The region-wide Film Festival for Dumfries & Galloway, the South West Picture Show, now in its third year, has rolled out across the region, offering a number of free screenings, events, and filmmaking workshops during October.
The festival is unique in Scotland in that it is a rural, community-curated festival with local cinemas and venues hosting screenings and events, and giving as many people as possible access to cinema near to where they live.
Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Film Office secured funding from Regional Screen Scotland earlier this year on behalf of the film festival. This is now in place for two years to support programming and audience development at festival venues across the region. The total funding secured is £22,500, with further funding earmarked for the 2016 festival.
The region’s four Area Arts Hub convenors have been commissioned by the Council to coordinate delivery of the 2014 festival across the region. The Area Arts Hub convenors are part of the new structure for the arts led by DG Unlimited (the Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of the Arts), the organisation responsible for promoting and supporting the arts in Dumfries & Galloway.
Councillor Tom McAughtrie, Chairman of the Council’s Community and Customer Services committee, said “We are delighted to see so many venues take part in the South West Picture Show this year, and hope that the festival will grow even bigger next year”.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Reflections of Dumfries & Galloway’, asking venues to pick films that reflected their communities’ interests and passions.
Some of the films being screened were shot in the region. One is ‘A Shot At Glory’, filmed at Palmerston Park in 1999, which was introduced by Kenny Eggo, the Council’s Film Officer at that time, on Friday 10 October at the RBCFT.
Some films reflect the region’s rurality, like the screening of ‘The Shepherds of Berneray’ (25 October, RBCFT) or ‘Etre et Avoir’ on 18 October at the Eskdalemuir Hub.
Segments from "The Shepherds of Berneray" a film by Allen Moore and Jack Shea from Allen Moore Films on Vimeo. The Shepherds of Berneray
A beautifully made portrait of the people of Berneray, a small island to the north of North Uist, this documentary traces the life of the island and its people through the changing of the seasons, concentrating on the sheep and fishing industries of the island - now saved in the Scottish Screen Archive, this is a record of a vanishing way of life.
The Ryan Centre in Stranraer has chosen to show the very first film that was screened there 20 years ago, ‘The Lion King’ on Friday 24 October.
Machars Movies and Victoria Hall, Annan, have both chosen to show ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’, the acclaimed anti-war film directed by the late Richard Attenborough, in honour of the part this region played in WW1. The Annan screening takes place on Thursday 23 October.
With 36 screenings and workshops, spread over 16 venues, the film festival is a unique event that highlights the region’s passion for cinema and film-making. For more information, and booking details, please see the festival website here