Kirkcaldy film festival getting ‘bigger and better’ every year

Audiences gathered on the waterfront for the outdoor screening of Jaws. Pic: Steve Brown
Audiences gathered on the waterfront for the outdoor screening of Jaws. Pic: Steve Brown

Organisers of Kirkcaldy Film Festival have hailed this year’s four day event a huge success.

Film lovers from the local area and beyond came together to enjoy a packed programme of movies in the Lang Toun from Thursday to Sunday as the event was staged for the third year.

Alan Morrison, artistic director of the festival, told the Press: “Every year it feels as if the festival is getting bigger and better. We’ve had such wonderful positive feedback about every single one of the screenings, and that’s what makes it all worth while.

“People are clearly enjoying being able to see films that wouldn’t perhaps come their way outside of a festival, and they’re spreading the word about what we do.

“I definitely got the feeling this year that more people are now aware that such a thing as the Kirkcaldy Film Festival exists and that we’re a permanent part of the town’s cultural calendar.”

And the 2015 event kicked off with a special open air screening of Speilberg’s Jaws on the prom.

“It was really amazing on Thursday night to go down to the waterfront and see something that months ago was just a wild idea in my head becoming an actual reality,” said Alan.

“So much work by so many people went into making this event happen, and it seems to have captured the imagination of the town and brought the idea of the festival to a much bigger audience.

“I loved seeing a crowd of people on the edge of their seats watching a film like Jaws.

“It all turned out exactly as I’d hoped it would: in the tense opening scene, when the woman is swimming at night and the shark is about to attack, you could hear the real waves lapping on the shore right beside the movie screen – that’s better than 3D!

“We’re already thinking about other places around the town that we could use for unusual screening sites for 2016.”

Among the highlights for Alan were the screening of ‘The 39 Steps’ and the retrospective of John Maclean’s work.

He said: “It was such a privilege to have both Ursula Buchan, the author’s granddaughter, and film critic Hannah McGill there for the talk after The 39 Steps. They were both so knowledgeable about the book and the film that it made an already great event into something really special.

“I was also thrilled to have condensed nearly two decades of John Maclean’s working life into a two-hour on-screen experience. I’ve been a fan of the Beta Babnd for years, so it was brilliant to watch a couple of their videos sandwiched between John’s short films and his magnificent feature debut Slow West, which is definitely one of the best modern westers I’ve seen.”

This year’s festival may only just have finished, but Alan’s already looking ahead to next year.

He said: “On Monday morning, the morning after this year’s closing gala, I was still buzzing, so I started sketching out some film titles and some possible time slots.

“And immediately I couldn’t wait to get things moving again. There’s certainly a lot of will and determination on the festival organisers’ part to keep the Kirkcaldy Film Festival on the map.”