Film Festival to start with free cinema event

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Hogmanay chief Pete Irvine help launch the event. Picture: Scott Taylor
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Hogmanay chief Pete Irvine help launch the event. Picture: Scott Taylor
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THE Edinburgh International Film Festival will kick-start its 70th anniversary celebrations with a free cinema event in the Capital on New Year’s Day.

A labyrinth of mini-cinemas will be created in a mystery venue for an afternoon showcase of award-winning filmmaking as part of the annual Scot:Lands festival.

Music, dance, visual art, film and spoken word will also be hosted in 11 “pop-up” venues which will be created in secret locations in and around the Old Town.

Mercury Prize nominee C Duncan, Scottish Album of the Year winners Kathryn Joseph & RM Hubbert and rising Edinburgh star Ross Wilson, better known as Blue Rose Code, will be performing at the afternoon event.

Twenty years of record label Chemikal Underground, a collaboration between a beat boxer and a leading Gaelic singer, and BBC Scotland’s new poet-in-residence Rachel McCrum will also take centre stage.

The free event – which sees ticketholders spin a wheel to decide their destination – will get under way at Edinburgh University’s historic Old College Quad for the first time, feature four new venues and run for an extra hour.

Composer and musician Christopher Duncan, who performs under the shorter C Duncan, was shortlisted last month for the Mercury Prize for a debut album he recorded at his home in Glasgow.

Other musical acts include indie-folk favourites Admiral Fallow and Findlay Napier, young singers Rachel Sermanni and Adam Holmes, Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble and former Delgados singer Emma Pollock.

McCrum, whose BBC Scotland role was announced last month, will join forces with Jenny Lindsay, her collaborator on the hit Edinburgh cabaret show Rally & Broad, for a one-off Scot:Lands event.

Dundee-based visual arts duo Dalziel & Scullion will team up with musicians Aidan O’Rourke, Graeme Stephen and John Blease for a live performance of a multi-media installation they created for two venues in Stornoway and Edinburgh.

Around 8000 revellers have taken part in the event in its previous three incarnations.

A new version of Scot:Lands suitable for families and children will be staged at the National Museum of Scotland, which will host the event’s ceilidh dance finale.

Pete Irvine, director of 
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival, said: “The reason we want to keep doing Scot:Lands is that it works so well.

“It brings culture and artists from all over Scotland to the city, where we have a mix of visitors and a local audience, some of whom don’t want to go, or even know about, the street party.

“Artists really want to be a part of it, there is no problem finding people to do Scot:Lands. It was perhaps a difficult sell to artists when we first thought of it, but it isn’t now. The only thing that’s difficult is they don’t get a chance to see anything else.”

Tickets for Scot:Lands are free and can be booked from today via the www.edinburghshogmanay.com website.