From unusual road trips to reimagined classics, there’s a lot going on in Scottish film in 2016 that deserves to be shouted about.
Here are just seven films making their way to cinemas around the country that are worth searching out.
This one-off event/screening kicks off the 2016 Glasgow Short Film Festival and has its roots in a 1956 film project, Lost Treasure, which aimed to tell the story of the Scottish Highlands and its people. Alas, Lost Treasure was never completed, but its story is the inspiration for this special screening of unseen footage along with new music and archival recordings.
Musicians Drew Wright (Wounded Knee) and Hamish Brown (Swimmer One), and filmmaker Minttu Mäntynen, are behind the event, which should be a fascinating insight into Highland culture.
Where You’re Meant to Be
Somewhere always worth looking for inspiration when it comes to new films is the Scottish Documentary Institute, an organisation that probably does more for the reputation of Scottish cinema than anywhere else. They’re behind Where You’re Meant to Be, a new feature from Paul Fegan featuring cult‐pop raconteur, Aidan Moffat, and balladeer, Sheila Stewart.
Where You’re Meant To Be is said to be “an open‐armed journey through Scottish music, landscape and time” that features the differing points of view of two distinct characters: Moffat believes Scotland’s oldest songs are ripe for re‐working against a contemporary urban backdrop. Stewart does not. The film is going on tour around Scotland in March and will include special performances from Moffat and friends after each screening – find out more on the website.
Following the success of 2013’s Sunshine on Leith, which mined The Proclaimers’ back catalogue for plot inspiration, Waterboys is described as a “hilarious and emotional” road movie featuring a father and son who grow closer while travelling to Edinburgh, where they try to secure tickets to a performance by the Waterboys.
Filmed in Scotland in 2015, with scenes shot in Locahaber and Edinburgh, the team behind Waterboys ran a successful crowd-funding campaign for the money required to complete the film. Miles Jupp and Tom Mannion are among the cast.
Seemingly stuck in development hell for most of the last decade, this new adaptation of the Compton Mackenzie novel from director Gillies MacKinnon (Small Faces) and screenwriter Peter McDougall (A Sense of Freedom) is finally on track for a 2016 release. Fans of the 1949 Ealing version will recall the likes of Basil Radford as Captain Wagget, Gordon Jackson as George and James Robertson Justice as Dr. Maclaren, characters now played by Eddie Izzard, Kevin Guthrie and John Sessions.
Anticipating the baffled response of film fans when they hear Whisky Galore has been remade for a modern audience, the filmmakers have addressed this point on their website, stating: “The perennial story of a united community putting itself against officialdom and authority has resonances the world over. It is the purpose of this film to tap into that international sharing and genuinely entertain a world audience with a popular tale that is universal.”
In a small Scottish town in 1974, factory workers refuse to carry out repairs on warplane engines in an act of solidarity against the violent military coup in Chile. Four years pass then the engines mysteriously disappear in the middle of the night…40 years later the three surviving workers re-unite to look back on what was gained and what was lost.
Already a successful short film that’s been screened at various film festivals, filmmaker Felipe Bustos Sierra, a friend of ReelScotland stretching back to his 2011 film, Three-Legged Horses, is now hard at work on a feature version of Nae Pasaran following a successful Kickstarter campaign. Follow his progress on Facebook.
16 Years Till Summer
When former offender Uisdean Mackay returns to his Highland home after 16 years behind bars to care for his dying father, his attempts at a second chance with his girlfriend and father are documented by filmmaker Lou McLoughlin in the BAFTA Scotland-nominated 16 Years Till Summer.
Screening at the 2016 Glasgow Film Festival, 16 Years… promises to be a challenging watch and it’s hopefully the first of many chances to see it around the country.
Though yet to go before a camera, one to look out for is the debut feature from Edinburgh-based screenwriter/director, Matt Palmer, well known to local audiences as the man behind the hugely successful All Night Horror Madness events at the Cameo Cinema and the Grosvenor in Glasgow.
According to Screen Daily, this Highlands-set thriller follows two friends who accidentally kill a boy and soon regret trying to cover up the crime. Actors Jack Lowden (71) and Martin McCann (The Survivalist) will star, and the feature will shoot in June.
Know of any more Scottish films worth looking forward to? Get in touch via the Contact Us form and let me know.
Main photo: Where You’re Meant to Be on Facebook