Wild Film Festival Scotland – Wildlife Documentary Made by Young People

Creetown Initiative was engaged by the Wild Film Festival Scotland to develop and run a series of film making workshops for young people from the west of Dumfries and Galloway. The result was ‘Galloway Winter’ – a magazine style wildlife documentary made by 14 – 18 year olds.

Celebrating the Natural World Captured Through Film

The Wild Film Festival took place over the weekend of 24th – 26th March 2017 and was devoted to celebrating the natural world captured through film, photography and speakers. It showcased the best of wildlife and landscape in Dumfries and Galloway with filming produced by international, national and local filmmakers. Part of this exciting project was a youth film making element and workshops were devised with local youth film making clubs across the region. Creetown Initiative was one of the filmmaking ‘hubs’ and we held a series of skills based workshops throughout November 2016 for young people aged 14 – 18 in Newton Stewart.

To kick off the workshops, Sid Ambrose, the Festival Producer appointed a professional wildlife filmmaker, Simon Goodall, to provide an insightful introductory workshop and the following workshops were then lead by Creetown Initiative and covered researching, idea development, storyboarding, locations, scriptwriting, shot lists, scheduling and equipment training, including shot composition, sound recording and editing. Our team of young people shot the film on location at the Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve, Threave Castle and Murray’s Monument and they took complete creative control, even down to the fine edit.

Premiere at the Wild Film Festival Scotland

Cast and crew then all went to see the screening of the film at the Festival in Dumfries on 26th March and received fantastic comments from the panel of industry professionals, including Nigel Pope, Exec. Producer of Maramedia Productions in Glasgow (who recently made ‘Highlands’ and ‘Hebrides’, broadcast on BBC1), Sacha Dench from WWT (who flew with Bewick swans from the Arctic on their migration) and Fraser Purdie, composer for film and television.

Local Screening

A few months later we held a local screening of ‘Galloway Winter’ and also a short drama, ‘Losing You’ in the Waverley Hall in Creetown to a packed audience. 

Far Reaching Impacts

This process has inspired these four young people in different ways; the 16 year old has decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and follow his dream to be an actor and has applied to Edinburgh College to study acting, the 17 year old has applied to 5 different Scottish universities to study a film/media degree, the 18 year old is volunteering at all of our youth activities in Creetown and Newton Stewart and the 14 year old is really focused on working her way towards a career in film.

For more information about our film making services and workshops, or to view some of our films, please click here.


Kirkcudbright Development Trust – Multi-stranded Community Projects

Creetown Initiative has been working with the newly formed Kirkcudbright Development Trust to develop a series of community projects, aiming to provide opportunities for residents and improve the local economy of Kirkcudbright. We landed the contract at the end of 2015 and are pleased with how Kirkcudbright Development Trust are really beginning to establish their community engagement via the development of multi-stranded community projects.


Johnston School

A key project has been the redevelopment of the former Johnston School into a community activity and resource centre that will provide a range of services and facilities to will benefit the community as a whole. It will:

  • have multiple spaces for multiple uses and user groups, including community groups, childcare providers and education and training programme providers
  • attract businesses to set up or relocate into the building, bringing trade and economic benefits into the town
  • have a youth work wing that is accessible to all local young people, with appropriate facilities and services to enable local youngsters to flourish and meet their full potential. The newly established Kirkcudbright Youth Project will relocate here
  • provide an information and contact point for Police Scotland to operate out of
  • provide a venue for a Galloway Dark Skies Visitor Centre.

Check back in the coming months to find out the progress that has been made to secure funds and develop this exciting project further.


Dark Skies Visitor Centre

Dark Skies Visitor Centre will attract both the serious astronomer and those who have more of a Sci-Fi interest. The Johnston School is situated at the head of major road that leads to the Dark Skies Park and we believe that as well as providing a tourist attraction for Kirkcudbright, we will also act as promotional vehicle that helps push more people north into the Dark Skies Park. This will benefit the communities situated in the Dark Skies Park area, and Dumfries and Galloway in general. In the plans there is a small scale planetarium, interactive exhibits and we are helping the Trust to work with the Glasgow Science Centre to ensure Kirkcudbright Dark Skies Experience is outstanding.


Silvercraigs Caravan Park

We have been working with the Trust to initiate the community take over of the Silvercraigs Caravan park, which was formerly council run. The park is now under a service level agreement with Dumfries and Galloway Council and a core group of volunteers from the Development Trust have been working hard to make improvements to the site, including upgrading the electric hook ups to 16amps, installing heating in the toilets, installing free wifi and general tidying and improvements.


Kirkcudbright Youth Project

Three new part time youth workers have been employed by Kirkcudbright Development Trust since March 2017 and they are being line managed by the Creetown Initiative Senior Youth Worker to develop youth provision in Kirkcudbright. After a few months of consultations and detached (street) youth work, a weekly youth project began in May 2017 and runs term time on Wednesday nights, currently in the Scout Hall, for young people p6 – S1 (juniors) 6pm – 7:30pm, and S2 – S6 or age 17 (seniors) 7:30pm – 9pm.