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The 21st Inverness Film Festival will 'bring the world to the Highlands'

By Margaret Chrystall

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This year's Inverness Film Festival couldn't start closer to home with its opening event – John MacLaverty’s Loch Ness: They Created A Monster, documenting the rivalry of Nessie hunters in the 1970s.

Loch Ness: They Created A Monster will open the festival.
Loch Ness: They Created A Monster will open the festival.

The 21st film festival, running from November 3-9 and held at Eden Court, will showcase a range of Scottish premieres by exciting filmmakers from across the world, including Wim Wenders.

The festival’s director Paul Macdonald-Taylor said: "I can’t wait for our audiences to discover the world on our screens.”

International cinema includes films from Georgia, Laos, Mongolia, Germany and France.

Also showcased are Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki’s Fallen Leaves, legendary Spanish filmmaker Víctor Erice’s Close Your Eyes, and two Japanese masters are back with Hirokazu Koreeda’s Monster where a mother puts her son’s change in behaviour down to something at school. And also showing is Rysusuke Hamaguchis Evil Does Not Exist, where a handyman discovers his idyllic village home is about to become a glamping site.

Emma Stone in the film adaptation of Scottish writer Alasdair Gray opens Inverness Film Festival in November.
Emma Stone in the film adaptation of Scottish writer Alasdair Gray opens Inverness Film Festival in November.

Other highlights of this year’s programme include Poor Things, director Yorgos Lanthimos’ adaptation of Scottish writer Alasdair Gray’s novel about Bella (Emma Stone), brought back to life.

All Of Us Strangers has Andrew Scott playing Adam who meets his strange neighbour Harry (Paul Mescal) in Andrew Haigh’s film.

In William Oldroyd’s mystery thriller Eileen, Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie play two women who meet in a young offenders centre.

And in Palme d’Or-winner Anatomy Of A Fall, German actor Sandra Huller’s performance has been praised as outstanding.

Anatomy Of A Fall.
Anatomy Of A Fall.

The festival has always championed Scottish cinema and filmmaking talent. and this year Silent Roar, filmed on Lewis, will come with a Q+A with director Johnny Barrington and producer Chris Young.

The festival will also host a rare opportunity to see Turner Prize-nominated artist and filmmaker Luke Fowler with Peter Todd and Lee Paterson performing The Room, a two-projector cinema work with 16mm films and sound.

Silent Roar.
Silent Roar.

There's more Scottish film represented with many shorts, including the festival’s first-ever Gaelic shorts programme as well as Cinema Sgìre, a new film of video recorded on the Outer Hebrides in the late 1970s, digitised for the first time.

There's a range of documentary features organisers are calling "electrifying" – Fantastic Machine turns the camera on an obsession with image; Is There Anybody Out There? explores being disabled in an ableist world; and in Anselm, Scala!!! Wim Wenders guides his audience to the ideas of German artist Anselm Kiefer.

Black Narcissus.
Black Narcissus.

A retrospective celebrates the work of the pioneering British filmmaking duo Powell and Pressburger with two examples of their achievements: war-set drama-fantasy A Matter of Life and Death and atmospheric Black Narcissus, set in a remote nunnery.

The closing film The Bikeriders is Jeff Nichols’ furious drama following the rise of a 1960s Chicago motorcycle club with a heavyweight cast that includes Jodie Comer (already being tipped for awards), Tom Hardy and Austin Butler.

Rebecca Holt, chief executive at Eden Court, said: “The 21st Inverness Film Festival will bring the world to the Highlands with over 30 features and 50 shorts.

“Once again the programme includes titles that have garnered great festival acclaim, being shown for the first time on the big screen in Scotland.

“There is something for everyone in the programme, so don’t miss out on this very special moment in the Highlands’ cultural calendar.”

Austin Butler as Benny in The Bikeriders. Picture: 20th Century Studios. © 2023
Austin Butler as Benny in The Bikeriders. Picture: 20th Century Studios. © 2023

Paul MacDonald-Taylor the festival’s director and head of film + visual art at Eden Court, said: “Cinema. Honestly there’s nothing better.

“That rush when you sit down to a film you don’t know, before the reviews are out, and you discover something magical. That’s exactly what we’ve tried to do with IFF for the past 20 years and we’re not going to stop.

“For a festival of our size to still be going so strong after so many years, is a testament to our loyal audiences – and this year we have a cornucopia of features and shorts."

Tickets for the festival are on sale from Friday (Oct 12). HERE:

On X/Twitter: @InvFilmFest

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