Held at the Eastgate Theatre from 19 to 24 April, with party nights at Peebles Hydro and elsewhere in town, this brand-new event is the sister festival to the celebrated Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema in California.
Peebles will welcome more than 60 filmmakers from around the world, all eager to share their work with new audiences. Films range from full-length features to shorts, animation and documentaries covering every possible genre.
Presented by Festival Director and Scottish actress Mhairi Calvey alongside a team that includes Peebles-based actress and writer Vivien Reid, the official programme has been selected by a Grand Jury comprised of Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated stars such as Shauna Macdonald (The Descent), Angus MacFadyen (Braveheart) and Anne Archer (Fatal Attraction).
The festival opens on Tues 19 April (12pm) with a screening of Dark Encounter, a haunting and cerebral spin on the alien abduction story, followed by a Q&A with US director Carl Strathie. The closing film, on Sat 23 April (5.45pm), is Cleanin’ up the Town – a fascinating look into the making of the original Ghostbusters, with never-before-seen interviews with the film’s cast, and a Q&A with director Anthony Bueno.
In between, the festival features almost 50 films, including some homegrown productions such as award-winning filmmaker Uisdean Murray’s Mara: The Seal Wife – a searing drama inspired by selkie folklore and filmed entirely in the Western Isles.
The festival also sees a range of themed seminars plus a special film history event: a full screening of the Warner Brothers’ classic Casablanca, with an introduction and Q&A by film director, Paramount Studios staff writer and film historian, Stephen Savage.
“Independent filmmaking has brought the most wonderful opportunities to me as an actress and to now be able to give back to the filmmaking community by bringing together so much extraordinary talent is a dream come true,” commented Mhairi Calvey.
“I am in awe of the films that have been submitted to us in this, our inaugural year, allowing the festival to start with a bang and inspire future generations of film creatives.”
The Scotland International Festival of Cinema opens at 12pm on Tues 19 April and ends with a glittering Gala Awards ceremony at the Eastgate Theatre on Sun 24 April.