Sean Connery charity allocates £1m for new Scottish filmmakers

The Sean Connery Foundation, launched in 2022, hopes to encourage young Scots to pursue a career in the film industry.

A charity set up in the name of the late Sir Sean Connery has announced new grants worth £1m in funding for four Scottish film projects.

The Sean Connery Foundation, which is hoped to encourage young Scots to pursue a career in the film industry, was launched by his family in October 2022 to “honour the legacy” of the actor following his death aged 90 in 2020.

The projects will share £1m from his estate with the Scottish Youth Film Foundation over the next three years.

Screen Education Edinburgh, the Glasgow Media Arts Centre, the Station House Media Unit in Aberdeen and The Portal Arts in Glasgow will be supported with funding over the next three years.

The family of the Edinburgh-born screen icon hope the funding will help capitalise on the “strong growth” seen in the Scottish film industry.

Stephane Connery, the stepson of the Edinburgh-born actor, will chair the foundation.

He said: “The screen sector has enjoyed strong growth in recent years as more global productions choose to shoot their film and TV in Scotland, providing good jobs for industry-ready young people.

“Our screen-education grantees offer a wide variety of programs that introduce participants to the possibility of a career in screen production, often for the first time, and provide a clear path into an exciting industry that is too often considered out-of-reach.”

The foundation, which was launched on the second anniversary of Sir Sean’s death, announced an initial £6m in grants for projects in the two places the former James Bond actor called home – Scotland and the Bahamas.

Speaking on behalf of the Foundation’s work in Scotland, Jason Connery said: ”Before he was a globally recognized movie star, my dad was a lad from Fountainbridge, and he never once forgot that whilst talent might be distributed equally, opportunity is not.

“By supporting access for passionate young people to the screen sector, no matter what their circumstances, we’d like to help dreams come true.

“We hope that young people with an appetite for visual storytelling and a curiosity about the many behind-the-scenes jobs that make movies possible, will reach out to our grantees and get involved.”