Scottish films have a tendency to be Highlands-based horror shows, or to take place within Edinburgh or Glasgow, or so it’s refreshing to have a Dundonian tale in Dave McLean’s autobiographical drama Schemers. Based on the teenage years of the first-time writer and director, the story follows David (Conor Berry) in 1979, the exciting coming-of-age phase of his life. When a nasty football injury forces him to reevaluate his career options, he seizes an opportunity in music promotion with pals Scot (Sean Connor) and John (Grant Robert Keelan) but runs into trouble along the way.
With a television back-catalogue boasting directorial work on shows such as New Tricks, Downton Abbey and Outlander, Welsh filmmaker Philip John makes his first foray into feature film with Moon Dogs, a coming-of-age comedy set in Scotland. The story begins in Shetland where hapless teen Michael (Jack Parry Jones) is down on his luck when his girlfriend heads off to study in Glasgow. He is left behind with his dysfunctional family including oddball step-brother Thor (Christy O’Donnell), who is dealing with his own problems. The mismatched pair decide to embark on a road trip and soon become a trio when they inadvertently pick up care-free Caitlin (Tara Lee) along the way, who challenges their already fragile friendship at every turn.