The magic of the silver screen at Kirkcaldy Film Fest

The fourth annual Kirkcaldy Film Festival drew young and old to the Adam Smith Theatre for a feast of film from over the last century.

Thursday, 22nd September 2016, 11:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:19 pm
Evan Henderson, programme manager; M.R. Carey, author; Angus Lamont. producer of The Girl With all the Gifts; Alan Morrison, film festival artistic director. Pics by FPA and Fife Cultural Trust

From westerns and silent comedies to horror and foreign language films, there was something to please everyone.

And although the audiences for some of the screenings were on the sparse side, organisers Fife Cultural Trust said it had been a big success.

Heather Stuart, chief executive of Fife Cultural Trust said: “Kirkcaldy Film Festival was a great success, with more than 1100 people and even some local film makers turning out to support it.

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Carolyn Lawes and Alan Connelly who got into the spirit of things at the gala evening of 'Carry On Screaming.'

“There really was something for everyone this year from silver screen classics such as the popular Hollywood musical, Swing Time, through to the modern day blockbuster, The BFG, both of which attracted large audiences.

“We were also very privileged to host the Scottish premiere of The Girl with All The Gifts, which is tipped to be a major hit in cinemas when it is officially released across cinemas on September 23.

“This was a major coup for Kirkcaldy and the screening attracted a large audience who were also treated to a post-film discussion with Mike Carey, the author of the book that the film was based on and film producer, Angus Lamont.

“Our ‘Carry on Screaming’ Gala Night was also a great success, with lots of people getting into the spirit of the film by dressing up as their favourite movie monsters.”

Dressed for the part!

The programme, put together by Alan Morrison, artistic director of the Film Festival, kicked off last Wednesday with a double bill of silent screen masterpieces from Charlie Chaplin with ‘The Rink’ to Buster Keaton’s ‘The General.’

The 50 or so people who took the time to attend were treated to a digitally remastered masterclass in perfectly-timed comic choreography and death defying stunts performed by Keaton himself.

A free screening of a piece of Hollywood magic in ‘Swing Time’ with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers attracted a better turnout as the pair appeared in one of their funniest and most romantic performances.

Friday saw John Wayne in the saddle for ‘The Searchers’ which many say is the best Western movie ever made, and the screening was followed by a discussion of the film with Nigel Floyd, veteran film journalist and Alan Morrison.

The Creilly family at the Gala screening

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart starred in ‘The Big Sleep’ on Friday afternoon, then it was a special gala performance of ‘Carry On Screaming’ at night, with guests invited to dress up as their favourite monster.

Although not many took up the offer, those who made the effort did a great job.

The film attracted a decent turnout who snickered their way through the saucy puns and nudge-nudge, wink-wink jokes from this genuine British institution.

One of the biggest audiences of the festival was for the Saturday morning screening of Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’ newly adapted for the screen by director Steven Spielberg. The magical tale with its stunning scenery and breathtaking special effects held the audience, young and old, spellbound from start to finish.

Evan Henderson, Heather Stuart, chief executive of Fife Cultural Trust and Alan Morrison

Sunday’s highlight was undoubtedly the Scottish premiere of Edinburgh-born director Colm McCarthy’s sci-fi thriller ‘The Girl With All the Gifts,’ featuring a special appearance by producer Angus Lamont and author M.R Carey, fresh from the Toronto film festival.

In a huge coup for the town, Kirkcaldy Film Festival was delighted to finish its 2016 run with the special preview of one of the most hotly-tipped films for this year.

Not once mentioning the Z (zombie) word, it tells the tale of a soldier and a teacher attempting to cross a futuristic wasteland while trying to protect a 10-year-old girl who could hold the future of the world in her hands.

It was a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride which many film buffs will have been disappointed to have missed.

And having the producer and writer there to give their views afterwards was the icing on the cake.

Alan Morrison, artistic director, told the Press: “It has been a fantastic festival. For me it is not all about the number of people who come along to each screening, but what people take away from it.

Carolyn Lawes and Alan Connelly who got into the spirit of things at the gala evening of 'Carry On Screaming.'

“After the screening of ‘The Lives of Others’ on Sunday a lady came up to me and shook my hand and said she had taken the risk of coming to see a foreign language film and had been ‘blown away’ by it.

“I don’t care if only one person comes along to see a film, because if that film strikes a chord with someone and they remember it in years to come, then it has been worthwhile.”

Evan Henderson, producer and programme manager, added: “Getting ‘The Girl With All the Gifts’ was a real coup, and to have the writer and producer here is great for the town.

“I also enjoyed ‘The Big Sleep’ with the interview afterwards and ‘The BFG’ was great for drawing the crowds.”

Dressed for the part!
The Creilly family at the Gala screening
Evan Henderson, Heather Stuart, chief executive of Fife Cultural Trust and Alan Morrison