A Former EastEnders star last night proved herself a woman of many talents when she won best director at the Bafta Scotland New Talent Awards 2000.

Caroline Patterson, who is best known for her role as Mark Fowler's girlfriend, Ruth, in the soap, won the award for her first directing work on the recent BBC Scotland/Raindog production of Tinsel Town.

It was the second award of the night for the television series, which gave Robbie Allen best producer for his work on the programme.

Kirsty Wark, the television presenter, introducing the nominations for the best producer award, emphasised the importance of recognising new talent in the industry.

She said: ''What Scotland needs more than anything else is good production talent and I hope this award will encourage more of it.''

The evening's presentations were dominated by May Miles Thomas, the Glasgow film maker, who claimed five awards for One Life Stand, her debut film, including the prestigious Scottish Screen Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Thomas is a design graduate of the Glasgow School of Art who later moved to London, where she worked as scenic designer and then director of music and arts documentaries for BBC television.

In 1995, she founded Elemental Films to develop and produce her own work and went on to become the pioneer of digital filmmaking. One Life Stand is the first wholly digital film made in the UK.

The Scottish Screen Award includes a cheque for #10,000 for the winner to invest in their next project.

Speaking at the awards, Thomas said: ''This film was a complete labour of love. I've been trying to get a film made for the last eight years and One Life Stand is my first film.

''I believe the basis of our film industry is to create a good story, well told. I look forward very much to telling stories in the future which reflect the culture of Scotland.''

Maureen Carr, the leading actress in One Life Stand, was awarded best film performance for her role as Trise Clark.

Kings Of The Wild Frontier, the Scottish Screen/Scottish Media Group-backed series of short television dramas, was nominated for five awards, with one win for Stuart Wilkinson, a young actor, who won best television performance.

Heather Keenan, who at only eight was the youngest star at the event, was nominated for best performance for her part in the short film, Daddy's Girl.

Also at the awards were some more well-established stars, including television presenter, Gail Porter, who hosted the event.

Ford Kiernan and Karen Dunbar, members of the popular Chewin' the Fat comedy team, were also at the event to present the award for best craft.

Speaking at the event, Kiernan said: ''The people here need to get some recognition and what better way to get recognised than at an event like this. I am happy to be here tonight, happy to be presenting the award, and happy to get a free meal.''

Also presenting awards were television personalities Daniella Nardini, Jack Docherty, and Bad Girls star Simone Lahbib.

Best animation went to Campbell McAllister for How The Sea Was Salt, which also won best of the fest at the Edinburgh Festival this year.

The animation began life as a project for a course in computer animation at Glasgow School of Art, from which he graduated this year.

The opportunities presented by the latest technological advances in television and film were also recognised through the best new media award, which was presented to Eolas Media for Timewalk Village.

The awards were introduced in 1996 to encourage new talent in both film and television.

Since their inception, Bafta Scotland winners have included Peter Mullan and Lynne Ramsay, who have gone on to major international success with films which they have directed and written.

Outstanding and best

Best television production: Annie Griffin for Coming Soon

Best writer/best director:

May Miles Thomas for One Life Stand

Best animation:

Campbell McAllister for How The Sea Was Salt

Best director TV:

Caroline Paterson for Tinsel Town (episode five)

Best new media:

Timewalk Village by Eolas Media

Best director:

May Miles Thomas for One life Stand

Best documentary:

Body And Soul by director producer Kara Johnston

Best film performance:

Maureen Carr for One Life Stand

Outstanding Craft:

Simon Dennis for Sex and Death

Best producer:

Robbie Allen for Tinsel Town

Best composer or original sound design:

Paul Leonard-Morgan for Reflections Upon The Origin Of The Pineapple

Best short film:

What Do Busy People Do All Day? Director Martin Morrison, producer Becky Lloyd, writers Mark Jenkins and Martin Morrison

Best TV performance:

Stuart Wilkinson for Kings Of The Wild Frontier

Best drama:

One Life Stand. Writer director May Miles Thomas, producer Karen M Smyth

Scottish screen award for outstanding achievement:

One Life Stand