Paul Fegan’s Are You Dancing? and Black Rat Island by Iain Mitchell will air on STV at 8pm on 3rd and 10th October respectively. Both films have been developed as part of our This is Scotland initiative, run in association with Creative Scotland, which offers up-and-coming Scottish based filmmakers a unique opportunity to work with SDI to create a creative documentary for peak time STV.
Are You Dancing? explores the characters at the Fairfield Socials OAP tea dance offering an insight into their individual stories as they go about their lives, preparing for a date, a dance or something more. The film challenges our prejudice, exploring the realities of relationship problems more often associated with twenty something – cheating partners, commitment issues and life as a singleton looking for love. Directed by Glasgow-based Paul Fegan whose short Pouters, made as part of Bridging the Gap in 2012, screened at over 30 film festivals worldwide and earned a nomination for a BAFTA New Talent award. Where You’re Meant to Be, Paul’s first feature documentary premiered in the UK in early 2016 and will screen internationally this year.
Black Rat Island follows the plight of Tom, the young owner of the Shiants, as he comes to terms with the harsh responsibility of owning an island. The Shiant Isles, an archipelago off mainland Scotland, are home to one of the UK’s largest colonies of puffins but the colony is being decimated by the island’s other dominant inhabitant – the black rat. The film charts the difficult mission, along with wildlife experts, throughout one tough winter, to eradicate every single rat and the challenges that arise consequently. Originally from Dundee, Iain Mitchell, is a filmmaker working across different disciplines. He filmed on the Shiants in 2014 which led him to the story behind ‘Black Rat Island’. Outside of the world of wildlife he has worked on a wide range of social documentaries. He has also written and directed drama which have been shown at festivals worldwide and is currently developing his first feature film, ‘12 Point Kill’.
Elizabeth Partyka, deputy director of channels at STV said: “These programmes offer two very different insights into life in Scotland and we think viewers will find the subjects engaging and entertaining. This is Scotland is an innovative initiative and we are pleased to be able to offer these upcoming filmmakers the exciting opportunity to broadcast at peak time on STV and on our city channels, STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh.”
The first two films developed through the initiative My New Hair, directed by Ruth Carslaw, and Lost in Transition, directed by Jack Warrender, aired on primetime TV in February 2015. Both were critically well-received and My New Hair was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA.