Flying the Fairy Flag in magical Kingdom of Fife

Chris Capaldi (left) and Scott Ironside Photo: Colin McQuillen / TwoThumbsFresh
Chris Capaldi (left) and Scott Ironside Photo: Colin McQuillen / TwoThumbsFresh
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It’s been branded the “biggest independent Scottish film in 20 years” and it’s being shot right here on our doorstep in Fife.

‘The Fairy Flag,’ starring actor Chris Capaldi, tells the legendary tale of the Clan MacLeod and the tribe’s belief that the sacred relic would protect them in battle through the ages.

And, what’s more, vast portions of the movie’s medieval scenes are being shot at Balgonie Castle near Milton of Balgonie.

Screenwriter Peter Columbia, who hails from California, told the Press the project began two years ago when he and music producer/director Rory Nicholl - who happens to be related to the McLeod clan - hit on the idea.

“We had a blast writing the story,” he said.

“We took the legend and ran with it,

“It’s a collaborative effort as all these things are.”

The legend goes that the flag was gifted to the clan chief by Titania, wife of Oberon, king of the fairies, who blessed the flag with powers which would manifest when the flag was unfurled three times.

Tradition states the flag was unfurled at several clan battles in the 15th and 16th centuries; the flag’s magical powers are said to have won at least one of them.

“The clan believes that right up to the 20th century this flag could protect them in battle,’’ said Peter.

“It was even used by servicemen flying bombing missions in the Second World War. It always came back!”

The crew boasts none other than Mel Gibson’s fight trainer and Clan Wallace, who fought in Braveheart, will appear for the battle scenes.

Model-turned-actor Chris Capaldi plays Iain Breac MacLeod, while up and coming actress Jade Yourell (pictured) plays Titania.

“Chris looked the part but we wondered if he could hold his own against some real strong supporting actors around him and he is a revelation. We’re very impressed,” said Peter.

“Jade, our leading lady is fantastic and her next film will be with Meryl Streep.’’

He laughs: “Yeah, like I’m just going to hang out in LA with Meryl!”

The Lord of the Rings’ actor Billy Boyd reportedly loved the script so much he is currently in talks with the crew for a “small fun part”.

Michelle McManus will play a tour guide towards the end of the movie, while Peter plays her obliging American tourist.

And not to be outdone, a cameo has also been snapped up by none other than Fife’s Provost Jim Leishman!

As for Peter, the chance to see his script come to life is magical in itself.

“I’m thrilled! I’m looking at some of the people in this cast and thinking you were only in my imagination!”