This article identifies and explores a central paradox which beset Scottish cinema of the early 2000s. On one hand, that period continued and confirmed the notable achievements of the late 1990s: enhanced levels of indigenous feature production were sustained into the new century and significant new directorial voices (such as David MacKenzie and Richard Jobson) continued to emerge. Yet on the other, many figures active within twenty-first-century Scottish film culture understood the post-2000 period to be one of collective disappointment and unfulfilled expectation. With a particular focus on two central trends – a decline in average feature production budget sizes and an increase in feature co-production activity between Scottish and European (especially Scandinavian) partners – this article argues that the 2000s were in fact a period of significant consolidation for Scottish cinema. As well as seeking to understand the means by which that consolidation took place, the arguments presented here also speculate on the possible consequences of that fact for academic criticism of Scottish film, arguing that a traditional critical focus of questions of national identity and representation has become harder to sustain in the face of increasingly diverse filmmaking practices emerging from Scotland.
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