Edinburgh Film Festival announces the lineup of Scottish talent included this year’s programme, including a sequel to Braveheart.
As ever, they’ll be plenty of Scottish talent gracing this screen at this year’s film festival, not least in opening film Boyz in the Wood, a riotous action-comedy in which four teens get terrorised by a demented Laird while orienteering across the Highlands.
Another of EIFF’s Gala screenings with a Scottish connection is Balance, Not Symmetry. Directed by Jamie Adams, a prolific filmmaker who’s a firm festival favourite (he had two films, Songbird and Wild Honey Pie! in last year’s programme), it’s described as a “cinematic tribute to art, music and Scotland, in particular Glasgow.” The film’s Scottish connection continues thanks to the input from popular Kilmarnock band Biffy Clyro, who’ve provided the score and storyline.
You wait years for a Robert the Bruce film and then two come along. Following swiftly on the heels of David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King with Chris Pine comes another take on the nobleman-turned-outlaw hero, titled simply Robert the Bruce, with Angus Macfadyen reprising the role he memorably played in Braveheart. Is it a sequel to that Oscar-winning Mel Gibson joint? A spin-off? We’re intrigued (as well as the EIFF screenings, you’ll find Robert the Bruce in UK cinemas from 28 June).
Two films with “scheme” in the title also look promising. Scheme Birds comes fresh from Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the top documentary prize. From Sweedish filmmakers Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin, the doc centres on a teenage girl coming-of-age in hardscrabble Motherwell and was described by Variety as recalling the “sensory, symbol-heavy aesthetic of Andrea Arnold’s narrative cinema.” There’s also Schemers, from Dundee-born writer/director David McLean. Shot in his hometown, it’s a semi-autobiographical look at the McLean’s early years in the music business.
Talking of Dundee, the city’s most famous actor, Brian Cox, has a film at EIFF: noirish thriller Strange but True, which also features Nick Robinson, Amy Ryan and Greg Kinnear. Strange But True will play on CBS in the States, and there another TV-bound work in the festival: new series Good Omens. A new adaptation of the fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, directed by Scottish director Douglas Mackinnon (Doctor Who, Sherlock, Line of Duty), it tells the story of an angel (Michael Sheen) and a demon (David Tennant) joining forces to save the world. Good Omens is on Amazon Prime Video from 31 May, but this will likely be the only chance to see the series on the big screen. We’re told some special guests are expected to attend the screenings.