Opportunities are welcomed as a vital chance to help develop the next generation of Dumfries and Galloway talent.
Three young Dumfries and Galloway interns will be gaining valuable career experience as part of Wild Film Festival Scotland (WFFS).
All will be playing important roles to ensure this new event, featuring the best in wildlife film and photography and involving a variety of special guest speakers, is a success for the region.
Catherine Major will be co-ordinating the Wild Film Fayre, which will host stalls promoting a whole range of businesses, charities and other organisations. Catherine is a community artist from Moffat who runs projects that allow people to reconnect with nature through creativity.
Bethan Thompson, from Canonbie, will be taking the lead on photography – recording the event and the people taking part. She is currently studying for a photography HNC at Dumfries and Galloway College and hopes to make it her career.
Mhairi Valentine, from Dalbeattie, will be working as artist liaison – helping make the arrangements for guest speakers and presenters, and doing all the hard work that enables everything to go smoothly for them. She is studying for a degree in filmmaking and screen writing and hopes to use her skills to make films about wildlife and the environment of Dumfries and Galloway.
Bethan said: “I love the countryside and wildlife, so the chance to be part of this festival is perfect for me.
“Studying photography has really opened my eyes to the skills involved in being a photographer and this will allow me to build on those skills by practicing in the real world.
“It will really allow me to see what it takes to work at a professional level by producing work for somebody else, which will hopefully build my confidence but also allow my work to develop as well.”
WFFS takes place in Dumfries from 24-26 March and the programme of films, events and guests will be revealed early in the New Year.
The internships have been made possible thanks to funding from the Holywood Trust.
Ed Forrest, Project Manager for the Southern Upland Partnership which has led the partnership of local wildlife groups which set up WFFS, said: “The festival is an exciting initiative for the region – a chance to bring in visitors to enjoy the very best in wildlife film and photography from around the world.
“Scotland, and Dumfries and Galloway, have a thriving events and festivals sector, so it’s superb to be able to offer local young people the chance to develop professional skills as part of the WFFS team.
“Helping develop the next generation of talented young people is valuable for them and good for the future of the region and the country.”
Karen Ward Boyd, Director of the Holywood Trust, said: “The Holywood Trust is pleased to be able to support opportunities for young people to gain valuable experience and skills within such a wonderful project. There are increasing opportunities for the region’s young people to become involved in festivals and cultural events.”
WFFS is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Union – LEADER 2014-2020 programme and supported by D&G Council Major Events Fund the Holywood Trust and EON. Follow our Facebook page www.facebook.com/WildFilmFestival/ and see the website www.wildfilmfestivalscotland.co.uk.