Subscribe to the daily newsletter.

Sean Connery Talent Lab announces first intake of filmmakers

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) and the Sean Connery Foundation have revealed the first 26 filmmakers who’ll join the Sean Connery Talent Lab.

Set to begin later this month in Edinburgh, the Talent Lab has also revealed Prime Video as its new partner.

It will form part of the Prime Video Pathway, the training initiative set up by the streamer to open up access to jobs in the TV and film industry across the UK. 

“We are so pleased that Prime Video has joined the extraordinary cohort of committed organisations supporting the Sean Connery Talent Lab and we congratulate the first cohort of students on their admission,” said Stephane Connery, Chair of the Sean Connery Foundation.

“In establishing the Lab, we hope not only to honour Sir Sean’s Scottish roots, but also to expand the opportunities for employment, both above and below the line, by strengthening Scotland’s reputation as a pivotal destination for film and TV production.”

The lab will be led by renowned Scottish film producer Chris Young, the founder of Young Films.

“The addition of Prime Video as our newest collaborator highlights the broad industry support for the Sean Connery Talent Lab,” said Young.

“Their involvement, along with our other partners and supporters, underscores a collective commitment to fostering a new generation of filmmakers. I am beyond excited to embark on this journey with our newly selected participants. Together, we’re not just kicking off a new programme; we’re launching careers and redefining what’s possible for filmmakers across Scotland and the UK.”

The 26 participants are:


Alex Salam

Cat MacLeod & Lana Phuetan

Josefa Celestin

Mairead Hamilton

Miranda Stern

Ryan Pollock


Carys Evans

Isabella Bassett

Katie Mallinder

Katriona Tweedie

Kitty McMurdo-Schad

Saffia Sage

Steven Jeram


Alyson Thompson

Fiann McLeod

Iona Ward

Matt Mead

Simon Williamson

Vasileios Kapnis


CJ Lazaretti

Fraser Ballantyne

Jonathan Ley

Lu Kemp

Roddy McDonald

Sam J Thomson

The course features a hands-on training, mentorship by industry professionals, and collaborative projects. Participants will develop their skills, culminating in the creation of 6 short films, working to a budget of £25,000 per project. 

Other supporters include BBC Film, the Dana and Albert Broccoli Foundation, FirstStage Studios, Blazing Griffin, DNA Films, Hartswood Films, Juniper Trust, LS Productions, the Rank Foundation and Synchronicity Films.

The Sean Connery Foundation has underwritten 70% of the fees for each participant.

“Scotland’s rich heritage, versatile landscapes and dynamic talent have long contributed to its cinematic success, paving the way for ground-breaking storytelling,” said Jason Connery, Ambassador for the Sean Connery Foundation.

“We are so looking forward to getting to know this talented cohort of filmmakers and are excited to see the stories they create over the course of the next year, inspired by their world-class instructors, their surroundings, and each other.”

Related News