FOCUS supports independent micro-businesses and SMEs in Scotland’s screen sector


FOCUS is delivered by Film City Future in partnership with the Scottish Documentary Institute, and supported by Screen Scotland. The project was developed in response to feedback from the sector, which indicated that there was a lack of access to sector-specific business support for screen sector companies. 

FOCUS supports independent micro-businesses and SMEs in Scotland’s screen sector – from emerging and new start-ups to established film, TV and animation companies – who require specialist advice in order to grow their business, but who do not have access to such support in-house. For screen companies, this is a rare opportunity to gain access to sought-after expertise in areas such as development, distribution, financing, legal, international co-production and business strategy. 



FOCUS has a pool of industry consultants covering a broad range of expertise across scripted and non-scripted in TV, film and animation. This expertise is across creative and business and includes legal, sales & distribution, script development, finance, business strategy, and more. The process involves identifying the specific needs of a participating company and aligning them with the relevant consultant (duration and length of contract varies according to need). Consultants complete brief, written reports outlining the aims of the consultancy, how they plan to undertake it, the impact of the consultancy on the company and recommendations for the future.  

Underpinning the Consultancies, FOCUS also delivers a programme of value-added activities that includes:  

  • Industry Events and Webinars, delivered IRL or virtually and aimed at FOCUS screen businesses, but open to all operating in the sector  

  • Surgeries, 1-2-1 introductory meetings delivered by the FOCUS team and aimed at companies that are not yet part of FOCUS but who have sought information and advice  

  • Forums, aimed exclusively at the FOCUS cohort of companies and offering an informal meeting and networking platform with a guest speaker invited to explore specific topics 

  • BITES sessions, 1:1 consultancies between a consultant and company, often following on from a FOCUS Forum 

  • Bootcamps, an intensive 3-4 day programme that aims to equip new/emerging screen companies with the skills, knowledge and contacts they require to grow and thrive by incorporating in-depth training sessions in key areas of business management, finance, development and markets. These also include short, 1:1 post-bootcamp consultancies 

  • Business Labs, an intensive 2-3 day programme that drills down into current industry issues or potential areas of growth for FOCUS companies 

To find out more about FOCUS activities, visit FOCUS at Film City Futures and sign up to the FOCUS newsletter. 

You can also view the FOCUS Showreel here:  

FOCUS Pilot 

The FOCUS Pilot was launched in 2017 with funding from Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise in partnership with the Scottish Documentary Institute with invitations to  independent companies in Scotland working in TV, film and animation to apply to take part. During Stage 1 of the project, companies received support to create a Business Development Strategy which set out a plan for achieving business growth and extending the ambition for the company, including recommendations to access further support in specific business areas. Stage 2 involved putting the plan into action through consultation with industry experts with various specialisms including distribution, international sales and co-production, development, finance, production, HR, book scouting and legal. 


In 2019, a partnership between MG ALBA and FOCUS gave 5 BBC ALBA suppliers access to targeted business support which allowed them to maximise international partnerships crucial to growth and ensuring high value content for BBC ALBA.  

How to apply 

Find out about the latest FOCUS opportunities on the Film City Futures website.