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Inverness Film Festival announces its return with series of 15 movies at Eden Court this November; the 18th annual event is set to entertain Highland audiences from November 6

By Philip Murray

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THE Inverness Film Festival is making a triumphant return next week.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, Eden Court was able to reopen its doors to customers, café-goers and cinema fans this week.

And the ever-popular annual film festival is now able to delight film fans once again.

A pared back programme of 15 features spanning 10 countries will screen across five fays from November 6.

And they will be accompanied by a range of the finest new Scottish shorts form the Glasgow Short Film Festival.

The festival gets under way with Michael Caton-Jones’s Our Ladies on Friday, November 6 and closes with Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand on Thursday, November 12.

Our Ladies is described as "a wild trip to 1990s Edinburgh in the company of a raucous choir of Catholic schoolgirls from the Highlands".

Based on Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos, the story will be familiar to Eden Court audiences who saw the National Theatre of Scotland’s adaptation, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, performed on our stages in 2015.

The festival celebrates the work of Swedish absurdist Roy Andersson with a documentary on the process behind the visionary director’s singular films (Being a Human Person) followed by Andersson’s latest deadpan opus, About Endlessness.

Sweden’s neighbouring Denmark has a major new offering, with Mads Mikkelsen game for Another Round in Thomas Vinterberg’s new film, recently crowned Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival.

Elsewhere in Europe, the trials and triumphs of female adolescence are explored across a Berlin summer in Cocoon, and a decades-old secret love affair comes under threat in French drama Two of Us.

Jack London’s 1909 novel Martin Eden gets an inventive adaptation, with California transplanted to Naples in Pietro Marcello’s gorgeously crafted historical feature.

In Mama Weed, Inverness Film Festival (IFF) favourite Isabelle Huppert is typically compelling as a translator working for the anti-drug squad in a slick Paris-set crime drama.

This year the festival also has a mini-focus on Canada, tracking three very different corners of the country’s landscape and culture. Zacharias Kunuk’s One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk hinges on a pivotal 1961 encounter on spring sea ice between the title character (Apayata Kotierk) and a government emissary (The Bridge and Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia).

The remote forests of Quebec play host to a quietly powerful tale of intertwined lives in Louise Archambault’s And The Birds Rained Down. And The Kid Detective is a bold, funny and deceptively dark take on the crime caper (but definitely not one for the kids).

Kids and grown-ups alike will be thrilled by Wolfwalkers however, an Irish fantasy animation, set in the 1600s, from the same spellbinding Academy Award-winning storytellers who brought us The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea.

Oscar-winning talent abounds elsewhere, with Tilda Swinton in Pedro Almodovar’s The Human Voice, Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci in Supernova, and Frances McDormand travelling through the Great American West, embracing the Nomadic lifestyle, in Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland.

Following Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri in 2017, the IFF is delighted that this is the second time that two-time Academy-Award winner McDormand has closed the festival.

Paul MacDonald-Taylor, Inverness Film Festival director and head of film & visual art at Eden Court, said: “Whilst many of the things we all enjoy doing have been put on pause this year, we are delighted to press play on the 18th Inverness Film Festival.

"It’s more compact than in previous years, but what we’ve lost in quantity we have more than made up for with the quality of these films.

"If you haven’t been to the cinema since March and are feeling uneasy about coming back, rest assured we have done everything in our power to make Eden Court a safe space to come and watch a film in a friendly, relaxing environment”.

Related articles: Eden Court announces reopening

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