Toronto Film Festival hails Sunshine on Leith

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The movie version of Sunshine on Leith has opened to rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival.

The film, which puts the music of The Proclaimers on to the big screen, was greeted with a standing ovation.

Director Dexter Fletcher, producer Arabella Page Croft, actors Antonia Thomas, Kevin Guthrie and George Mackay and writer Stephen Greenhorn lap up the applause. Picture: Getty

Director Dexter Fletcher, producer Arabella Page Croft, actors Antonia Thomas, Kevin Guthrie and George Mackay and writer Stephen Greenhorn lap up the applause. Picture: Getty

Charlie and Craig Reid joined the film’s star-studded cast of Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks, Kevin Guthrie and Antonia Thomas for the premiere.

Excited fans said they loved it and one film writer hailed it as a “stomping feelgood charmer”.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher the film has been adapted from the stage musical of the same name by Stephen Greenhorn and features the music of the Hibs-supporting duo. Michele Maheux, executive director of the Toronto International Film Festival, said: “I knew from the opening bars of the first song that this film would find a great audience here in Toronto. I’m excited to show it – it charmed me completely.”

The Reid twins later performed Sunshine on Leith at a post-screening party.

The Proclaimers perform after the premiere. Picture: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for DDA

The Proclaimers perform after the premiere. Picture: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for DDA

Speaking to the News ahead of the screening, Charlie Reid said: “We are both thrilled at the movie being selected for the Toronto Film Festival. We think the movie is fantastic and are very proud to be associated with it and to have so many of our songs featured.”

In an interview on Canadian TV Craig said he was not sure why the song Sunshine on Leith had endured. “There are some songs that just get into people’s consciousness and they just stay there and it gets passed on. I don’t know what it is. If I knew, I’d write another one.”

Charlie added: “We accepted that the song is way bigger than the band has ever been.

“It gets us around the world. It keeps us in the public eye.”

The matter of the Capital being snubbed in favour of Toronto for the world premiere had raised eyebrows. However, it was soon announced that the film would have its UK premiere in Edinburgh at the Vue Omni Centre Greenside Place on September 17.

Fletcher said: “The cast and crew of Sunshine on Leith are delighted to be bringing the film home to Edinburgh for its international premiere. The sun shone on us every day we were in Scotland and now we’re happy and excited to be bringing that sunshine back.”

The story focuses on best friends and soldiers Davy and Ally on their return to Leith from duty in Afghanistan.

Most scenes were shot in Glasgow to keep costs down. However, regulars at the Port O’Leith pub, renowned for its blood-red exterior, saw their watering hole painted in Hibs green ahead of filming there.

It led to some Jambo drinkers threatening a boycott, but it returned to its traditional colour once shooting was completed late last year.

Other scenes were shot at Capital landmarks including The Mound and Calton Hill. A cast of 500 took part in a dancing scene to Proclaimers hit I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) outside the National Gallery.

The film goes on general release on Friday October 4.

‘Your parents will freak out’

Minh Vo @minhnhivo:

Standing ovation at the Sunshine on Leith premiere for the director, crew, actors and the Proclaimers!

Claire Kerr ‏@snotforprofit: Standing O for “Sunshine on Leith” – Your parents are going to freak out over this film, “Pitch Perfect” for adults #TIFF13!

Beth ‏@bethaf: Just saw Sunshine on Leith at #TIFF, a Scottish musical with great heart & all music by The Proclaimers. Highly recommend it.

selina louka ‏@selinalouka:

Loved “Sunshine on Leith” with @bethaf! And we had some great seats near The Proclaimers.

Behind Blue Eyes ‏@BadManSadMan: Just had a spectacular time watching Sunshine on Leith.