Dunoon Film Festival promises a ‘kino-ceilidh’

A Stars in Scotland exhibition, featuring pictured from the Herald archive, accompanies the festival. Pictured here is Cary Grant in 1958 - the boy is David Hamilton, formerly of Dunoon, now editor of the Scottish Daily Express. Picture copyright The Herald
A Stars in Scotland exhibition, featuring pictures from The Herald archive, accompanies the festival in Dunoon Burgh Hall. Pictured here is Cary Grant in 1958 – the boy is David Hamilton, formerly of Dunoon, now editor of the Scottish Daily Express. Picture copyright The Herald

The first ever Dunoon Film Festival will feature Scottish classics, new international cinema and musical collaborations.

Based in the town’s Burgh Hall and Studio Cinema from June 14-16, the festival is describedby organisers as a ‘kino-ceilidh’ – a merry dance of a weekend with 26 events.

It will open with a special event celebrating John Byrne’s 1990 BBC TV series Your Cheatin’ Heart, set in and around the West Coast’s country and western scene.

Although it helped to make a star of Tilda Swinton, this has not been released on DVD and has never been screened anywhere since its original run.

Alan Sharp's work will be a feature of the event
Greenock screenwriter Alan Sharp’s work will be a feature of the event

Byrne and Eddi Reader, who starred in the series as be-quiffed country singer Jolene Jowett, will help to open the festival and introduce a screening of the first two episodes; the rest of the series will be shown during the weekend.

The festival will close with another very rare screening – Drifters, made by pioneering Scottish filmmaker John Grierson in 1929.

A poetic silent film following a crew of North Sea herring fishermen, it is seen as one of the first true documentaries.

It will be accompanied by a live soundtrack from Edinburgh musician Wounded Knee, who will create a live vocal work based on traditional folk songs.

Dunoon’s heritage as a seaside resort is marked by films such as Local Hero – introduced by Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, Ealing classic The Maggie and long-lost Orkney seafaring fantasy Venus Peter.

The programme also pays tribute to award-winning Greenock screenwriter and novelist Alan Sharp, who died earlier this year after writing over 20 Hollywood films; his Night Moves, Ulzana’s Road and Rob Roy will all be screened.

DFF is co-curated by Allan Hunter, respected film journalist and also co-director of Glasgow Film Festival, and Matt Lloyd, also director of Glasgow Short Film Festival; however, the Dunoon event is run completely independently of Glasgow Film.

Tickets and more information are available from the festival’s website here.