Scottish youngsters the focus of new film fest

A NEW film festival that aims to eschew glamour, celebrities and red carpets, is scheduled to take place next month in a ballroom in Nairn, in the north-east of Scotland – thanks to actress, Tilda Swinton, who lives in the area.

Aided and abetted by Mark Cousins, a film producer and writer – and a former director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, of which Swinton is a patron – the aim of the event, called The Ballerina Ballroom cinema of dreams, is to generate an interest in cinema among youngsters.

Says Cousins: “The festival grows out of a passion that Tilda Swinton and I have for trying to get as imaginative films as possible to young people.”

The festival is to run from the 15th to the 23rd of next month.

Although full details of the programme have yet to be revealed, titles that will screen include Powell and Pressburger’s I Know Where I Am Going; Henry Hathaway’s romanc, Peter Ibbetson; Sylvain Chomet’s animation, The Old Lady and The Pigeons; and Mohammed Ali Talebi’s celebrated children’s film, The Boots. The closing film is Federico Fellini’s classic, 8 1/2.

Cousins, who filmed Swinton as part of a documentary celebrating 60 years of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, is adamant that the event’s character will be defined by the total absence of hoopla.

He added: “There will be no champagne receptions, absolutely not, no opening addresses and no politicians – it will be purely triple-distilled cinephilia.”

The New Ten Commandments was shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, last month.

Swinton and he hatched their plan when he went to her house for the shoot. “I played with her children, raved about movies, and planned this passionate, surreal film festival.”

Swinton and Cousins are also in the midst of setting up an ‘8 1/2 Foundation’, aimed at building enthusiasm among young cinema-goers.