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Autumn 2013 film preview: Scottish film festival round-up

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

Autumn 2013 film preview: Scottish film festival round-up

John Grierson's Drifters

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.

Various venues: Inverness

Wed 9 Nov

Times & prices vary

Thu 10 Nov

Times & prices vary

Fri 11 Nov

Times & prices vary

…and 2 more dates until 13 Nov

Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival

An arts and film festival which combines high-level programming with a worthy aim: to challenge and change attitudes towards mental health. Through a series of events, workshops and screenings around Scotland, the programme probes deeper questions while maintaining an exciting and varied line-up.

Various venues: Scotland

Fri 21 Oct

Times & prices vary

Sat 22 Oct

Times & prices vary

Sun 23 Oct

Times & prices vary

…and 8 more dates until 31 Oct


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

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.


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