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New talent show

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Annual funfest Big in Falkirk is, once again, looking for unsigned acts who want to make it in the music industry. Making It 2008 is open to all styles of music, from rock to reggae and hip hop to house. The overall winner, who must be over 14, will perform to thousands on the Music Stage at Big in Falkirk 2008, which runs Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 May at Falkirk’s Callendar Park. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 20 February. There will be two heats at Rialto, Falkirk on 27 & 28 March before April’s Grand Final in Glasgow.
See www.biginfalkirk.com for more information.

Birmingham gets a taste of Scotland’s Ice Factor this month following the construction of a 33-foot high, 50-ton ice wall in the city centre, promoting tourism activities north of the border. VisitScotland has been working with the Kinlochleven-based mountain adventure centre, home to the largest ice climbing wall in the world, to give potential visitors a taste of what it would be like to take an adventure break in Scotland. Steve Duncan, VisitScotland’s product manager for adventure, said: ‘By working with Ice Factor we want to give experienced adventure sports fans and beginners alike, a taste of what’s on offer on a break north of the border and show them that Scotland is a close-to-home, must-visit adventure sports destination.’ For more information see: www.visitscotland.com/adventureblog

Aspiring young Scottish stars have a rare opportunity to audition for a coveted place on the dance and musical theatre courses in January 2008 at the prestigious Dance School of Scotland. The school, based at Knightswood Secondary School in Glasgow, is holding the annual auditions for the Dance Course and Musical Theatre Course. Applicants lucky enough to secure a place receive full funded tuition. The deadline for applications is 18 January 2008 with preliminary auditions taking place on 13 February 2008. For full details see www.thedanceschoolofscotland.org.uk

In film news, a Scottish feature film has secured a cinema release deal in the UK and a DVD distribution contract for America following success at festivals and fantasy conventions around the globe. The comedy, Gamerz, financed by Scottish Screen and STV and written and directed by Robbie Fraser, will be shown at Cineworld cinemas in Scotland on Friday 22 February. This event is being organised in association with distributor Guerilla Films who will also be releasing it on DVD. Fraser said: ‘We’ve been looking forward to this for a while. And let’s face it, where else are you going to be able to wear your rubber elf ears in February?’

A remote Highland community is celebrating more than the start of a new year, with news that a local film has been selected for a National First Light Movies Award. Munchatreeaforest was picked from over 100 entries to be one of three movies in the Best Film by Under 12s category. The ten children who made the film are aged between 4–11 and were taught how to use a camera and record sound especially for the project. Sam Firth, a local filmmaker, was brought on board to work with the children. Based around the idea of a forest regeneration scheme in their native Knoydart, the film explores the children’s hopes and fears about the destruction of the forest. The young filmmakers have been invited to attend the red carpet ceremony for the awards in London, with the Knoydart Forest Trust and Knoydart community currently raising funds for the children to go. The award will be decided by a public vote. You can watch the film at www.filmstreet.co.uk and have until Thursday 10 January to vote by emailing info@filmstreet.co.uk and say what you like about the film.

David Tennant has shrugged off speculation that he is planning to give up the role of the Time Lord at the end of the next series of Doctor Who, later this year. Co-star Catherine Tate fuelled rumours when she said in a radio interview last month that she thought the next series would be Tennant’s last. The actor has confirmed he will do four Doctor Who specials in 2009 but insisted there is so far no decision about the subsequent series in 2010.

And finally, if you fancy doing your bit for charity, the BUPA Great Winter Run 2008 is back with a vengeance and takes place on Saturday 12 January. The popular 5km road run follows a path on and around Holyrood Park. The course is suitable for runners of all abilities aged 14 years and over and takes participants around Arthur’s Seat. See www.greatrun.org. Elsewhere, Moonwalk applications can now be found at www.walkthewalk.org for the popular charity walk taking place this summer.

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