Historic trade links 
recognised through film

Festival programme manager Evan Henderson looks for Kirkcaldy's historical international connections
Festival programme manager Evan Henderson looks for Kirkcaldy's historical international connections

Kirkcaldy and Dysart’s historic trade links are to be celebrated as part of the town’s first film festival.

The third and final day of the festival, which runs at the Adam Smith Theatre from September 20-22, is dedicated to ‘Trade Winds’.

From the middle of the 15th century the harbours around Kirkcaldy were major gateways for trade between Scotland and mainland Europe.

And to reflect this history three foreign language films - ‘Russian Ark’, ‘Antonia’s Line’ and ‘Call Girl’- will be screened at the cinema on Sunday, September 22.

Alan Morrison, artistic director of the festival, explained: “Sunday is when the festival looks outwards, through the ports to the regions that were key trading partners in centuries gone by - the Low Countries, the Baltic States, Scandinavia.

“This subtitled day was probably the trickiest but most satisfying to programme.

“Connections had to be made.

“A bit of research on the town’s histroy told me that flax had been carried by ship from St Petersburg to Kirkcaldy in the 1830s: excuse enough to whirl through Russia’s own history in Aleksandr Sokurov’s incredible one-shot-no-edit trip through the Hermitage Museum in ‘Russian Ark’.

“I also discovered that Dysart used to be nicknamed Little Holland: cue the feminist-themed historical sweep of Marlene Gorris’ ‘Antonia’s Line’, the Best Foreign Language Film at the 1996 Oscars, but rarely projected anywhere these days.

“To round the festival, though, we needed something new.

“‘Call Girl’ from Sweden ticked the Scandinavian box but also crossed a modern-day cultural bridge between Scotland and its near neighbours over the North Sea, reflecting the noirish mood that has seeped through both Nordic and Scottish crime fiction in recent years.”

Both ‘Russian Ark’ (U) and ‘Antonia’s Line’ (15) are rarely seen on the big screen these days, and the film festival gives the perfect opportunity to see them in a cinema environment. ‘Call Girl’ (18), although more recent is still one that’s not often screened.

Full programme details at www.onfife.com.