FIND (Film & TV Industry Network: Diversity) Scotland is a partnership programme between three of Scotland’s leading film access organisations – Screen Education Edinburgh, GMAC Film & SHMU supported by the Creative Scotland Screen Sector Skills Fund.
A positive action training and development initiative that works within the parameters of the Equality Act 2010, the programme supports candidates from under-represented groups within the screen industries.
An intense programme of training, industry placements, career guidance, and short film commissioning FIND provides pathways into employment and production for 12 exceptional participants. The programme began in May 2016 and runs through to November 2016.
It is now widely recognised that the lack of diversity on screen and behind the scenes is a problem. Broadcasters, production companies, commissioners and funders now all agree that it’s time to do something about it including BBC, Channel 4, Sky and the BFI who have all launched initiatives to increase the diversity of their workforce and content.
Our TV and cinema screens should reflect the diversity of the audiences who watch them and we should be able to see our lives, hopes and fears accurately portrayed. For too long the presence of non-white communities, women, people with disabilities, people from low income or working class backgrounds and people from the LGBT community has either been non-existent or misrepresented on our screens.
The under representation of these key target groups has created a climate where individuals from these communities feel increasingly excluded and are less likely to pursue a career in an industry that relies heavily on unpaid internships as a way of finding new talent. They are more likely to face cultural and economic barriers and be unable to work for free or self-fund their own work, putting them at a disadvantage in the current climate.
FIND Scotland will recruit 12 talented and ambitious candidates from under represented groups and provide them with the support, training and contacts to pursue a career in Scotland’s screen industries. This will contribute to diversifying the workforce in Scotland and creating a sector that better represents our lives.
Our patron Irvine Welsh endorsed the FIND programme ‘Many of us grow up with a vision and passion that can be best expressed through involvement in television and film-making, which brings together such a wide range of people, disciplines and skill sets. When you feel that either socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation or your location has put you in a place where the world habitually slams doors in your face, the big problem is always the same: how do I get started? How do I learn those skills and get on the first rung of the ladder? FIND is perhaps the best pathway into the world of those creative industries I’ve encountered’.