Robert Carlyle’s directorial debut to open Edinburgh International Film Festival

Robert Carlyle’s directorial debut to open Edinburgh

The Legend of Barney Thomson makes its world premiere in Edinburgh

Edinburgh International Film Festival looks to open in style with the world premiere of Robert Carlyle’s directorial debut, The Legend of Barney Thomson.

The 69th edition of EIFF kicks off Wed 17 Jun and should be a star-studded, crowd-pleasing affair featuring Honorary Patron Carlyle’s dark comedy, which boasts a cast of British acting luminaries such as Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone and James Cosmo, as well as Carlyle himself.

‘After a career-long association with EIFF it gives me enormous pleasure to have The Legend of Barney Thomson chosen as Opening Night film,’ says Glasgow-bown Carlyle. ‘It really is such an honour for me to have my first feature as director premiered here in Edinburgh at the Festival that has played such a huge part in my life.’

Based on the book The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson by Douglas Lindsay, the film continues a promising series of lineup announcements coming out of the festival since the appointment of new Artistic Director, Mark Adams. Recent opening night films have included Hyena (2014), Breathe In (2013) and Killer Joe (2012).

‘We are thrilled to be opening this year’s Festival with Robert Carlyle’s wonderful black comedy,’ says Adams. ‘It is a marvellously macabre and playful film, impressively directed and with a terrific cast. It is the perfect film to kick off what promises to be an exciting festival.’

The Legend of Barney Thomson tells the story of Barney (Carlyle), an awkward barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with both absurd and macabre consequences. Complicating matters further, Barney’s mother Cemolina (Thompson) has a secret of her own, causing a bloody and comedic chain of events. While Barney clumsily tries to cover his and his mother’s tracks, the local police inspector Holdall (Winstone) fights his own battles within his inept homicide department as he tries to solve the crime of the century. A black comedy of errors unfolds as the police try to capture the murderer at large.

Tickets for the film's public screening at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre go on sale on Wed 6 May. Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place from Wed 17–Sun 28 Jun.

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The oldest continually running film festival in the world, the EIFF draws on its prestige to consistently present abundant programmes of new features, documentaries, retrospectives, shorts, panel discussions and educational workshops, with a few high profile premieres thrown in for good measure.