Fife directors’ latest film hits the big screen

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Two Newburgh directors have seen their latest film hit the big screen.

Of Fish and Foe, directed by duo Andy Heathcote and Heike Bachelier, is being screened at cinemas across the UK.

The film follows the tense, real life skirmishes when a family of Scottish fishermen find themselves a target for activists, conservationists, anglers and river owners.

The Pullar family from Angus have been fishing for salmon along the north and east coasts of Scotland for generations. However, animal and conservation activists have declared war on the fishermen because they shoot seals if they steal salmon from their nets. The river owners and the anglers have also joined the fracas.

“We are one of the most hated families in Scotland,” says John Pullar.

“How would you like to be constantly followed by masked activists, filming your every move although you’re doing nothing wrong?” adds his brother Kevin.

The film is told over a single summer in a tense 90 minutes of confrontation as the family tries to hold out.

“We had always found the traditional way of net fishing for salmon very beautiful but we also knew it was very controversial,” said Andy and Heike, whose previous feature documentary The Moo Man followed a maverick organic dairy farmer.

“In 2015 the last of Scotland’s remaining salmon fishermen were coming under attack from all sides, including from direct action environmental groups.

“We questioned how much longer this way of life could survive. But we also wondered if the fishermen were really were as bad as their enemies made out.

“What happened next came as a total surprise and little did we realise it would be the final season for a tradition going back to the Vikings.

“Environment, conservation, traditions and cultures are all intertwined but when they collide it can and did get messy. And did the right one win? That’s for the audience to decide.”