The film and TV production company behind the movie, Mrs Brown, has opened a base in Scotland.
To be run by Carole Sheridan, former head of talent and creativity at screen agency, Scottish Screen (now part of Creative Scotland), the Glasgow office of Ecosse Films is being set up partly with funding from Scottish Enterprise.
And, says the company, it has two ambitions for its presence in Scotland: “To find film and television projects that can be produced from Scotland, utilising the vast array of writing, directing and acting talent with whom Ecosse has already worked and also to nurture new young film makers and writers.”
Mrs Brown – starring Billy Connolly and Judi Dench – was shot in Scotland, as have many other Ecosse projects, including the feature film Charlotte Gray, starring Cate Blanchett; seven series of the BBC One drama, Monarch of the Glen; and the recently-completed romantic comedy feature, Decoy Bride, which will be released next spring, starring Kelly Macdonald and David Tennant.
The company's chief executive is Edinburgh-born Douglas Rae. It has 11 feature films and over 200 hours of network television – for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Showtime and WGBH – 'under its belt'.
Rae formed Ecosse Films 22 years ago. He was named Scottish Film maker of the year by Scottish Screen and was awarded the Silver Thistle Award by Visit Scotland for his achievements in film and television. Previously, he edited The Kirriemuir Herald, wrote for the Scottish Daily Mail and presented many of STV’s current affairs programmes.
In a statement released by the company, Rae is quoted as saying: “This is an inspiring and exciting new enterprise for Ecosse and will help put Scottish film and television on a world stage. Scotland is a fantastic film set and has a great wealth of story telling talent.”
Linda McPherson, Creative Industries Director at Scottish Enterprise, is further quoted: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Scottish film and television. By supporting companies like Ecosse Scotland, we can help create a robust pipeline of up and coming talent that can move the industry forward.
“Scotland has a wealth of expertise in the television and film industry and it's important that we capitalise on this and make the rest of the world aware that we're very much open for screen business. Proactively searching for film and television projects that can be produced from Scotland will also help to reaffirm Scotland's position in this globally competitive market. We look forward to working with Ecosse to develop the company’s presence in Scotland and make a strong contribution to the Scottish economy”.
And Sheridan is also quoted: “This presents a huge opportunity for Scotland to get more ambitious film projects and network television commissions off the ground.
“I am delighted to be joining the Ecosse team. Having helped set up the wonderfully successful series, Monarch of the Glen, it feels right that I should come full circle and be involved in establishing Ecosse’s new Scottish base. This is a great time to be opening an office in Scotland with the emergence of Creative Scotland who will be actively promoting the cross-fertilisation of writing, directing and acting talent across all art sectors.”