Scheme Birds


Scotiabank Theatre 3 Sun, Apr 28, 2019 8:30 PM
TIFF Lightbox 4 Mon, Apr 29, 2019 1:30 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:Sweden
Premiere Status:Canadian Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:The Changing Face of Europe
Film Subjects:Children & Youth
Women & Women's Stories
Western & Central Europe
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Ellinor Hallin
Ellen Fiske
Producer(s):Ruth Reid
Mario Adamson
Editor(s):Hanna Lejonqvist
Cinematography:Ellinor Hallin
Composer:Charlie Jefferson


Scrappy Scottish teenager Gemma has never backed down from a fight. That was the way of life in the small-town, low-income housing scheme where she grew up, southeast of Glasgow. As Gemma says, scheme birds either get "locked up or knocked up," so perhaps her path is set. But her grandfather, who raised her from infancy, won't accept that. Doing all he can to channel her energy away from the streets, he opens a boxing gym that he converts once a week into a pigeon show—something he believes will give local ex-cons a sense of purpose. But is that enough action for Gemma? What will happen to her fire when the consequences go from minor to major? In classic coming-of-age fashion, Scheme Birds asks what causes a person to change—and whether it's ever too late to do so. Nataleah Hunter-Young

The Changing Face of Europe program presented in partnership with European Film Promotion (EFP).

Additional Information

  • Variety - "An alternately lyrical and gut-punching coming-of-age study."