Media release: Creative industries festival announces its prestigious curated film programme

Director driving with Guy Wallace and safari hunters

INVERNESS-based creative industries conference and showcase event, XpoNorth, has announced its prestigious curated programme of films which will screen during the two-day event on 7th and 8th June at Eden Court in Inverness.

Filmmakers from the Highlands and Islands and beyond, from the Arctic to Australia, were invited to submit short films of any genre and XpoNorth received just under 3,000 entries from 112 countries across the world.

Films were submitted via FilmFreeway, a global digital platform for emerging filmmakers to get their work seen by film festivals.

Of this number, 47 films will be screened in Eden Court’s Playhouse cinema from 10am – 3pm, while 26 short films will be screened at the start of every session of the conference.

The films will be screened alongside two curated programmes; one with the BFI Highland Film Academy and one with Screen Academy Scotland, which focuses on the European Connection.

In addition, two ground-breaking documentary feature films, made by Highlands-based filmmakers, will take centre stage at 3pm on both days of XpoNorth.

Caithness-based David Graham Scott‘s critically-acclaimed The End Of The Game, tells the story of a bizarre journey from Caithness to Africa made by Scott, a committed vegan, in the company of his old colonial neighbour, an ex-big game hunter called Guy Wallace.

Tristan Aitchison, who lives on the Black Isle, has also been inspired by Africa but in a wholly different way. His film, Sidney & Friends, paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to grow up living as an intersex or transgender person in one of the most conservative and intolerant regions in the world.

The soundtrack for Sidney & Friends has been provided by The Voice South Africa 2016 finalist, Lana Crowster, and artist and filmmaker, Silas Miami. Both artists will make a special appearance at XpoNorth.

Scott’s film, which was a hit among critics at The Glasgow Film Festival in February, will be shown at 3pm on Wednesday 7th June, while Aitchison’s work will air at a special Cast & Crew screening at the same time on Thursday 8th June.

Announcing XpoNorth‘s film programme, XpoNorth director, Amanda Millen, said: “When you put out a call for submissions, you never know what will come your way.

“We had an amazing jury of film programmers this year from across Scotland and we were all impressed by the sheer variety of films which we encountered from across the globe.

“The quality of the shortlisted films from around the world is excellent which is all the more impressive when we’ve had a record number of Highlands & Islands films submitted, particularly new talent.

“There’s a beautiful animation documenting life in the north west highlands through the eyes of a fisherman made by Alison MacPherson from Sutherland.”

From the documentary genre, Katrina Brown, whose work we’ve screened in the past and who is really shaping up to be a great storyteller, gives us a moving account of one woman’s personal journey from confirmed ‘non-sporty girl’ to outdoor adventure-lover.

For the second year running, the main conference and film showcasing elements of XpoNorth will take place at Eden Court with live music showcasing in the evenings at venues across the Highland capital.

List of showcase screenings:

XpoNorth Submission Films  
#NotAlone – Dirs. Sotiris Petridis, Dimitris Tsakaleas
A Slice Of Life – Dir. Phillip G Carroll Jr
Archway 0173 – Dir. Pat Knight
Bus Story – Dir. Jorge Yudice
Creeling – Dir. Sam Firth
Crowman – Dir. Duncan Nicoll
Custom Love – Dir. Jonathan Kebe
Eich Bhàna  – Dir. Alison MacPherson
El Trastero – Dir. Gaizka Urresti
Fomo Sapiens – Dir. Viktor Hertz
Fundamental – Dir. Shih-Chieh Chiu
Golden Love – Dir. Pavlo Ostrikov
Guillaume Drifting – Dir. Sylvain Dieuaide
Half Time – Dir. Arnaud Pelca
Happiness – Dir. Ana A. Alpizar
Hey, Sweetheart! – Dir. Sonia Méndez
I’m Still Here – Dir. Stuart Edwards
Inside The Van With The Bongo Club – Dir. Alex Esteve
Inverness Parkurn – Bringing the Community Together – Dir. Niall Ross
Kaska – Dir. Alexander Dannhauser
Kayla and Kyle – Dir. Andrew Rooke
Keeping Balance – Dir. Bernhard Wenger
Lace – Dirs. Таras Rybalchenko, Lidiya Huzhva
Limitless – Dir. Rory McLeod
Lunch Time – Dir. Alireza Ghasemi
Marvin’s Island – Dirs. Pedro Oliveira, António Vieira, Filipa Burmester
Memories Of You – Dir. Bart Schrijver
Playing House – Dirs. Cenk Koksal, Ozgul Gurbuz
Splinter – Dir. Simon Fox
Stay – Dir. Neill Prentice
The Bear Necessity – Dir. Eilidh Gow
The Big Class – Dir. Marie-Lou Béland
The Dress – Dir. Javier Marco
The Gift – Dir. Bolsunbek Taalaibek uulu
The Tower – Dir. Ali Araz
The Truants – Dir. Aaron Dunleavy
Those Who Love – Dir. Nefise Lorentzen
Timeline – Dir. Mikhail Romanovskiy
Touching The Rainbow – Dir. Serhat Serter
Unleavened Bread – Dir. Wilfried Méance
Unspoken Water – Dir. Sarah Blackie
Vanilla – Dir. Juan Beiro
Water Level Unkown – Dirs. Tomáš Lipský, Dužan Duong
Wedded or Bachelor? – Dirs. Cristina Piernas, Victoria Ruiz
Where We Are Now – Dir. Lucie Rachel
Wintry Spring – Dir. Mohamed Kamel
Words Of Atonement – Dir. Phillip G Carroll Jr

