisa Trnovski – Producer, MUM AND DAD
Tony Slater-Ling – Cinematographer, SUMMER
Joe Lawlor – Co-writer / Director, HELEN
Christine Malloy – Co-writer / Director, HELEN
Thomas Turgoose – Actor, SOMERS TOWN
Alia Alzougbi – Actress, TROUBLE SLEEPING
Nichola Burley – Actress, DONKEY PUNCH
Gideon Koppel – Director, sleep furiously

The Trailblazers selected from the Skillset Screen Academy Network are:

The National Film & TV School, A Skillset Screen Academy
Ian Clark, Director / Writer – OUTCASTS
Megan Stuart Wallace, Producer / Writer - OUTCASTS

Skillset Screen Academy Wales
Felix Massie – Director / Writer / Animator, KEITH REYNOLDS CAN’T MAKE IT TONIGHT
Yiorgos Moustakis – Director / Writer / Producer, MARI
Firman Machda – Director, EMPTY SPACE

Bournemouth Screen Academy, A Skillset Screen Academy
Justin Brown – Cinematographer, OPEN SKIES
Rob Brown – Director, OPEN SKIES
Stacey Bradshaw – Director / Character animator, IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Samantha Davies – Director / Background animator, IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Screen Academy Scotland, A Skillset Screen Academy
John Douglas Dodds – Director, GERIATRICS, THE MUSICAL
Catriona Craig – Director, THE PROBLEM WITH PETS

The London Film School, A Skillset Screen Academy
Rémi Borgeaud – Director / Writer, UN RIFF PARA LAZARO
Miri Shapiro – Editor, UN RIFF PARA LAZARO
Ong Chantarangkul - Director / Writer, WINGS OF BLUE ANGELS
Natalie Higashi – Producer, WINGS OF BLUE ANGELS

The Trailblazing shorts programme is screened on Monday 23 June at 3.00pm.

Skillset Director of Film Janine Marmot commented, “I am delighted that Skillset is able to partner with EIFF on Trailblazers again to create a focal point for industry to spot emerging UK filmmaking talent. Last year's Trailblazers have gone on to win awards around the world, reinforcing EIFF’s position as the European festival of discovery for new talent”.

EIFF Artistic Director Hannah McGill stated, “It was really hard to narrow our lists down. The Screen Academy submissions were very strong and our feature programme abounds with UK talent. Congratulations to all of those we have selected – I wish them all a great Festival and a glowing future.”


Box office is open and tickets are available either online at www.edfilmfest.org.uk or from the credit card hotline: 0131 623 8030

EIFF 2008 takes place this year from 18 – 29 June.
Industry and Press Accreditation is now open at www.edfilmfest.org.uk
The full EIFF programme is now available in print or online at www.edfilmfest.org.uk
Join our e-list to receive news and info about EIFF 2008 here: www.edfilmfest.org.uk/email/subscribe


About Skillset:
Skillset is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Creative Media which comprises TV, film, radio, interactive media, animation, computer games, facilities, photo imaging and publishing. Our aim is to support the improvements to the productivity of our industry to ensure that it remains globally competitive. We do this by influencing and leading; developing skills, training and education policy; and through opening up the industries to the UK’s pool of diverse talent.

About the Edinburgh International Film Festival:
Started in 1947, the EIFF is one of the true homes of innovative and exciting cinema. For over half-a-century, the Festival has presented some of cinema's most important and exciting moments and played host to the world's greatest filmmakers.

The EIFF is the longest continually running Film Festival in the world and has screened notable films over the last few years including, CONTROL, THE COUNTERFEITERS, KNOCKED UP, A MIGHTY HEART, RATATOUILLE, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, LONDON TO BRIGHTON, TSOTSI, THE FULL MONTY, RATCATCHER, EAST IS EAST, RUN LOLA RUN, BILLY ELLIOT, AMORES PERROS, AMÉLIE, YOUNG ADAM, INFERNAL AFFAIRS, AMERICAN SPLENDOR, MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, OLD BOY and HERO.

The EIFF is funded by:
The UK Film Council through its Lottery supported Film Festival Fund.
The UK Film Council is the Government backed lead agency for film in the UK. They aim to make sure that the UK has a dynamic film industry fit for the digital age and to help UK audiences enjoy the best of British and world cinema.

Scottish Screen – the national development agency for the screen industries in Scotland.
Event Scotland - working to make Scotland one of the world’s leading event destinations.
City of Edinburgh Council Culture & Leisure Department
The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund

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