I suspect the word 'earnest' should never appear on my news posting - earnestness not being a groovy, cyber-friendly, happening sort of word. But it does go some way to describing the single-minded activity that's going in to planning for this year's film festival. There are two strands to the festival this year - the first being a visit from one of Britian's most acclaimed film directors, Terence Davies, with screenings of three of his films, including the immensely moving Of Time and the City. I found myself embarassed watching this fantastic film at the National Film Theatre (or BFI South Bank as we must now call it) as I wept freely into the only two kleenex that were in my handbag and then had to ask the bloke next to me if he had any tissues. (He didn't. Or maybe he did, but thought that I was a mad woman). Anyway, Terence Davies is coming to Shetland and you can call me starstruck.....
The second strand is a 'Compass Points' theme running through the rest of the programme, going north to Iceland with a free late night screening of Sigur Ros' Heima, south with South (the 1919 actual documentary footage of Shackleton's expedition to the South Atlantic, east with a James Dean classic East of Eden, and west to Skye for Seachd: the Inaccessible Pinnacle, the first Gaelic film to achieve international release. As an added treat, the film's director (Simon Miller) and screenplay writer (Jo Cockwell) will be visiting the festival to talk about their work.
Further forays into the east are represented by the fabulous Japanese animation, Howl's Moving Castle, and the extraordinary animated story of one Israeli's memories of a massacre in the Lebanon, Waltz with Bashir.
There will be screenings at various 'compass points' around Shetland - Fair Isle, Baltasound, Whalsay and Aith - but I'll tell you about those (and about our plans for promoting Shetland's own home made product) in another posting.
Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to welcoming back our curators Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams. Apart from being utterly passionate about cinema (and extremely knowledgable), they are generous with their time and great fun to be with.
Come and see all of it, film lovers - and discover what a mole feels like when it emerges, blinking into the sunlight after a prolonged spell in the dark. And they don't even get to see the movies.