Director: Ellinor Hallin & Ellen Fiske | Countries of production: Sweden, United States | Year: 2018 | Length: 88 min
Language: English with English subtitles | Age: 15+ years

Screening as part of TOAFF19

Scottish teenager Gemma has never backed down from a fight: that’s the way of life in the housing estate where she grew up, in Motherwell.

In a place still reeling from the closure of the local steelworks, there’s little to do for teenagers looking for kicks. Gemma says scheme birds like her either get “locked up or knocked up”, so perhaps her path is set.

As Gemma’s life twists unexpectedly, the film follows her and the people in her life: her grandfather (who raised her after her mother left), her boyfriend Pat, her unlucky best friend Amy, and her neighbour JP. A heartbreakingly tender coming-of-age tale, Scheme Birds asks what causes a person to change—and whether it’s ever too late to do so.

Lyrical yet unflinching in its gaze, this remarkable documentary debut offers a sobering reflection on the reality of social inequity in today’s Scotland, and the communities that have been left behind.

#TOAFF19

Accessibility: closed captions; BSL interpretation for the intro and discussion is available on request (please email [email protected])

Screenings

Tue 24 Sep, 5:45 pm - 8:30 pm
Glasgow
Glasgow Film Theatre
Includes: Audience discussion, Filmmaker Q&A
Details & Booking
Wed 25 Sep, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Edinburgh
Filmhouse
Includes: Audience discussion, Filmmaker Q&A
Details & Booking
Fri 11 Oct, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Stirling
MacRobert Centre
Includes: Audience discussion
Details & Booking
Thu 17 Oct, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Dundee
Dundee Contemporary Arts
Includes: Audience discussion
Details & Booking

“Intimate and wrenchingly affecting film”
Screen Daily

“Shot with an eye and ear for poetry in the pavement cracks”
Variety

Winner: Best Documentary Feature Award; Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award, Tribeca Film Festival 2019

Official Selection, Hot Docs 2019

Official Selection, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019