2017 Grantees

Development Grantees 2017
The grant for 2017 and the 10 000 € go to the directors Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin and their movie ”Scheme Birds”. The grantees were chosen by an international jury consisting of Johar Bendjelloul (Maliks’ brother), the Swedish documentary filmmaker Marika Griehsel, the Bulgarian documentary producer Martichka Bozhilova and the Oscar winning documentary filmmaker James Marsh (known for the movie Man on Wire).

About Scheme Birds: Scheme Birds is the story of Gemma, a teenage troublemaker, growing up in a world of pigeons and violence. From childhood to motherhood, her life unfolds as innocent games turn towards serious crime.

Caught between the vibrant cities and traditional landscapes of Scotland there is a forgotten wilderness of housing estates – known locally as ‘schemes’. We meet Gemma, a teenage troublemaker, a so called ‘scheme bird’ who never backs down from a fight. The police recognise her by the way she runs and she contends: “here you either get knocked up or locked up”. Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Gemma has been raised by her grandfather Joseph. His attempts at keeping the locals off the streets and out of jail have made him a leading figure in the community. Joseph is sick and tired of the violence that has plagued the area for generations. But when he turns the local boxing gym into a beauty contests for pigeons things starts to change. However despite his successes with other people in the scheme who now found a purpose in life, he has more difficulty taming Gemma.

Gemma meets Pat, a cocky jail bird in the scheme and the immediately fall in love. When Gemma falls pregnant they run away together to start a new life, despite grandpa Joseph’s worries. Baby Liam is born and Gemma is suddenly struggling to put him to sleep while Pat is up to no good. From building a treehouse with friends to paying gas bills within the space of a season, everything has changed. But when her best friend is beaten half to death by a neighbouring gang of lads leaving him in a coma, Gemma’s left shocked and questioning the life she and her newborn son are destined to live. Will she end up like her own mother leaving her baby on Joseph’s doorstep? Can she be the one to change the fate of her family? Or will she fly off never to return?