BFI Highland Film Academy:

Feral – Dir. Harris Palmer
Humanity – Dir. Lewis Wolstenhulme
Unconditional – Dir. Benedict Donnelly

Screen Academy Scotland presents the European Connection:

An (Un)natural Birth – Dir. Laura Kingwell
Event Horizon – Dir. Joséfa Celestin
Patata Tortilla – Dir. Ben Sharrock
The Fifth Wall – Dir. Siniša Radosavljević

Cast & Crew screening:

Sidney & Friends – Dir. Tristan Aitchison

Special screening:

The End Of The Game – Dir. David Graham Scott

Pre-conference screenings:

Aeon – Dir. Derek O’Dell
Bicycle Song – Dir. Anna Malienko
Bike Portraits – Dir. Sashko Danylenko
Butterflies – Dir. Adnan Zandi
Capturing The Craic – Dir. David Souto
Cargo – Dirs. Ella Taborisky, Einat Nagar
Fastaqim – Dir. Abdullah Al Dasuki
Freed – Dir. Finn McNeill
Griotte – Dir. Christine Jaudoin
Here We Go Here We Go Here We Go – Dir. Roxana Vilk
Inner Conflict – Dir. Bart Schrijver
Lóa Chlapp Þorri – Dirs. Líndal Guðnason, Siri Gunnarshaug
Matchstick Zombies – Dir. Jake Blakeston
People – Dir. Charlie Watts
Raising A Nuisance – Dir. LS. Quigley
Red – Dir. Hossein Keshavarzi
RotoJam: Winter Edition – Dir. Ashley Lo Russo
School of Shock – Dir. Steven Dorrington
Squirrel And Conker Boy – Dir. Louise Wilde
Tekkol – Dir. Jorn Leeuwerink
The Fisherman Of Lesbos – Dir. Nikolia Apostolou
The Light In The Dark – Dir. Victoria Dzhaparidze
The Old Croft – Dir. Greg McCarron
Trio – Dir. John Graham
Who Plays Othello? – Dir. David Fratini
Woman Up – Dir. Katrina Brown

XpoNorth is funded by Highlands & Islands Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund and is a business-to-business creative industries event offering free panels, masterclasses, keynote speeches, networking and training.

The only event of its kind in Scotland devoted to craft, fashion, textiles, writing, publishing, screen, broadcast, game development, design and music, XpoNorth is attended by leading creative industry insiders.

Notes for editors:

XpoNorth is a two-day conference and showcase devoted to the creative industries. It’s based in Inverness and for two jam-packed days and music-filled nights in June, thousands of delegates come from all over Britain and further afield to meet, greet, listen, participate and share ideas in the fields of screen, broadcast, gaming, design, fashion, textiles, writing, publishing and music.

XpoNorth also has a year-round brief from funders, Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support and develop creative business by providing practical assistance and networking opportunities.

The only event of its kind in Scotland devoted to craft, textiles, fashion, games development, writing, publishing, screen and broadcast, design and music, XpoNorth is attended by leading creative industry insiders, who take part in workshops, panels and masterclass sessions over the course of both days.

XpoNorth Networks:

XpoNorth Screen and Broadcast
ScreenHI is XpoNorth’s screen and broadcast network. Led by former BBC producer, Amanda Millen, it operates all year-round and supports businesses and individuals working in film, television, radio and video games across the Highlands and Islands.

XpoNorth Music
Led by Alex Smith, XpoNorth Music is the industry network established to support the development of musicians and music businesses across the Highlands and Islands.

XpoNorth Design
Established to support flourishing design community in Highlands and Islands. Hosted by Creative Futures Partnership, a collaboration between The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and HIE. Led by the Institute of Design Innovation (InDI), a research institute based in Forres, Moray, within the GSA.

XpoNorth Writing and Publishing
The sector head of Emergents Writers is Peter Urpeth. His role is to nurture creative talent in the field of writing and publishing across the Highlands and Islands.

XpoNorth Craft, Fashion and Textiles
The sector head of Emergents Makers is Pamela Conacher, who leads a team which provides a programme of advice, training and support for the craft, fashion and textile sector in the Highlands and Islands.

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