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Inverness Film Festival announces full programme with global selection, previews of new hot movies and selections of shorts for all ages


By Margaret Chrystall

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Eden Court’s 19th Inverness Film Festival (November 5-11) is back to full strength with 36 feature films and more than 30 short films across six days.

The Road Dance, set on Lewis.
The Road Dance, set on Lewis.

Following last year’s pared-back event, Paul MacDonald-Taylor, Inverness Film Festival director and head of film and visual art at Eden Court, said: “I’m so excited about the Inverness Film Festival this year.

“We’ve had almost two years of not being able to go anywhere, but at the festival you can travel around Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

“There is a selection of new short films from Scotland, and our first screenings of new work from the students at UHI.”

This year’s opening film is new Lewis-set drama The Road Dance, a story that takes place against the backdrop of the First World War, based on the acclaimed novel by John MacKay.

And the festival closes with The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, an intimate look at the rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, played by Jessica Chastain in an unforgettable performance.

Highlights of the programme include new work from some of the most exciting contemporary directors such as Apichatpong Weerasethaku with Memoria starring Tilda Swinton, Celine Sciamma (Petite Maman), and Julia Ducournau (the Palme d’Or-winning Titane) and Clio Barnard (Ali + Ava).

Spencer stars Kristen Stewart.
Spencer stars Kristen Stewart.

Special previews include Spencer by Pablo Larrain, “an imagining” of what might have happened at Sandringham over one Christmas.

And writer and director Paul Schrader – known for writing Martin Scorsese classics such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and directing American Gigolo and First Reformed – directs new crime drama The Card Counter, about a guilt-plagued poker player.

Horror story Lamb starring Noomi Rapace. Picture: Lilja Jonsdottir
Horror story Lamb starring Noomi Rapace. Picture: Lilja Jonsdottir

A series of afternoon screenings heads for Iran and New World Cinema will take festival audiences to Iceland for the striking Noomi Rapace-starring horror Lamb, Northern France where Juliette Binoche is caught Between Two Worlds, and Sudan for You Will Die At Twenty, Romania for Radu Jude’s provocative satire Bad Luck Banging – and also Loony Porn – and Sudan for the beguiling You Will Die At Twenty, the first Sudanese film to be submitted for the Academy Awards.

One-take film Boiling Point stars Stephen Graham. Picture: Christian Black
One-take film Boiling Point stars Stephen Graham. Picture: Christian Black

Another of the highlights is Boiling Point from director Philip Barantini, a movie made in one take – the whole film made in one continuous shot or take – and starring Stephen Graham as an under-pressure head chef trying to stay in control of his life. The restaurant has been overbooked, and chef Andy's mentor has arrived with a food critic.

Documentary features at this year’s festival include a powerful look at art and resistance in Belarus (Courage), the joyful archive of an environmental legend in Becoming Cousteau, the thrilling story of Castro’s Spies and Andrea Arnold’s highly anticipated debut doc Cow. The Scottish Documentary Institute’s emerging talent initiative, Bridging The Gap, also delivers two intimate and thought-provoking collections.

Hit The Road, festival brochure cover and has just won the London Film Festival best film award.
Hit The Road, festival brochure cover and has just won the London Film Festival best film award.

Elsewhere, the Afternoons In Iran series boasts Panah Panahi’s irreverent critically-acclaimed road movie Hit The Road – which has just won the London Film Festival best film award – and Mohammad Rasoulof’s urgent Iranian executioner anthology There is No Evil.

In Scottish film, Riptide director and star Tim Barrow will join audiences to discuss his “schizophrenic love story”.

This year’s short film programme is from the Glasgow Short Film Festival, a showcase from the University of the Highlands and Islands, and two child-friendly collections from the Discovery Film Festival, Scotland’s festival for young audiences. Plus, the work of Inverness-born artist Jamie Kane is celebrated in a screening of his experimental film work, alongside his father Ian’s The Everted Rim Of A Vase.

Two extra films too late for the programme are Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog and Asghar Farhadi’s A Hero. Some films will also be shown at Cromarty Cinema this year.

n Tickets: eden-court.co.uk

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