HEARTLAND FILM SOCIETY FESTIVALS 2007-2008
FILM FESTIVAL OCTOBER 24-26 2008: MADE IN SCOTLAND
Our film weekend in 2008 focussed entirely on films actually “Made in Scotland”.
Friday 24 October
The Festival got off to a great start with director Richard Jobson (16 Years of Alcohol and A Woman in Winter) giving a keynote lecture on using landscape as a character in film. He showed lots of clips and we were privileged to see footage from his latest film New Town Killers before it previewed the following week at the London Film Festival. We started early so that he could get away for the Scottish Style Awards in Glasgow (he won so we had the most stylish Scottish male in our midst!). Julie Craik of Tayscreen then opened the Festival and introduced our theme - “Made in Scotland”.
Saturday 25 October
Saturday morning featured Jobson’s film A Woman in Winter. He showed he could make as well as talk a good film as Edinburgh looked suitably Gothic in this tale of star crossed lovers in parallel existences. Next up was a complete change of tack with Jos Stelling’s De Wisselwachter (The Pointsman). This is a real curiosity. Shot at Corrour Station, it involves a beautiful woman who gets off at the wrong stop and is stuck in the wilderness. It’s a fantasy almost without dialogue and is acted silent movie style. It draws you in like an Eastern European fairy tale.
Keen Festival goers had just time to grab something to eat then it was off to the distillery where Dewar’s World of Whisky were showing the selection of Tartan Shorts which were competing for the Palme Dewar award.
The winner of the second Palme Dewar prize, as voted for by the audience, was Breadmakers, an 11-minute documentary directed by Yasmin Fedda. The picture shows the award being presented by Peter Guthrie of Dewar's to Tony Pitchforth of HFS who accepted on behalf of Fedda and the Garvald breadmakers.
Another Time Another Place was our centrepiece film. So that Festivalgoers who had spent the afternoon watching the Palme Dewar competition could get something to eat, we laid on pizzas from the Tully Café Bar in Grandtully and set up a drinks bar in a side room. The pizzas were a great success and the live accordion playing of Yvonne McLeod and guitarist John helped set the atmosphere.
Director Mike Radford’s recreation of events on the Black Isle in 1944 when Italian prisoners of war are billeted on the local farming community to work on the land is a minor masterpiece with stunning performances from Phyllis Logan and Giovanni Mauriello.
Sunday 26 October
Sunday morning saw Mike Marshall deliver a visually sophisticated overview culled from his Food Programme and Scotland’s Larder series of where Scotland stands in the food stakes today. Televised food shows are candyfloss for the eyeballs; what we need is food politics back on the television agenda.
Our final film, the Bollywood epic Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was an all singing all dancing end to the Festival. Bollywood films are long and the Locus Centre seats hard, so we broke in the middle for Indian Snacks deliciously provided by Chillies Restaurant.
This was a fantastic weekend and thanks are due to Dewar's, who once again allowed us to use their auditorium to screen the Shorts, and to Kevin and Jayne at The Watermill for hosting the opening evening.
FILM FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 2007
Heartland Film Society's first Scottish Film Weekend
Opened by John Swinney MSP and his wife Elizabeth Quigley, the first event was the quirky film Incident at Loch Ness, featuring the writer and director Werner Herzog.
The Saturday afternoon session was a collection of Scottish Shorts shown in the auditorium at Dewar’s World of Whisky. The winner of the inaugural Palme Dewar, voted for by the audience, was Ujbaz Izbeneki Has Lost His Soul, written and directed by Neil Jack of Ko Lik Films based in Edinburgh.
The Town Hall in Aberfeldy was well filled for the main event which was a screening of Seachd:The Inaccessible Pinnacle, the first Gaelic feature film to be distributed in the UK. The Aberfeldy Gaelic Choir provided an evocative musical introduction. Those who came early enjoyed a supper of stovies and whisky served up in the small hall courtesy of Fayre and Square.
The final event on Sunday was an enthralling presentation from David Peat, the BAFTA winning documentary filmmaker. Showing clips from his work of three decades, he talked about his approach to documenting events and the importance of building a trusting relationship between himself and his subjects.