Oh happy days

Crowds gathert outside the Alhambra for the premier of the Happy Lands
Crowds gathert outside the Alhambra for the premier of the Happy Lands

A GALA screening for Fifers who played a part in the creation of a new movie depicting the miners strike of 1926 was a huge success reports, NEIL HENDERSON.

Attendees were given the red carpet treatment and played in by a lone piper for the first public performance of the finished film at a packed Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline last weekend.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown introduced the screening saying: “With thirty thousand miners working sixty pits in Fife in its heyday, this film is fitting and wonderful tribute to the efforts and often hardship experienced everyone at that time.”

The film used a cast entirely drawn from the Fife community, many who had never appeared in front of a camera before.

Amongst them, former Adam Smith College Journalism student, Rebeka Venters who played one of the principle roles as Rosie Baxter and Cowdenbeath’s Archie King who delighted the audience with his role as striking miner, Karno.

Archie explained how he came to be involved in the project, he told the Gazette: “My niece who works for Theatre Workshop left me a flyer urging people to get involved and like most people I’d always wondered what it would be like to be in a film so I went along.

“After a 10 minute chat, I was told I was in and, the rest they say is history.”

And of the finished film he added: “What has been made here is outstanding, it’s a tough story but I honestly thing they have managed to pull it off.”

A number of locations in the region were used during 30 days of summer filming last year Fifers and the film’s director, Robert Rae praised the efforts of all those involved in what he said was a very emotional project.

He also gave a special mention to 92-year-old Nan Phillips, a former miner’s daughter from Glenrothes who’s memories gave the film much of its authenticity and richness.

The film is now expected to be included in a number of summer UK film festivals.