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The Sean Connery Foundation allocates more than €1 million to Scottish filmmakers

Sean Connery in 2009 at an event in New York
Sean Connery in 2009 at an event in New York Copyright Copyright 2020 Invision
Copyright Copyright 2020 Invision
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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The Sean Connery Foundation, set up after the James Bond star's death, has split more than €1 million in funds between four Scottish filmmaking organisations.

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Four new Scottish film and television projects are to receive a share of a multi-million pound fund set up in memory of late actor Sir Sean Connery.

Glasgow Media Arts Centre, Screen Education Edinburgh, Station House Media Unit, Aberdeen and The Portal Arts will share £1 million (approximately €1.13 million) from the James Bond star’s estate over the next three years.

The Sean Connery Foundation was set up in October 2022, two years after Connery’s death at the age of 90, and aims to support projects in his home country Scotland and his second home, the Bahamas.

The funding will provide training for young people in the film and TV industries and offer practical assistance across various disciplines, including writing, producing and acting.

Explaining the reason for the fund, Connery’s son Jason said: “Before he was a globally recognised movie star, my dad was a lad from Fountainbridge (in Edinburgh), and he never once forgot that whilst talent might be distributed equally, opportunity is not. By supporting access for passionate young people to the screen sector, no matter what their circumstances, we'd like to help dreams come true. We hope that young people with an appetite for visual storytelling and a curiosity about the many behind-the-scenes jobs that make movies possible, will reach out to our grantees and get involved.”

Copyright AP 1966
Sean Connery on the set of 'You Only Live Twice' in 1966Copyright AP 1966

Stephane, Connery’s stepson and the chairman of the Foundation, added: “The screen sector has enjoyed strong growth in recent years as more global productions choose to shoot their film and TV in Scotland, providing good jobs for industry-ready young people. Our screen-education grantees offer a wide variety of programmes that introduce participants to the possibility of a career in screen production, often for the first time, and provide a clear path into an exciting industry that is too often considered out-of-reach".

This isn’t the first significant grant made by the Sean Connery Foundation. It has already distributed over £6 million (about €6.8 million) in funding and the Foundation also gave a grant to another of Connery’s charities, the Scottish International Education Trust, which was set up in 1971, using his fee from his ultimate Bond film in the official canon, Diamonds are Forever.

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