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I'm an arts journalist & PR consultant living and working in Scotland. I've been a journalist for more than 25 years. I write a regular column for Scottish quality newspaper, The Herald. I deliver a PR service with an arty bent and work on a consultancy basis with arts organisations, including Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth & broadcast support body, ScreenHI. I am currently co-writing a book about the celebrated Scots artist, George Wyllie, with his daughter Louise. Instrumental in making a celebration of his life's work happen in 2012. For more information, see www.georgewyllie.com When I'm not being a mum/working, I talk to my dog. He laps it up. Contact me on janpatience@me.com (All work © Jan Patience)

Thursday, 31 January 2013

How to get ahead in music, film & TV... in the Highlands

Thanks to goNORTH and screenHI, a team of aspiring writers
are now working on new CBeebies drama, Katie Morag


Star-makers flock to Highland festival to find musicians, writers, film-makers & games gurus of tomorrow

FOR THE last 12 years, Scotland’s two-day long goNORTH festival has been fostering the talents of the next Biffy Clyro or the next Danny Boyle.

This year’s goNORTH festival programme launches tomorrow at an hour-long showcase today (Friday 1st February) as part of the Celtic Connections Festival Showcase Scotland strand.

The launch introduces the highlights of this year’s programme and marks the start of registration to this free festival, which takes place this year in Inverness on 5th & 6th June.

As well as providing a showcase for up-and-coming musicians to be seen, goNORTH offers free training and networking support to professionals already working in music, screen and broadcast, and to those who have ambitions to make a career in these fiercely competitive arenas.

In the last year, goNORTH has provided opportunities as diverse as facilitating one young women to become a runner on Strictly Come Dancing to enabling aspiring drama writers, including Louise Wyllie, daughter of the late Scottish artist George Wyllie, to become part of the writing team on forthcoming CBeebies drama, Katie Morag.

One young aspiring director, Elgin-based Tom Duncan, even got the chance to work on the BAFTA-nominated short film, Tumult, shadowing producer Rhianna Andrews of Young Films, makers of The Inbetweeners.

At goNORTH, star spotters and fame makers who operate behind the scenes at an international level in the music industry and in film and broadcasting, are on hand to offer advice to around 800 delegates. 

Key creative industry players keep a watching eye out for ‘the next big thing’ during this free two-day festival.

A wide selection of showcasing artists will also secure additional opportunities as part of the goNORTH Festival Tour. Last year, partners included Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, The Wickerman Festival, Loopallu, B-Fest and Summer in the City
This year, in Inverness, major music industry players will be present, including Daniel Savage, who as general manager of Madonna’s Maverick Records worked with artists such as Alanis Morissette and Deftones, and Doug Johnson of the hugely influential annual Summerfest in Milwaukee.

According to Amanda Millen, director of the goNORTH, the biggest hurdle for most Scots who aspire to a career in the creative industries is ‘how do I take that ambition and make it happen?’

She says: “Even for those already working in the music business and film and broadcast industries, it can be a maze to navigate, which is where goNORTH comes in. We’re also now offering workshops and mentoring advice in craft, designer fashion and publishing, so we cover a wide area of creative activity.

“We are often called a smaller-scale South by South West, which takes place every year in Austin, Texas and over the years has provided a springboard for all sorts of music and film talent.

“The goNORTH festival is really the epicentre of a rolling year-long programme that gives a helping hand to aspiring writers, producers, directors, musicians and those behind the scenes in the music business.”

  • Around 70 bands playing at venues around Inverness
  • Screening of around 50 films 
  • A brand new strand of films featuring extreme sports
  • The premier of Timelock, a tartan noir thriller, filmed in Glasgow and Dumfries
  • A special screening of Tumult, shortlisted in this year's BAFTA awards
  • The return of Radio goNORTH, providing on-the-spot radio training to those looking to be behind the mic and behind the decks
  • Outside broadcast training with Creative Loop, the company delivering training for host broadcasters for the Commonwealth Games
  • Free sessions with BAFTA, Women in Film & TV (UK), Celtic Media Festival and Creative Skillset in Scotland
  • Gaming sessions with games industry guru, Brian Baglow and others 
Notes to editors
  • GoNorth 2013, will be held on Wednesday 5th & Thursday 6th June:
  • www.gonorthfestival.co.uk & www.screenhi.co.uk
  • Watch the goNORTH trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=l5YeQZkeCkU
  • Read the press information about Showcase at goNORTH here: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=e3ab43585823423699bf745b9&id=862b077381&e=
  • goNORTH was launched in 2001 to provide a platform for artistes from the north of Scotland to showcase for music industry and media representatives on their own patch
  • Originally hosted across Aberdeen’s Belmont Street, goNORTH briefly relocated to Dundee, before settling in Scotland’s most northerly city, Inverness
  • Now covering a wider remit including screen and broadcast, designer fashion and publishing, goNORTH has become firmly established as Scotland’s leading Creative Industries Festival
  • The goNORTH 2013 Festival Tour will be announced in the next few weeks
  • Amanda Millen, director of goNORTH is available for interview
  • For more information about the premier of tarton noir crime thriller, Timelock, go to: http://www.timelockthemovie.com/
  • For all media enquiries, please contact Jan Patience on 07802 427207/janpatience@me.com

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