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29 October 2014
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Tartan Shorts 2003 - Sredni Vashtar

Sian Thomas as The Aunt


Cast biographies


Production biographies


After a colourful childhood in Burma, 12-year-old Conradin finds his world torn apart when his parents are killed and he is sent to live with his strict, Presbyterian aunt in the Scottish Highlands.


Isolated in a bleak house in the midst of a desolate, frozen landscape, Conradin finds himself unable to adjust to his aunt's harsh regime. Under such unhappy circumstances, Conradin soon becomes ill and is proclaimed to only have a few years to live.


The young boy's only connection to his past are the few trinkets and pets he keeps in the shed far away from his aunt's ordered household. It is here, fuelled by a growing hatred for his new life, that Conradin creates Sredni Vashtar – a vicious, glorious God, which is the embodiment of everything his aunt opposes.


As Conradin's obsession with his new religion grows, the distinction between himself and Sredni Vashtar begins to blur. Now he must protect his new-found God at all costs knowing that, should his aunt discover his secret, she would destroy both Conradin and Sredni Vashtar for good.


Sredni Vashtar is a gothic fairytale about life versus death, based on a short story by Edwardian writer Saki (H H Munro).


Conradin is played by Fergus Nimmo and his aunt by Sian Thomas.


Sredni Vashtar is a Murray Sports Marketing (UK) Ltd production for BBC Scotland / Scottish Screen.


Cast biographies


Sian Thomas plays The Aunt


Sian Thomas trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London before going on to act in numerous productions for the Citizens Theatre Company, The Royal National Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company.


An accomplished actress on both stage and screen, Sian won the TMA Martini Award for Best Supporting Actress for Uncle Vanya and was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2002 for her performance in Up For Grabs.


Sian's TV credits include Inspector Morse, A Mind To Murder and Doctor Finlay.


Most recently Sian completed filming on feature film Vanity Fair, in which she stars alongside Reese Witherspoon and James Purefoy.


Fergus Nimmo plays Conradin


Sredni Vashtar is 13-year-old Fergus Nimmo's second short film for the BBC, following the success of award-winning Tartan Small, The Choir.


Fergus took the lead in the acclaimed short film as schoolboy Leslie who turns up for his first day of secondary school determined to fit in with the cool crowd at all costs.


In Sredni Vashtar Fergus plays the role of orphan Conradin who creates a fictitious God to distract him from the daily torment of living with his overpowering Aunt.


Fergus effortlessly combines his love for acting with his school life and is about to enter his third year of secondary school as well as attending drama classes at Glasgow's Scottish Youth Theatre.


Production biographies


Angela M Murray - Writer & Director


Having won a scholarship from Dallas creator David Jacobs, Angela M Murray spent a year in Los Angeles studying cinematography before returning to work in Scotland.


Her first short film, Smashing, was made in 1998 and was nominated for a Best Performance Award at Scotland's New Talent BAFTAs.


Angela went on to secure success in the DNA Films / Scottish Screen competition with her script for The Book Carriers, which told the story of Lithuanian immigrants in Lanarkshire at the turn of the century.


In the summer of 2001 Angela made the short film Divine which recently won Best Short at both the Celtic Film Festival and the Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children.


Her next short, The Choir, was awarded Scottish New Talent BAFTAs for Best Director and Best Craft (Production Design).


Angela is currently working on a script for Modern, a contemporary fairy tale about a simple-minded man who wants to be a DJ.

Robbie Sandison - Producer


Robbie Sandison is a freelance producer / associate producer who has a wealth of experience in all areas of production. Having graduated from the RSAMD where he trained in theatrical stage management, Robbie went on to apply his skills within drama production working as a first assistant director / production manager for Scottish Television and various independent companies.


For the past few years Robbie has been working for Granada Television as an associate producer on several network dramas including A&E and Where The Heart Is.


He has also produced Scottish-based 35mm short film Donna followed by the award-winning film The Choir.


Most recently, The Choir was screened in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and Robbie is currently developing a number of scripts including a feature version of this award winning film.


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