Mark Kermode heads for the UK’s most northerly bus shelter before welcoming Terence Davies to the Shetland Film Festival
Shetland young filmmakers group Maddrim Media will welcome film critic Mark Kermode (and his mum) to be guests of honour to the UK’s smallest film festival screening in the UK’s most northerly bus Shelter this Thursday. Complete with tickets, ushers, popcorn and ice-cream. Maddrim will be showing Mark some of the films they have made for Screenplay ’09, Shetland’s third annual film festival. The venue, Bobby’s Bus Shelter, virtually at the UK’s most northerly point, is something of a Shetland institution. Some ten years ago a wicker sofa and table appeared in the shelter, with no-one claiming responsibility. Soon afterwards a small TV was added, followed by a ‘hot snacks’ counter; since then, the tiny bus shelter has had curtains, a computer, hamsters, fairy lights, paintings, reading materials and much more installed, all secretly, and much to the delight of anyone who has to wait for the school bus there on a wet morning - http://tinyurl.com/m5cf32
Shetland Arts’ third film festival, Screenplay 09, got off to a flying start on Fair Isle last weekend (29/30 Aug) with enthusiastic audiences enjoying a varied programme of films. The festival moves on to Whalsay, Aith, Yell and Unst during the week, including a very special screening at Bobby’s Bus Shelter in Baltasound.
This year Screenplay 09 has two strands – the first being on a theme of ‘Compass Points’, where the films have a connection with north, south, east or west either in their titles, their content or the countries in which they were made. So, the audience will be going north to Iceland with Heima, with a free screening of Sigur Ros’ impromptu series of concerts across Iceland in 2006; south with Sir Edward Shackleton and the crew of the ‘Endurance’, with Frank Hurley’s original 1916 documentary footage; east with Howl’s Moving Castle and the extraordinary Waltz With Bashir; and west to Skye with Seachd and The Inheritance, to name but a few.
The north of England features largely in the festival’s second strand, the works of acclaimed director Terence Davies. Arts Development Manager Kathy Hubbard said “We are honoured to have one of Britain’s greatest living film-makers, Terence Davies, visiting the festival this year to talk about his films. Of Time and the City, his most recent film, has gathered enormous critical acclaim worldwide, and will close the festival on the Sunday evening”.
Other film professionals coming to Screenplay include Simon Miller and Joanne Cockwell (the director and screenplay writer of Seachd, the first Gaelic film to achieve national release), TV producers Foz Allan and Matthew Read, writer/producer Tim Barrow and Anne Mensah, who is responsible for commissioning drama UK wide for the BBC.
Screenplay will promote all sorts of moving image: archive material, movie classics such as East of Eden with James Dean, late night features, works by independent filmmakers, animation for all age groups (including some excellent short films from the National Film Board of Canada), music video and feature film, plus the regular audience favourite – an evening of new short films made in Shetland. There will also be a television strand, with a screening of an episode of the BBC’s Robin Hood directed by Douglas Mackinnon, followed by a panel discussion including Mark Greig (writer of Ashes to Ashes, The Bill, Life on Mars and Taggart) on adapting work for TV, which should be of great interest to anyone considering writing or working in television.