About us

Regional Screen Scotland

Our Mission

Regional Screen Scotland helps communities to enjoy great screen experiences.

We do this by:

•  providing advice and information on setting up local screen facilities
• operating the Screen Machine mobile cinema
• managing a grant aid fund for Local Film Festivals across Scotland
• advocating for the social and economic benefits of cinema for local communities

We provide information, advice, contacts, and support to both individuals and organisations seeking either to start or to develop opportunities for cinema going in their communities. We’re committed to helping to bring people together to share and enjoy exciting, high quality screening experiences, where they live.

Digital technologies are making possible a huge range of new and different screen experiences, whether that’s gaining access to classic movies and films from across the world, exploring local history through archive film, sharing live performances in the form of ‘event cinema’, or showcasing local talent and community projects.

At Regional Screen Scotland we work particularly with those communities, across Scotland, which have no access—or only very limited access– to the full range of screening possibilities. We help to develop this access through working with a range of partners, from Film Hub Scotland to the UK Cinema Association and from Cinema for All to Film Mobile Scotland.

Our history

Regional Screen Scotland was set up in 2008 as an initiative of Scottish Screen, which was one of the predecessors of Creative Scotland. RSS was intended to be the regional and rural counterpart of four city-based ‘hubs’, Glasgow Film Theatre, Edinburgh’s Centre for the Moving Image, Dundee Contemporary Arts, and Eden Court in Inverness. RSS was created for Scottish Screen by HI~Arts, the cultural development agency for the Highlands and Islands. HI~Arts had originally launched the Screen Machine mobile cinema in 1998, and then commissioned a second such vehicle in 2005, and the operation and ownership of this Screen Machine was transferred to the new agency, and still forms a core part of RSS’s remit today.

RSS’s launch coincided with the rapid expansion of digital projection, from multiplexes to film societies, and one of RSS’s main tasks in those first years was to help with the setting up of these new technologies, including managing a grant scheme for community projectors on behalf of Scottish Screen.

That original ‘hub’ model envisaged by the former Scottish Screen has developed into an independent consortium, Scottish Film, of which RSS is a founder member together with the four city-based venues. That consortium was successful in securing funding to be the Scottish member of the British Film Institute’s Film Audience Network, which led to the setting up of Film Hub Scotland, originally hosted by RSS.

In 2014 Regional Screen Scotland was successful in securing Regular Funding status from Creative Scotland, and our programme is also supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, given the touring area covered by the Screen Machine, and the number of groups and film festivals which we work with in the Highlands and Islands.

RSS employs a small office-based team of five, all working part time, two full time Driver/Operators for the Screen Machine, and a network of local Screen Machine Ushers across the Highlands and Islands. As a company limited by guarantee and recognised as a Scottish Charity, RSS is managed by a voluntary Board of Trustees who are drawn from across Scotland, and from the different areas of RSS’s remit, including film exhibition and community development.

Who we are

The Board of Trustees

As a company limited by guarantee and a charity recognised by OSCR, RSS is managed by a voluntary Board of Trustees, who meet quarterly and who are drawn from a range of different backgrounds, and from across Scotland.

Chair: Paul Harris

Paul is currently Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), at the University of Dundee. He graduated in photography from Birmingham College of Art & Design in 1980, and subsequently worked in broadcast television for a Channel 4 independent producer, the BBC, and ITV networks. In 2002, he became Professor of Screen Media and subsequently Creative Director of the Institute of Arts, Media and Computer Games at the University of Abertay Dundee. Paul has won numerous national and international awards during his career as a director, script advisor and executive producer of student work, including two Royal Television Society Awards, a BAFTA Scotland, and a British Academy Award for best short film. He has served on BBC Scotland’s Music, Arts & Entertainment, Independent Review Panel, was Chair of the Scottish Executive’s Moving Image Education project, a Board Member of Scottish Screen, and Chair of the Scottish Screen Lottery and Investment Panel.

Alison Strauss

Alison has worked as an Arts Development Officer for three local authorities in both rural and urban areas and as a consultant on rural film development for Derbyshire County Council.  Her current job is as Film and Media Development Officer for Falkirk Community Trust in which role she programmes the recently restored Hippodrome Bo’ness and is Director of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, which position she has held from the Festival’s beginnings in 2011.  Her love affair with film began at her local childhood fleapit and carried her through to her time as Chair of the BFFS award winning student film society at York University.  She trained as a film archivist at the University of East Anglia, including a placement at MoMA New York, Film Department, and worked for seven years at the BFI National Archive in the access department.  Alison served a term as a Board member for Art in Healthcare.

