The Hot 100 2017: 10–3

Rachel Newton, Optimo, Rachel Maclean and Ewan McGregor among our favourite cultural contributors this year

Another blockbuster year of Scottish culture has just whizzed by and once again we've taken on the monumental task of ranking in order our top movers, shakers and pioneers. From award winners, artistic directors, new talent, experienced campaigners, great venues and memorable festivals, you should find all the people and places who made 2017 another landmark year for the arts and entertainment industry. But who has nabbed this year's top slot?

10 Lynne Ramsay

The Hot 100 2017: 10–3

For her adaptation of Jonathan Ames' novella You Were Never Really Here, Ramsay won the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes and got a seven-minute standing ovation. The film, starring Joaquin Phoenix and scored by Jonny Greenwood, is another high point of a remarkable career. (CA)

9 Night School Records

A Glasgow-based label with an international outlook, Michael Kasparis' Night School continues to impress with great new releases from avant-disco supergroup AMOR, unsettling industrialists The Modern Institute, minimal waver Stacian, pop-auteur Molly Nilsson, and indie songwriter Patience. (SS)

8 Rachel Newton

The Hot 100 2017: 10–3

credit: Somhairle MacDonald
On top of being shortlisted for a SAY Award this year, Rachel Newton was also named Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Most recently, the singer and harpist co-founded The BIT Collective, a group which seeks to address gender issues in folk and trad music. (AQ)

7 Armando Iannucci

The Hot 100 2017: 10–3

With real world politics proving far stranger than fiction, satire was in danger of being placed on life-support. Well, we needn't have worried, as The Death of Stalin is probably the funniest British film since In the Loop. (SH)

6 Optimo

The Hot 100 2017: 10–3

JD Twitch and JG Wilkes celebrated Optimo's 20th birthday in style with a one-day, three-stage festival. As well as featuring a cracking lineup of mostly female DJs and performers, a portion of profits were donated to Glasgow's Coalition for Racial Equality & Rights and to various food banks in the city. (AQ)

5 Ewan McGregor

The Hot 100 2017: 10–3

Ewan McGregor in Fargo
Ewan McGregor started the year strongly, fronting T2: Trainspotting. After a 21-year break, he resurrected loveable ex-junkie Renton in Danny Boyle's film that reflected the loss of youth and the aging process alongside drugs, crime and violence. Next, McGregor side-stepped into kids films, as talking candlestick Lumière, in the live action remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast (currently the tenth highest grossing film of all time, raking in over $1.2bn worldwide). And then came TV's Fargo. One of the highlights in McGregor's career, the third season of this dark and grimy crime thriller featured him starring as two feuding brothers whose lives are torn apart by bitterness, jealousy and murder. (HN)

4 Sacred Paws

The Hot 100 2017: 10–3

The worst thing about Sacred Paws' win in the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award was that everyone's 'other' favourite, Ela Orleans, came away empty handed. Yet Strike a Match – the debut album by Londoner Rachel Aggs and Glaswegian Eilidh Rodgers, released at the beginning of the year on Mogwai's Rock Action label – was an incredibly deserving winner, an itchy-footed, summery fusion of African-influenced playing styles and Glaswegian indie-pop nous. Like Orleans, they feel integrally, definitively redolent of urban Scotland in 2017, precisely because their worldliness is on sonic display at all times. (DP)

3 Rachel Maclean

The Hot 100 2017: 10–3

credit: Richard Ashrowan
Chosen to represent Scotland at the 57th International Venice Biennale with Spite Your Face: A Dark Venetian Fairytale, Maclean created a garish but beautifully realised film – starring herself in every role, as always – which drew in the story of Pinocchio, the rise of fake news and the city of Venice itself. It will be seen at Edinburgh's Talbot Rice Gallery from early 2018, although sadly only Venice audiences had the chance to compare Maclean's low-budget humour and ingenuity with Damien Hirst's similarly themed monument to the witless and excessively overblown. (DP)

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