How many times have you watched a film or TV programme and been annoyed that they’ve got something factual incorrect? There are constant reports about the historical and factual inaccuracies in our favourite shows.  The Beltane Public Engagement Network has been working in partnership with the Edinburgh International Film Festival to try and bring research to the forefront of screenwriting.  The Wellcome Trust has funds screenwriters to spend some time in Edinburgh, meeting researchers and bringing research to new audiences.

Our BAFTA award-winning screenwriter-in-residence for 2018, Nicole Taylor, met eight researchers from across the university to talk about the police system in Scotland, midwifery, the prison service, psychological conditions, and much more.  We’re delighted that some of these conversations helped Nicole’s research into surrogacy and youth justice, which has informed her new BBC series which will broadcast in 2019.

In Nicole’s words:

This [screenwriting residency] led to a year of cups of tea all over Edinburgh with people who were prepared to help me develop my fledging ideas; who let me test my theories; and who gave me reading lists and introduced me to other people.  It was thrilling (I realise how geeky that sounds) to no longer be alone with my subject but to find it unfurling in all sorts of unexpected directions, courtesy of people who were experts in – and extremely excited about – exactly the things that were gripping me.