Press release

Ideas Lab: Wellcome Trust and EIFF launch partnership to inspire Scottish screenwriters

The Wellcome Trust and the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) are launching a new partnership alongside the Beltane Public Engagement Network to deliver an exciting initiative for established screenwriters.

Ideas Lab will be a rare opportunity for talented, distinctive screenwriters and writer/directors to develop story ideas by immersing themselves in the world of biomedical research during the EIFF in June 2015.

Building on the success of the Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Fellowship in partnership with BFI and Film4, Ideas Lab is a workshop at which Scottish-born or -based writers and directors will be able to work with experts, be inspired by the latest scientific developments and explore future film ideas. Ideas Lab will cover some of the major topics in contemporary life science (including sex, death, memory and love) and expose participants to the cutting-edge research that's analysing our minds, changing our bodies and shaping our world.

Mark Adams, the new EIFF Artistic Director, said: "This new partnership offers a wonderful opportunity for screenwriters and we look forward to seeing the results. It will be a fantastic environment to explore new thoughts and concepts as well as discussing story ideas."

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture & Society at the Wellcome Trust, said: "Ideas - whether for a film or in the lab - can be sparked by many things, but we think they truly thrive when there is time to explore and experiment. Ideas Lab is a rare chance to provide writers and directors with the opportunity to take that time, to make connections with researchers and to be inspired.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Beltane Public Engagement Network to develop this exciting film initiative - a first for the Wellcome Trust in Scotland."

Ideas Lab will run 18-19 June 2015. The workshop will include:

  • opportunities to meet scientists and researchers and explore their work
  • explorations of how collaborations and conversations with researchers can inspire stories in film
  • a chance to go behind the scenes at a cutting-edge science laboratory
  • opportunities to discuss and develop story ideas a chance to discuss film ideas with the Wellcome Trust and explore potential development funding.

Established writers and directors who are interested in taking part should contact the organisers at with 'Wellcome Trust Ideas Lab' in the subject heading before 24 April 2015. In addition, there will be a small number of places available for producers or agents to nominate talented Scottish-born or -based writers to take part in this special programme.

The 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place 17-28 June 2015. Further details and delegate registration information can be found on the EIFF website.