SCOTTISH SCREEN: Success for Scottish Films in 2006

26th December 2006

2006 has seen a number of successes for Scottish films, talent and locations, securing prestigious festival screenings and gaining recognition through awards.

Red Road won the Jury Prize at Cannes in May and it went on to have further successes, screening at a number of international film festivals including: London, Toronto, Reykjavik, Dinard, Hamburg and Athens. Its lead actors, Tony Curran (Miami Vice, Gladiator, Pearl Harbour) and Kate Dickie (Tinsel Town), received awards for Best Actor and Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards in 2006, as well as sweeping the board at the Scottish BAFTAs, winning Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress awards. First-time director Andrea Arnold won the Creative Originality Award at the Women in Film and Television Awards in London earlier this month.

The Last King of Scotland opened the London International Film Festival and screened at the Toronto Film Festival. Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void) won Best Director and Anthony Dod Mantle won Best Technical Achievement for Cinematography at the British Independent Film Awards 2006. Forest Whitaker (The Crying Game, Phone Booth), who stars as Idi Amin in the film, received the Best Actor award at the 2006 New York Film Critics Circle Awards and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.

The Queen, shot largely on location in Scotland and was selected for competition at the Venice film festival, where it won Best Film, Best Actress for Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect, Elizabeth I), Best Screenplay for Peter Morgan (The Last King of Scotland), and the FIPRESCI prize, as well as being nominated for the Golden Lion. The film has gone on to win a number of other awards including Best Screenplay at the British Independent Film Awards 2006, Best Actress and Screenplay at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, and Best Picture, Best Director for Peter Frears, Best Screenplay, Best Female Performance and Best Supporting Male Performance for Michael Sheen as Tony Blair. It has been nominated for a number of Golden Globes including Best Director, Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.

The Flying Scotsman, starring Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting, Plunkett & Macleane), Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings, On a Clear Day), Laura Fraser (Nina’s Heavenly Delights, Sixteen Years of Alcohol), and Brian Cox (Manhunt, Troy, The Bourne Supremacy) was selected as the opening film of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and is due for UK release summer 2007.

True North starring Peter Mullan (On a Clear Day, The Magdelene Sisters, My Name is Joe), Martin Compston (Red Road, Sweet Sixteen) and Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot) screened at Toronto International Film Festival, and is due for release next year.

Shooting Dogs from the internationally acclaimed Scottish director Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy, This Boy’s Life) won the Best Director and Best Achievement in Production Awards at the British Independent Film Awards 2006.

And next year, there are a number of exciting new Scottish films to look forward to including Hallam Foe, David MacKenzie’s fourth feature film, based on the novel by Peter Jinks, starring Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, King Kong) and Ewan Bremner (Trainspotting). It was filmed on location in Edinburgh and Glasgow and produced by Sigma Films (Red Road, Young Adam).

Also due to be released next year is Seachd, the Inaccessible Pinnacle, a Gaelic feature which tells the story of three children being brought up by their grandparents in the shadow of the Inaccessible Pinnacle on Skye. The film will premiere at the Celtic Film & TV Festival on Skye in March.

A number of films, which have been awarded Scottish Screen investment are due to go into production in 2007, details of which will be announced.