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25 Trailblazers of 2009 announced by Edinburgh Fest

In Cannes today the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) in association with Skillset announced the 25 Trailblazers of 2009.

These up-and-coming individuals have been selected from the EIFF programme and from the graduation shorts submitted by students of the Skillset Screen Academies.

The intention of the Trailblazers showcase is to unite the work of the Skillset Screen Academies with that of EIFF. The scheme honours their joint commitment to the generation, encouragement and promotion of new British talent; offer Skillset Screen Academy students and graduates an introduction to the UK film industry and the festival circuit; and celebrate the new names issuing forth from the film festival that first brought Samantha Morton, Daniel Craig, Emily Blunt, Andrea Arnold, Danny Boyle, David Mackenzie, Shane Meadows, Asif Kapadia, and Sam Riley to our attention.

Last year’s Trailblazers included actors Thomas Turgoose in the Michael Powell Award winner SOMERS TOWN and Nichola Burley in DONKEY PUNCH, who returns to Edinburgh this year with Michael Powell Award contender KICKS; and critically acclaimed directors Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy who premiered their film HELEN at EIFF 2008.

EIFF Artistic Director Hannah McGill commented, “I'm delighted to name this list of extremely talented and original creators as this year's Trailblazers. They vary in age and background and experience levels, but they're united by the risk-taking work and their clear potential. Our feature film programme has this year offered us a very inspiring range of new UK talent; while the Skillset Screen Academies always provide a very diverse and interesting set of work and this year is no exception. Congratulations to all of them and thanks as ever to Skillset for their collaboration on this part of our programme.”

The Trailblazers selected from the EIFF 2009 features programme are:

Emily Beecham THE CALLING Actor
Leigh Campbell KICKS Screenwriter
Lawrence Gough SALVAGE Director
Kerrie Hayes KICKS Actor
Stuart Hazeldine EXAM Director/ Screenwriter
Katie Jarvis FISH TANK Actor
Gerard Johnson TONY Director/ Screenwriter
Bryan Larkin RUNNING IN TRAFFIC Actor/ Screenwriter
Justin Molotnikov CRYING WITH LAUGHTER Director
Kyle Ward A BOY CALLED DAD/ SALVAGE Actor

The Trailblazers selected from the Skillset Screen Academy Network are:

The National Film & Television School, A Skillset Screen & Media Academy
Ralitza Petrova BY THE GRACE OF GOD Director
Michelle Eastwood BY THE GRACE OF GOD Producer
Stuart Earl BY THE GRACE OF GOD Composer
Vanessa Stockley EMMA & BEN Director/ Cinematographer
Mikael Svartdahl EMMA & BEN Editor

Skillset Screen Academy Wales
Robert Evans CRESCENDO Animator
Michael O'Sullivan CRESCENDO Animator

Bournemouth Skillset Screen & Media Academy
David Bell TOY Writer/Director/Producer/Animator
Momodou Musa Touray SWEET MOTHER Director

Edinburgh Skillset Screen & Media Academy
Eva Pervolovici DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE Director
Shezad Afzal DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE Producer
Amy Rose KIRRAN AND THE HATCHMAKER Director

The London Film School, A Skillset Screen Academy
Erik Bostedt CAPTURING SPACE Director

Skillset Screen Academy at London College of Communication & Ealing Institute of Media
Tatiana Korol AKBULAK Director/ Screenwriter
Kasia Sobocinska AKBULAK Cinematographer

The Trailblazing shorts programme is screened on Monday 22 June at 12:00 and Tuesday 23 June at 12:00.

Neil Peplow, Director of Film, Skillset said: “Now in its third year, Trailblazers is a fantastic partnership between EIFF and Skillset creating a focal point for industry to spot emerging UK filmmaking talent. It's fantastic to see previous Trailblazers back at the Festival, building successful careers in this industry.”

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