The sun shone brightly today and Lerwick Brass Band played during a procession from the Market Cross in Lerwick to Mareel as the 10th Screenplay Film Festival was officially launched.
Supporters, staff and volunteers were also accompanied by the Lerwick Junior Jarl’s Squad and on arrival at Mareel they enjoyed some birthday cake before the first film began.
Murray Shearer, who was born during the first festival, and his family were taking part in the walk and he was presented with a present on behalf of the festival.
Among the screenings some locally-made movies are getting the big screen treatment this year. Roseanne Watt and Stephen Mercer of the Shetland Film Collective are among those whose films will be shown. Watt’s Death and his Mistress will be screened on Sunday while the film collective’s quirky comedy Ragnar was shown at lunchtime today.
Festival director Kathy Hubbard said: “We want to wave the flag for Shetland film makers on this our 10th birthday so there are plenty of screenings of locally made films long and short.”
The festival actually began last night when a packed Scalloway Public Hall enjoyed the screening of Nine Lives, the amazing endurance story of Shetland Bus hero Jan Baalsrud. It was introduced by Stephen Howarth, whose late father David wrote the book on which the film is based.
Other highlights will include the Shetland dialect opera Hirda, a lecture on Sami culture by Andrew Jennings and a special screening of John Grierson’s 1929 classic short film Drifters about the North Sea herring fishing.
Many of the films being shown during the first weekend are aimed at children and families – Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods, Operation Arctic, Labyrinthus and Long Way North.
Screenplay is again being curated byMark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams and during the week Shetland Arts is welcoming songwriter Richard Hawley. He provided the soundtrack for the film Love Is All and will be doing a gig at Mareel on Tuesday evening.
Screenplay runs until Sunday 4th September.