Karen Koren: Honoured to open the film festival

Peter Mullan. Picture: Jon Savage

Peter Mullan. Picture: Jon Savage

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THE Edinburgh International Film Festival is in full swing and what a fabulous big programme it is, for all tastes. Established in 1947, the Film Festival is renowned around the world for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema.

This year is the 70th year and the opening film was Tommy’s Honour, directed by Sean Connery’s son, Jason Connery and starring Peter Mullan, pictured. A wonderful display of tartan and tweed was to be found at the Festival Theatre where the stalwarts of Scottish film took to the stage to officially declare the festival open. On the red carpet I managed to catch a glimpse of Dougray Scott, Jason Connery, Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden, who played Mullan’s son in the period drama set in Fife, looking at the early beginnings of the game of golf. Andy Gray played a cameo in the film adding some comic relief, a good choice to begin the Festival.

During the Festival, Hollywood actress Meg Ryan is visiting to promote her directorial debut, Ithaca. She will join other well-known names at the Festival including Kim Cattrall, Clancy Brown, Kevin Smith and Brian Cox. I had a chat with the lovely Martin Compston from Line of Duty at the party in the Museum and he told me he was about to get married a few days later and then only have two days off before he had to get back to filming. On Sunday there was a special screening to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, while filming is going on in Edinburgh for the sequel with the original cast.

I will not to be able to see the final film in the Festival as I will be away. It’s the remake of Whisky Galore. The original film was released in 1949 and was based on the book by Compton McKenzie, the true story of how, during war-time rationing, the SS Politician ran aground with a cargo of 264,000 bottles of whisky. Acting in the remake is Gregor Fisher with Eddie Izzard playing the captain of the Home Guard. Look forward to catching it.