TO celebrate the Year of Young People, every week in 2018 The National is giving a platform to young Scots. This week, 21-year-old Scott Blair.

IT’S often said that the most creative people in our society are our youth. It is no wonder then that Scotland’s creative industries are continuing to grow. Scotland had always been a creative country; a birthplace of many famous creatives as well as an inspiration to many others worldwide. It is something to be cherished and celebrated, and one day it will be led by our young people.

I have always been creative and knew since childhood that I wanted to work in film. When I was about nine years old I wanted to be an animator. At about 12, I want to just make films. But I think my true calling came at about 18. In my S5 media class I was given an opportunity to become a “young programmer”. This was a position in the Edinburgh International Film Festival in which I would, with a group of young peers, help the festival develop a collection of films to be presented at the festival in its own strand. As well as this, we helped with hosting events, panels and Q&As.

I was a part of this for two years and it really opened my eyes. One of my most prominent memories is a Q&A session on cinematography I hosted during the 2015 festival where I interviewed Oscar-winning cinematography Haskell Wexler and blockbuster cinematographer Seamus McGarvey.

It was such a nerve-racking moment, the opportunity to ask questions to these two prominent and phenomenally talented people. But the experience was amazing; I learned from it and as well it helped boost my confidence, so I can now do talks and speeches in front of hundreds of people.

The experience helped me discover that I wanted to work in film festivals; be through programming, marketing or education. I really feel this is my calling is and hope to work in this area after finishing my degree in BA Film and Media at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. I’ve been volunteering at the festival ever since, including the past two years, and hope to work there again this year.

These opportunities for myself and others wouldn’t be possible in any other place but Scotland. The support of the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland as well as local councils is extremely important and done well in Scotland. The only way we can continue the growth is through this type of funding and education.

We need to make sure more of our high schools can teach the arts, and help develop the future talent for Scotland.