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Scotland fails to find new head of film funding

Scotland's troubled movie industry has been dealt another blow as the nation's cultural body admitted it had failed to find a new head of film funding.

Creative Scotland unveiled a new senior tier of administrators, but sources said it had not found a "suitable candidate" for a new position, the director of film and media, which will be re-advertised in the new year.

Leading producers said the failure to recruit a new head had left the industry in a "state of limbo".

The news comes after months of campaigning, with little success, by film producers for more funding.

Film makers are also waiting for the publication of two key reports: on the future of the Scottish filming industry and the possibility of building a film studio north of the border.

The director of film and media post was advertised on October 9 and interviews took place three weeks ago, but sources say the body "could just not find the right candidate".

The body representing more than 60 film producers in Scotland, the Independent Producers Scotland, said it was saddened by the development.

In a statement, the body said it was disappointed that the "immediate need for a leader for film within Creative Scotland has not been found".

It added: "Given the nature of the role of director of film and the state of the sector, we imagine the salary offered does not reflect the level of responsibility.

"There is a big job to be done addressing all the points raised by Independent Producers Scotland and the film review."

Gillian Berrie, the leading Scottish film producer, said: "It is very disappointing they could not find the right candidate, and now it is all in a state of limbo.

"I think the person who gets this job needs to be very experienced and operating at a very high level.

"With the funding available to film in Scotland (£3million) the job is not an attractive proposition. Good luck to Creative Scotland for trying, but Janet Archer (chief executive) has inherited this problem and it is on her shoulders to try to fix it, but for film the situation is not looking very favourable."

Bob Last, producer of films such as House Of Mirth and The Illusionist, and chairman of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, said the situation was "slightly amusing, very sad, and only a little surprising".

He added that the delay in finding a director might afford Creative Scotland more time to rethink its attitude and policy towards film making, and said: "It is not necessarily about finding new money but changing the way you spend the money you have, and changing the signals you are sending out. Maybe out of this a bolder and more radical plan will be considered."

Meanwhile, four other new directors have been appointed: Leonie Bell has been made director of arts and engagement; Philip Deverell has been appointed director of strategy; Gerard Kelly is director of funding operations; and Ian Stevenson director of finance.

Ms Archer said: "These appointments further strengthen our senior team, enabling us to better serve the people and organisations we are here to support."

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Arts and Entertainment

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