Published: 21/05/2015 10:10 - Updated: 21/05/2015 10:23

Karen Gillan calls the shots with her directorial debut

Rose McIver stars in Karen Gillan's directorial debut, 'Coward'.
Rose McIver stars in Karen Gillan's directorial debut, 'Coward'.

INVERNESS actress Karen Gillan’s first film as director will receive its European premiere at the 2015 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Short film Coward is the first directing credit for the former Charleston Academy pupil, who also wrote the screenplay, but does not appear in front of the camera. 

It tells the story of a young girl and the pressures she gets from her mother to become a famous actress.

Since leaving her role as Doctor Who companion Amy Pond in 2012, Gillan has begun to forge a successful Hollywood career with lead roles in short-lived sit-com Selfie and horror film Oculus and a key role as a villain in science-fiction hit Guardians of The Galaxy.

Upcoming projects include a television drama about the Salem witch trials with Eddie Izzard, western In A Valley of Violence with John Travolta and Ethan Hawke, and banking crisis drama The Big Short, where her co-stars include Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell.

Coward is included in a number of films from Scottish creators or made in Scotland which will be screened at the e 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival from 17th to 28th June.

It opens with the world premiere of Glasgow-set The Legend of Barney Thomson, directed by and starring Robert Carlyle and based on the novel by former Maryburgh resident Douglas Lindsay.

Other feature films include Glasgow-set drama Swung, starring Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern and based on a novel by Wick writer Ewan Morrison, and Scottish Mussel with Martin Compston as an illegal pearl fisherman in the Highlands who falls for beautiful English conservationist Talulah Riley.

The closing film is another world premiere, Iona, starring Ruth Negga from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Scottish actor Douglas Henshall.

"We are delighted to be presenting so many films with Scottish links," festival artistic director Mark Adams said.

"Not only are we opening and closing with brilliant new local films, but the festival is punctuated with terrific Scottish documentaries, shorts, animation and features."

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