A catchup with two of our New Promoters

What did our New Promoters get up to last year – and where are they now?

FHS’ New Promoters scheme is designed to bring new voices into Scottish film exhibition and curation roles. It creates paid placements in exhibition at a real living wage. Each year, we hope to fill these placements with passionate people who have faced barriers to working in the industry.

The New Promoters work with amazing festivals, cinemas and other organisations across Scotland to create and promote their own film events. They learn what’s involved in the process, every step of the way.

As we recruit for our next round of the scheme, we caught up with two our six 2021 New Promoters: Rachel Shnapp and Theo Panagopoulos.


Rachel worked with Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, starting in the Summer of 2021.

What has the New Promoters scheme meant to you?

Being a part of this scheme was hugely beneficial to me. I had thought about curating frequently over the past few years, having done a lot of event co-ordination and some curation for charity exhibitions. Having the support of the whole Alchemy team allowed me to learn so much in a relatively short space of time, from curating and coordinating screenings, to audience development, to writing from a curatorial perspective; as well as the practical side of things like print copy, different file types and subtitling etc. So much! I’m so grateful for the opportunities and the skills I built there.

Curation to me, had always felt like a really untouchable role. I didn’t go to art school, nor have any previous formal training in curation, so it felt like a near impenetrable industry. Doing this scheme allowed me to learn the skills needed to curate and exhibit film, but also the confidence to go forward with the practice.

What have you been up to since it ended?

I have been working on a documentary about the music industry in South West Scotland, as well as curating a series of events around mindful practice, which we delivered in February. I’ve since been working on a few of my own scripts, one which I shot in March and a few that I’ll be shooting this summer.

I also just joined the Alchemy team for their 12th annual film festival as Volunteer Coordinator. It was wonderful to work with Alchemy again, and all of the wonderful volunteers we had this year.

What would you say to people who are thinking of applying to take part?

I would say that you should absolutely apply! Not only did I learn a huge amount about exhibiting film, but I had the most wonderful experience working with the organisation. It’s such a great way to learn whilst gaining valuable professional experience.


Theo worked with the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival (SMHAF), starting in the Summer of 2021.

What has the scheme meant to you?

When I joined the New Promoters Scheme, I didn’t realise how crucial it would become in fostering my career. I will always remember my experience fondly.

I was really pleasantly surprised by how open everyone was to supporting my ideas, both from SMHAF and Film Hub Scotland. The whole team really helped me with each challenge that came my way. They were very collaborative in finding a common language that honoured the festival’s beautiful work as well as my own ideas. They valued diversity, and encouraged me to bring my own unique sensibilities to anything I was doing.

What is your next step?

I have been recently selected as part of SAFAR Film Festival‘s Futures Mentorship Scheme, where I will be programming and running an event to be screened at London’s Barbican Cinema during the Festival. This is the only festival in the UK dedicated to Arab Cinema, which is very close to my heart due to my Middle Eastern heritage. The events I did through the New Promoter Scheme where instrumental in taking this next step in my career. It provided me with confidence to pursue opportunities in film exhibition.

What would you say to people who are thinking of applying to take part?

I would recommend you take the time to explore what are the unique qualities you can offer, maybe a perspective, a feeling or even something you would like to change. You don’t necessarily need a concrete idea to apply, which might feel intimidating, but passion and a unique perspective.

Our next cohort of New Promoters will be working with Centre for Contemporary Arts, Africa in Motion, Havana Glasgow Film Festival, and Screen Argyll.

You can read all about the scheme and apply here – but hurry, the application deadline is 5pm, Monday, 9 May. Applications are accepted in a range of formats.

Rachel Shnapp is a filmmaker and curator. Within both her film and curatorial practice, she works across a variety of areas, from narrative to art to documentary. She is passionate about bringing creative opportunities to rural communities, and increasing access to the art world. There is often a rural focus to her work.

You can find out more about Rachel at www.rachelshnapp.com or @rayshnapp on Twitter and Instagram.

Theo Panagopoulos is a Greek-Lebanese-Palestinian filmmaker and emerging curator based in Scotland. He is interested in exploring storytelling in film exhibition and other mediums such as writing and fiction filmmaking. His work explores in an ethical and intersectional way themes of memory, politics, fragmented identity and language connect to collective trauma and healing. His short film My Own Personal Lebanon screened in multiple festivals across Europe and won the Odysseus award at the Beyond Borders festival of Kastelorizo. His new short documentary, The Place between Was & Will Be, premiered in the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival this in March 2022.

Find Theo online at theopanagopoulos.com and @theos_perspective on Instagram.