The goNorth Festival took place in Inverness last week when hundreds of hopefuls, hoping to carve out a career in the world of entertainment, showcased their work to key figures in the industry.
It was an important event for those with creative talent and attracted participants, not just from the north of Scotland but across Europe.
Director Amanda Millen is responsible for the broadcasting side of things at goNorth.
She’s also a director with Screen Hi which sits within Creative Highland, the umbrella company set up to deliver the Creative Industries Trade Groupings Strategy on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise for screen, broadcast and music.
The festival incorporated music, crafts and fashion, publishing, screen and broadcast and part of Amanda’s role was choosing films to be screened.
“It’s a difficult part of my job choosing which films to show as at the moment it’s just my colleague Olivia and I that watch all the films first,” said Amanda from Roy Bridge near Fort William.
“Both of us are very experienced in the industry and know what type of short films will work for the audience.
“The maximum length of films is 20 minutes and most are between five and 10 minutes and subjects covered include horror, comedy, music and historical with some could be described as a little disturbing but nicely done and thought-provoking.”
Amanda’s role is also to persuade those in the industry, potential funders, buyers and other key figures in the industry to come to attend go North.
“It’s about knowing the talent that’s up here and persuading them to come along, and encouraging creative work while helping people make money and carve a career from it,” said Amanda who has worked in the world of television and film for more than 15 years.
She started out as a runner and driver and has worked as a co-ordinator, production manager, line manager, producer, executive producer, chief executive and director.
“I think I am typical of a lot of people from the west Highlands in that I went to loads of Mods and sang in Gaelic and quite liked the idea of performing,” said Amanda, 41.
“I’d done stuff to camera and a lot of radio presenting but my ‘proper’ career has been behind the camera in terms of developing ideas, working with individuals and developing people and making good programmes.
“I’ve worked on factual shows, children’s show, documentaries, art shows, and a lot of drama shows such as Waterloo Road, River City, High Road, Monarch of the Glen, Sea of Souls with Bill Paterson and most recently a host of wee films for the BBC which are yet to be screened.
“I started out doing a degree in Russian and Gaelic at Glasgow University then did a course in broadcasting before joining STV as a runner, working on shows like Fun House with Pat Sharp.
“I also worked for the BBC where I managed the Tartan Shorts film scheme.”
Since starting as a runner, Amanda who now divides her time between Inverness and Glasgow, has never been out of a job which is why she is so passionate about goNorth as it opens doors to a host of careers in the world of entertainment.