Brian Cox, Ewen Bremner and Jack Lowden back campaign to revive Edinburgh’s Filmhouse

Trainspotting star’s actress daughter offers support
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Brian Cox, Jack Lowden and Ewen Bremner have become the first stars to throw their weight behind a new campaign to revamp and reopen Edinburgh's boarded-up Filmhouse cinema.

The actors have all recorded special video messages to kickstart a £1.25 million drive to revive the art house cinema almost a year after its sudden closure.

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Their involvement has been revealed to coincide with the launch of the campaign, which includes an initial £250,000 crowdfunder page, by a group of former staff who have set up a new charity that would operate the reborn arthouse cinema.

They are back working in the building after being given six months by its new owners, pub company Caledonian Heritable, to work on fundraising and refurbishment plans.

The charity has announced it is in “advanced negotiations” over a possible 21-year lease with Caledonian Heritable, which would see the Filmhouse return as “an independent cinema venue celebrating the diversity of filmmaking worldwide”.

Its directors are hopeful the Filmhouse will be ale to reopen in time for next year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival if their fundraising efforts are successful.

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Edinburgh-born Bremner said: “The Edinburgh Filmhouse is an immeasurable asset to the city. Personally, as somebody with no formal education, the Filmhouse was vital in expanding my horizons and developing my understanding of the language of cinema. I would not be the same actor without it, honestly. Please support the campaign to keep the doors open.”

Actor Ewen Bremner.Actor Ewen Bremner.
Actor Ewen Bremner.

Harmony Rose Bremner, the actress daughter of the Trainspotting star, has also backed the campaign.

She said: "I spent a lot of time growing up in the Filmhouse, soaking up all of the creative and unique experiences there. It’s such a shame to think there could be an Edinburgh without it. It’s such a creative hub in the city and it’s really important.”

Succession star Cox, a founder member of the nearby Royal Lyceum Theatre Company in Edinburgh in 1965, said: “Open the doors – that’s the campaign for the Filmhouse.

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"It’s tragic what’s happened in Scotland. We’ve got a great industry and the Filmhouse was very important to us, particularly during the [film] festival, but also as a community centre where artists who were particularly interested in film could meet.

The boarded-up Edinburgh Filmhouse on Lothian Road. Picture: Lisa FergusonThe boarded-up Edinburgh Filmhouse on Lothian Road. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
The boarded-up Edinburgh Filmhouse on Lothian Road. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

“Thank God, they’re managing to save it. Keep those doors open and let the Filmhouse thrive, as it should.”

Lowden said: “An independent film actually being made these days is a miracle. Anyone who has been in one or actually made the thing knows how, even to when the last cut is called, that that miracle always feels like it may not happen.

"So when it finally does, to not have somewhere like Filmhouse to showcase it, a place utterly dedicated to the promotion and celebration of independent cinema, means that miracle would have been for nothing.

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"Films need to be watched, not just made. But now, after months of hard work, the incredible Filmhouse team have managed to pull one of Scotland’s few truly independent cinemas back fae the brink, and what seemed impossible now seems possible.

Actor Jack Lowden at Leith Theatre. Picture: Andy O'BrienActor Jack Lowden at Leith Theatre. Picture: Andy O'Brien
Actor Jack Lowden at Leith Theatre. Picture: Andy O'Brien

"To have such a place on the streets of our capital, providing the platform to give our world-class filmmakers and storytellers the lift off they need, and continue to ask the big questions of ourselves through cinema, is exciting and vital.”

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