Young film makers to open festival

SHETLAND’S young film makers will be opening Screenplay, the second Shetland Arts Film Festival, on Thursday at the Garrison Theatre, with a selection of their work from the past 12 months.

The festival is looking at “Heroes and Villains” this time, and is curated by Mark Kermode, Linda Ruth Williams and Sir Christopher Frayling.

The Young Film and Media Club screenings were a personal highlight for many audience members last year, and this year’s short films demonstrate just how far this group of young people have developed and progressed.

From a Famous Five-type adventure to a curiously equine crime fighter, music videos to a 15-minute comedy “noir” detective story, stop motion animation and the fate of a can of baked beans, this is a creative presentation.

The continuing popularity of BBC television’s timelord hero Doctor Who is largely down to the sustained quality of the writing, acting and direction.

Shetland Arts will welcome director Douglas Mackinnon back to Screenplay to introduce a full length screening of The Sontaran Strategy. Rumour has it that he may bring a Sontaran raygun with him, if he can persuade the airport security personnel at Edinburgh that it won’t go off mid-flight.

This screening comes courtesy of the BBC, and like the Young Media Group screening, admission is free, but folk are still advised to book their tickets in advance from Islesburgh to be sure of securing a seat. Friday sees Local Hero being screened before a late night thriller Fatal Attraction, introduced by regular contributor to Sight and Sound magazine, film critic Linda Ruth Williams.

Fans of animation can enjoy Suzie Templeton’s Oscar winning Peter and the Wolf, which will be showing on Saturday, 6th September. Although it carries a U certificate, Shetland Arts advises that very young children may find it a little scary, and that it will best be appreciated by children aged seven and over, and anybody who loves good animation or has an interest in film making.

Sir Christopher Frayling will give an illustrated introduction, showing how other film makers have approached this time-hon­oured story in the past.

Sir Christopher will also be giving an in-depth, illustrated introduction to Once Upon a Time in the West on Saturday evening. Together with the film, which has a running time of 165 minutes, this makes a whole evening of entertainment for film buffs – however there will be “comfort breaks” and ice cream. Linda Ruth Williams is back on Sunday 7th with a family-friendly introduction to 101 Dalmatians where Glenn Close plays the villainess with a penchant for puppy fur coats.

The Culture Show presenter and film critic Mark Kermode will be introducing a Sunday afternoon chiller, The Vanishing. Mark will bring the festival to a close with The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – again, a whole evening’s entertainment that will leave the audience pondering on the nature of celebrity, heroism and villainy.

Add to all that the screening the Western The Searchers, short films by local film makers Karen Emslie, Philip Taylor, Greg McCarron and Dave Hammond, a read-through of Douglas Mackinnon’s new screen­play at Islesburgh, popcorn and programme notes, and the organisers believe you will have a weekend of celluloid pleasure that will be highly memorable.

Tickets are available from Islesburgh on (01595) 692114 or at the door (subject to availability).


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