Gwilym Gibbons

Gwilym has been Chief Executive of Horsecross Arts since January 2015, leading the Perth Concert Hall team and the £16m redevelopment of Perth Theatre. For eight years previously he was the first Director of Shetland Arts, in which capacity he spearheaded the development of the award-winning Mareel,  the UK’s most northerly cinema and music venue. Gwilym is also Chair of the Cultural Enterprise Office, a Fellow of RSA, Chartered Fellow of Chartered Management Institute and was awarded in 2014 an Honorary Fellowship of University of Highland and Islands for his contribution to arts and education.

Brian Spence

Brian was born in Orkney and brought up mainly in Midlothian. After graduating in Economics he entered into a training contract with an Edinburgh firm of Chartered Accountants. After qualifying in 1975 he joined the Glasgow office of Coopers &Lybrand where he attained the position of manager. Brian spent the early years of his career in Glasgow and, in 1980 , joined the Scottish arm of Spicer and Pegler who were later to merge with Touche Ross. He was admitted to partnership in 1983 and remained in Glasgow until 1993 when he moved to Inverness to take up a partnership with a Highland firm. In 2012 he retired as partner in charge of the Inverness office of Ritsons. Married with two grown up daughters, Brian lives on the Black Isle from where he actively pursues his interests in amateur aviation and classic vehicles.

Derek Rankine

Derek is Policy and Participation Manager in SURF, a forum of more than 250 cross-sector organisations that are concerned with the regeneration of Scotland’s disadvantaged communities. He represents the views of the SURF network in a number of policy areas including arts & culture, community empowerment and town centre regeneration. He also manages the annual SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration, which is delivered in partnership with the Scottish Government. The ‘Creative Regeneration’ category of the SURF Awards regularly highlights the impacts of independent cinemas such as Oban Phoenix and Aberfeldy Birks. Derek joined SURF in 2005 after graduating from the University of Glasgow with an MA in Politics. While at University, he developed a keen understanding of the social and economic value of community arts facilities through working as a library assistant in economically challenged Glasgow neighbourhoods.

Wendy Barrett

Wendy Barrett studied English Language & Literature (specialising in Drama) at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked for over 20 years in the financial services and voluntary sectors in the field of risk management & compliance, with particular emphasis on strategic planning and governance. More recently, Wendy returned to acting and has featured in a variety of short films made in Scotland by students and independent filmmakers, as well as a number of stage productions.

Kathy Hubbard

Kathy retired in 2015 as Head of Development from Shetland Arts Development Agency, having worked there for almost 15 years.  In recent years Kathy has been a key player in the development of the Mareel cinema and the Shetland Film Festival.   Prior to that Kathy worked in the criminal justice systems of England and Scotland as a probation officer in Avon and Somerset, and as Criminal Justice Social Work Manager in Shetland.   Born in Manchester, brought up in Wales, Kathy has lived in Shetland for the past twenty four years.  She now looking forward to spending more time at the cinema, looking after her small flock of ageing sheep, and starting an MLitt at the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Mark Jenkins

Mark’s ‘film career’ began as a Projectionist and Chief Projectionist for Odeon in Chester and later The Cameo in Edinburgh. He then studied Film & TV Production at Napier University where his passion for film editing was formed.  Mark has continued editing for almost 20 years, producing fiction and documentary films that have received over fifty awards and nominations, including six BAFTA Scotland awards. He teaches the craft of film editing to all levels up to MA Certificate and has contributed to the post production section in Creative Scotland’s ‘Moving Image Education’ website.  Moving to Orkney in 2007 stimulated his filmmaking practice where he has filmed and directed over 20 short films. In 2012 Mark set up West Side Cinema, a fortnightly film society in Stromness, Orkney, programming independent world cinema. He is also Film Representative for Orkney Arts Forum, which acts as a consultation group for the arts development service within Orkney Islands Council.

Advisory Group

As the role of the Board of Trustees is to agree policy and strategy for RSS, employ and manage the staff, and ensure robust financial procedures, RSS has set up a separate Advisory Group as an informal sounding board, and a source of knowledge and expertise,  for projects, activities and future planning.  The current membership is:

Gwilym Gibbons and Alison Strauss (from the RSS Board)
Amanda Millen, Director, XPO North
Richard Ashrowan, Director, Alchemy Film Festival
Andrew Poole, Proprietor, Pavilion Cinema, Galashiels
Neil Chue Hong, former Scottish Chair of Cinema for All
Ian Brown, Proprietor, Film Mobile Scotland