If there were ever any doubt that Scotland is a nation hooked on cinema, then the country’s ever-flourishing festival scene holds more than enough evidence to the contrary. Joining the fold this year is Aberdeen Film Festival, already being billed as the first instalment of a new annual event – and with ten Scottish premieres, three UK premieres and two films receiving their first showings in Europe, it’s certainly hitting the ground running. Here The Wee Review present a preview of what to expect and introduce an EXCLUSIVE TRAILER of one of the festival’s many exciting films.
Founded by Lynn Samson and helmed by Creative Director Peter Watt, the Aberdeen Film Festival aims to provide nine days of “diverse and entertaining films from around the globe”, screening at the Granite City’s two Cineworld venues at Union Square and Queens Links. Book-ended by opening and closing galas, things kick-off on Saturday 4th October with the Scottish Premiere of A Curious Life, former Chumbawamba member turned filmmaker Dunstan Bruce’s documentary about the life and times of decade spanning band, The Levellers. The festival draws to a close on Sunday 12th with the UK’s first screening of 6 Bullets to Hell, a Spaghetti Western-riffing debut from co-directors Tanner Beard and Russell Quinn Cummings.
In between these screenings, of course, there’s a whole host of treats for cinema-goers. There’s North American comedy with the USA’s The Backseat (Sun 05 Oct) and Canada’s Leap 4 Your Life (Sat 11 Oct), Scottish horror with local filmmaker David Ryan Keith’s The Redwood Massacre (Sun 05 Oct), and a tragic tale from the Middle East in Aberdeen-based director Hassan Nazer’s Here Iran (Sun 12 Oct). There’s also a bevy of filmmaking on offer from Japan, with drama in Berlin Film Festival’s Best Actress winning film The Little House (Fri 10 Oct), humour from Fuku-Chan of Fukufuku Flats (Sat 11 Oct), and a short film event entitled New Directions in Japanese Cinema, where director Takaya Kosuke will be in attendance for a Q&A (Mon 06 Oct).
There’s even some excitement prior to the festival as the globally known 48 Hour Film Project comes to Aberdeen for the first time, with teams of local filmmakers competing against each other to make a prize winning short in just two days. The shoots will take place between the 26th and 28th of September, with all the entries being screened as part of the festival on October 7th.
And as if this small selection of the festival’s much fuller programme wasn’t enough to get appetites sufficiently whetted, we still have one more teaser for you: an exclusive trailer for one of the festival’s UK premieres – stylish retro thriller, Candlestick. Taking its cues from Alfred Hitchcock’s classics Rope and Dial M for Murder, director Christopher Presswell’s second feature sees a social gathering take a dark turn when the host suggests that his best friend’s wife may have been unfaithful. However, as the allegations start flying, it soon becomes clear that something far more sinister is at play. Watch the preview below, then see the film as part of the Aberdeen Film Festival on Wednesday 8th October.