ScottishScreen.com  Nov. 29, 2002
Harry Potter Star to Give First Writes a Flying Start

Harry Potter's Quidditch captain, Scottish actor Sean Biggerstaff (pictured), will introduce a new scheme giving young people the chance to create movie magic of their own. The First Writes screenwriting competition will be officially launched at the UGC Cinema in Renfrew Street, Glasgow at 10.30 am, Wednesday 4 December 2002.

Sean, currently playing Oliver Wood in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will on behalf of First Writes, invite young people between the ages of 11 and 16 to write stories that can be turned into short, five-minute films for their own age group. Three winners will be chosen to have their scripts filmed by a professional production company. They'll get the opportunity to be involved throughout the filmmaking process, from casting right up until final editing. They'll also enjoy a cinema premiere of the completed film before an invited audience of friends and family.

First Writes is the brainchild of Scottish Screen and First Light, the Film Council Lottery-funded initiative for young people's filmmaking. Catherine O'Shea, Director of First Light said: "The most exciting thing about First Writes is that it emphasises that filmmaking starts with ideas, not picking up a camera. It makes it an ideal way for aspiring young writers to test their scriptwriting skills."

Scott Donaldson, Education Officer of Scottish Screen, added: "First Writes is also a great avenue for young people to display their imagination, as there is no restriction on how creative these ideas have to be. Add that to the fact that these ideas could be eventually realised on the big screen, and you have a competition that should stir any young person with an interest in film."

First Writes is asking young people to submit written story ideas that are no longer than a page of A4.

Deadline for submissions is 13 January 2003.

For full details of the First Writes competition visit:
www.scottishscreen.com/firstwrites