An arts agency has denied refusing to fund a biopic of music industry mogul Alan McGee
The film, written by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and starring Ewen Bremner, charts the rise of the Creation Records founder who discovered Oasis and launched a string of other leading bands.
Creative Scotland previously backed two other Welsh creations – Filth and the Trainspotting sequel – to the tune of £800,000.
However, it turned down the McGee film – which is also set to star US singer Miley Cyrus as a music journalist – on the grounds that it did not have an “experienced, Scottish-based producer” and queried its finances.
The decision left Welsh “spitting teeth” according to director Nick Moran, who starred in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He claimed the quango marked down the production because Welsh now lives in the United States, and it has an English director and producers.
Mr Moran added: “The movie couldn’t be more Scottish. The script is written by Edinburgh’s most famous writer, it’s all about Scotland’s most successful record entrepreneur, who gave the world some of its most successful rock bands, and it stars Ewen Bremner.
“How can it not be Scottish enough? Creative Scotland basically said that, since Irvine didn’t live in Scotland any more he didn’t sound as Scottish. Irvine was spitting teeth when he found out.”
The film is written by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh
We’ll now be applying for funding from Wales and Yorkshire
He added: “I emailed Creative Scotland back to say, ‘What if we co-produced it with the Bay City Rollers and got Nicola Sturgeon to play Alan McGee?’ Irvine was saying he couldn’t be more Scottish if he was in a kilt, playing the bagpipes and had a haggis hanging out his a***.”
Producer Nathan McGough, the former manager of the Happy Mondays, added: “We’ll now be applying for funding from Wales and Yorkshire, who don’t have the same funding rules.”
A Creative Scotland spokesman said yesterday: “This is an interesting project with potential and the application to our Screen Fund was not turned down because it was ‘not Scottish enough’.
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“However, in line with our published guidance, the original application was assessed as not eligible as there was no confirmed finance, and sales and distribution interest.
“We advised that a subsequent application could be considered when the project is at a more advanced stage and that the involvement of an experienced, Scottish-based producer would strengthen that application.”