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Working Group to improve equality in Scotland's Screen Sector

Published: 21 Jul 2017

A new Working Group will meet later this week to look at how equalities, diversity and inclusion can be improved across Scotland's Screen Sector.

The formation of the group follows a key recommendation from the Screen EDI Review, Equality Matters: A Review of Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion in Scotland’s Screen Sector which was published by Creative Scotland in January 2017. The group will consider how the recommendations of the review can be implemented in order to improve both on and off screen representation in Scotland's Screen Sector.

Following an open session in May for anyone interested in contributing to this work, representatives were selected from across the screen sector, representing the diversity of Scotland's population. The group will be supported by EDI advisors from organisations across Scotland.

The group will meet regularly over the next 12 months, with the first meeting taking place on Thursday 27 July. The Working Group will report back before the end of 2017 to all those who attended the Screen EDI Open Session and there will be further opportunities to engage with the work of this group throughout the year.

Senior BBC Scotland Broadcast Journalist Ian Hamilton, Chair of the group, said “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are too often seen as an internal box ticking exercise; something that has to be done rather than something we want to do and truly understand why it’s being done. For me reflecting how we are as a society on screen is critical to change and influence views. To achieve this it is vital we harness the many talents that are around Scotland to break down the many barriers that exist. I am really looking forward to making a contribution to the debate and help come up with a strategy that will make a genuine difference to the sector.”

The Working Group

The confirmed participants are:

Naysun Alae-Carew, Blazing Griffin

Naysun is a Producer and Executive Director at digital entertainment company Blazing Griffin. The company’s first feature, ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE, is currently in post-production. Blazing Griffin is a BAFTA-award winning group of companies spanning game development, feature film production and world class end-to-end post-production services. Naysun is also a recent co-opt onto Independent Producers Scotland Board.

Robert Gale, Birds of Paradise Theatre Company

Robert Softley Gale is an established figure in the Scottish arts scene, with over sixteen years of experience in diverse and varied roles – including actor and performer, director, writer and advocate of equality within the arts. A graduate of Glasgow University, Robert is an Artistic Director of Birds of Paradise Theatre Company. For BOP he has directed the smash-hit sex comedy ‘Wendy Hoose’ and ‘Purposeless Movements’, for which he was nominated for a CATS Best Director award. Robert also sits on the board of the National Theatre of Scotland.

Angela Gray, Film Access Network Scotland / MacRobert Arts Centre

Angela has experience of delivering creative projects, events and training programmes with a range of organisations including Creative Scotland, Film Access Network Scotland, FIND- Diverse Futures in Film & TV, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Edinburgh Mela. She brings expertise in showcasing youth arts and moving image education projects, developing progression routes into the screen industries and widening accessible opportunities to help increase diversity in the creative industries.

Sonja Henrici, Scottish Documentary Institute

After five years working for film festivals (Edinburgh, Emden), Sonja joined SDI in 2004 at its inception and has been integral to the organisation’s development ever since, becoming co-exec producer of Bridging the Gap and many award-winning short documentaries, running the Interdoc programme, producing feature documentaries and investigating new business models and outreach campaigns through the Virtuous Circle initiative (2011-14). She is co-founder of SDI Productions Ltd, an active member of IPS (Independent Producers Scotland) and keen to improve opportunities and funds for filmmakers.

Karen Kelly, Directors UK Scotland Representative

Karen Kelly is an RTS award-winning television director now based in Scotland. After graduating from the RCA, she became a BBC trainee before going freelance. She has directed over 50 hours of television for UK Broadcasters as well as International Networks across Factual, Specialist Factual and more recently Drama. Karen is Directors UK Scotland Representative.

Lisa Kelly, University of Glasgow

Lisa W Kelly is Lecturer in Television Studies at the University of Glasgow. She is the co-author of The Rise and Fall of the UK Film Council (2015) and her current research focuses on talent and diversity in Scotland’s screen industries.

Jane Muirhead, Raise the Roof Productions

As co-founder and Managing Director, Jane is responsible for Raise the Roof’s strategic direction and the running of the company.  In 7 years, the company has become one of the fastest growing Indies in the UK, delivering over 450 hours of network TV and selling to over 40 countries worldwide. Popular brands include Kirstie’s Fill Your House for Free, Holiday of My lifetime with Len Goodman and Kirstie and Phil’s Love it or List it. Jane was National Director, Scotland on Pact Council for 6 years and chaired the Scottish TV Working Group over the same period. She is currently Chair of the Royal Television Society in Scotland.

Megan Mitchell

Having become involved in film exhibition at the age of 15 Megan has worked across various youth festivals and community engagement projects, from Glasgow to the Amazon, striving to increase access to the arts and change attitudes within in the industry towards young people. Megan sat on the Board of Glasgow Film from 2015- 2016.

Sambrooke Scott, Film Hub Scotland

Sambrooke runs Film Hub Scotland, one of nine Hubs set up across the UK to extend film choice, increase and broaden film audiences, and enhance opportunities for audiences to engage with and learn about film. Since 2000 Sambrooke Scott has worked in audience engagement and development for the film exhibition sector. Prior to his current role he worked in PR and Marketing for Momentum Pictures, New Zealand International Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival before moving into audience development at the film development agency Scottish Screen (which later merged with the Scottish Arts Council to become Creative Scotland).

Helen Wright, Scottish Queer International Film Festival

Helen is co-founder and Coordinator of Scottish Queer International Film Festival, an LGBTQ+ organisation committed to breaking down barriers to accessing the arts. She is also a freelance filmmaker with a focus on queer storytelling and activism, co-founder of Lock Up Your Daughters Filmmaking, and board member of Document Human Rights Film Festival.

Media Contact

Wendy Grannon, Media Relations and PR Manager, Creative Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)131 523 0016
Mob: +44 (0)7916 137 632
Wendy.Grannon@CreativeScotland.com