Tartan Features

Tartan Features is a filmmaking network and distribution platform based in Scotland. It supports the production of micro-budget feature films.[1]


Tartan Features was established in 2013.[2]

Its name is in reference to the defunct "Tartan Shorts" filmmaking strand run by the Scottish Screen Production Fund (later Scottish Screen) and BBC Scotland.[3]

In February 2014, Tartan Features made their first venture into do-it-yourself cinema distribution. Their first feature, Sarah's Room (then titled To Here Knows When) was screened at the Edinburgh Filmhouse Cinema via a collaboration with the independent short film night, Write-Shoot-Cut.[4] This was the first opportunity in Scotland for independent filmmakers to have their micro-budget feature films to be screened regularly in a cinema. Sarah's Room was followed by three other Tartan Features Write-Shoot-Cut collaborations during 2014: Skeletons, Take It Back and Start All Over Again and A Practical Guide to a Spectacular Suicide.


The Tartan Features roster of films are numbered in the style of the independent record labels from which they take inspiration.[5]

A number of films under the Tartan Features banner have reached critical acclaim, including Big Gold Dream, receiving warm reviews[6][7] and plaudits in end-of-year lists[8] and the award-winning Where Do We Go From Here?[9]

Film No.Film name
1Sarah's Room
2Take It Back and Start All Over Again
5Where Do We Go From Here?
6Big Gold Dream
7Bend Don't Break
8Night Kaleidoscope
9Con Men
10The Glasgow School
11Teenage Superstars
12Benchmark 6
13A Practical Guide to a Spectacular Suicide
14Far From the Apple Tree
15Between Above and Below
16Darkness Comes
18Death of a Vlogger


Many of the films which fall under the Tartan Features umbrella, or the filmmakers themselves, have received wider recognition.

Big Gold Dream

Big Gold Dream premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 19 June 2015 where it won the Audience Award.[10] It was voted 131 in Sight and Sounds Best Films of 2015 Poll [11] A self distributed DVD released through Rough Trade[12] and Love Music appeared in 2017. A BBC 2 Screening led to a large amount of positive press in newspapers and online articles including Vice, Dazed and Pitchfork.[13][14][15]

In May 2016 Big Gold Dream screened at a special event at New York University, Rough Trade NYC and The NYC Pop-Fest. For the occasion a commemorative cassette and limited edition screen-printed poster were created by Texte Und Tone. The cassette notes were an extended conversation between Michael Train and Michael Vazquez, who had programmed a continuous 96 hour broadcast of Scottish underground music during 1994, in Massachusetts.[16][17]

Where Do We Go From Here?

Where Do We Go From Here? premiered at the Sydney Indie Film Festival on 18 October 2015, where it was nominated for 8 awards and won 3, including 'Best Film'. It would screen and win more awards at festivals throughout the world before finally screening at the Glasgow Film Festival in 2016.[18][19]

The International festival success led to John McPhail (director) being asked to direct the internationally successful feature, Anna and the Apocalypse, with producer Lauren Lamarr becoming its Associate Producer.[20] In September 2018, Where Do We Go From Here embarked on an independently distributed two week cinema release at Cineworld.[21]

Far From the Apple Tree

Lead actress, Sorcha Groundsell found international fame in the Netflix series, The Innocents.[22][23]

Con Men

Director R Paul Wilson's seconds feature was screened at the 2017 Raindance Film Festival and was nominated for a BIFA Award.[24]


  1. "Alison Piper: Reclaiming film - how Tartan Features is giving Scots filmmakers a vital network of support". CommonSpace. 2015-03-06. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  2. "Year Zero Filmmaking | Punk Rock Cinema". Year Zero Filmmaking | Punk Rock Cinema. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  3. "Year Zero Filmmaking | Punk Rock Cinema". Year Zero Filmmaking | Punk Rock Cinema. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  4. "issuu.com | | Filmhouse Brochure". Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  5. "Year Zero Filmmaking | Punk Rock Cinema". Year Zero Filmmaking | Punk Rock Cinema. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  6. "Documentary explores birth of Edinburgh indie scene". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  7. "Film Preview - Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream- 1977-82". Louder Than War. 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  8. Dazed (2015-12-03). "The best music documentaries of the year". Dazed. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  9. "Glasgow Film-maker John McPhail picks up three awards at Sydney Indie Film Festival". Evening Times. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  10. "EIFF 2015 Audience Award Goes To Big Gold Dream". The Edinburgh Guide. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  11. "Every Film Receiving Votes in Sights and Sound". Letter Boxd. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  12. "Big Gold Dream The Story Of Young Scotland". Rough Trade Shop. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  13. "The Story Of Scotlands Post Punk Music Scene". BBC Arts. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  14. "Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk And Infiltrating The Mainstream - Record Collector Magazine". recordcollectormag.com. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  15. Dazed (2015-12-03). "The best music documentaries of the year". Dazed. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  16. "Texte Und Tone". Texte Und Tone. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  17. "NYC Pop Fest Lineup 2015". NYC Pop Fest. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  18. "Where Do We Go From Here Wins At Sydney Indie Film Festival". Coulter Management. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  19. "Scots Film Where Do We Go From Here Scoops Four Awards At US Festival". The National Newspaper. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  20. "Interview Director John McPhail on Christmas Zombie Musical Anna and the Apocalypse". Screen Ararchy. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  21. "Where Do We Go From Here Buy Tickets". Cineworld Ticket Site. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  22. "Vogue". Sorcha Groundsell The Innocents Interview. 2018-08-14. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  23. "The Innocents Netflix Series Cast Sorcha Groundsell". Daily Express. 2018-08-14. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  24. "Raindance Film Festival". Raindance 2017 Calendar. 2015-03-06. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
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