Autumn 2013 film preview: Scottish film festival round-up

Autumn 2013 film preview: Scottish film festival round-up

John Grierson's Drifters

Screenplay, Document and Africa in Motion among the film festival highlights this autumn

Scotland’s two biggest film festivals have been put to bed for another year, but the film festival calendar is only just getting started. In fact, a film lover could spend almost every week from now until Christmas in the intimate embrace of a Scottish film festival. If that sounds like a tempting challenge, you’ll want to begin by heading to Shetland for this year’s Screenplay (31 August–7 September). Curated by husband and wife film critic tag-team Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams, it features an eclectic programme that places local filmmakers’ work side by side with established heavyweights. This year also features guest appearances from two of Kermode’s favourite actors, David Morrissey and Toby Jones.

After a brief respite you should journey from the extreme north of the country to the Borders (and actually just across), for Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (25–29 September). The 2013 programme includes a tantalising live event with Mercury-nominated band Field Music, premiering a newly composed soundtrack to John Grierson’s seminal 1929 Scottish documentary Drifters.

Back to the central belt as Take One Action returns to Glasgow and Edinburgh for a sixth year (27 September–12 October) with a heaving schedule of international films, talks and discussions aimed at provoking change and highlighting injustice.

October is a hot month for issues-based films in Glasgow, with the annual human rights documentary festival Document and the Scottish Mental Health Film Festival (whose theme this year is ‘reality’) hitting venues in the city through the month, the latter also in Edinburgh.

Look out too for Africa in Motion in Glasgow and Edinburgh (24 October–1 November), whose 2013 theme is Africa on the Move. Finally, you can head north again just in time for Inverness Film Festival (6–10 November), which has the good fortune to be running right after London’s annual celebration of film, and often features a few titles just days after their glitzy premieres.

Inverness Film Festival

A small festival that packs a cinematic punch with film premieres and a handpicked selection of work by international first time directors.


Shetland's annual film festival curated by critics Linda Ruth Williams and Mark Kermode features screenings, lectures and panel discussions involving national and international film industry professionals and academics while still maintaining a commitment to local filmmakers of all ages.

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival

One of Scotland’s most diverse and inclusive cultural events, combining high quality artistic events with extensive community-led programming and a social justice agenda.

Take One Action Film Festival

A film festival with a political slant, founded on the belief that 'cinematic experiences can inspire lasting change' and offering a series of talks and programmes showing how films can be used to empower communities on an international stage.