Curtain set to rise on sixth Hebrides International Film Festival

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The Hebrides International Film Festival is back for 2019 and will take place at venues throughout the Outer Hebrides, from the Butt to Barra, from September 12 – 14.

There will around 78 screenings at 12 venues over the three days, from the Thursday through to Saturday, with final arrangements now being made for the event.

Full information on the festival will be available online at www.hebfilmfestival.org/hiff-2019, with the programme due to go live on the website any day now.

The festival grew out of a programme started by Regional Screen Scotland six years ago, where a number of remote and rural film festivals were given three-year funding and mentorship. It was also a natural successor to the Hebrides Coastal Film Festival.

Programmer and director Muriel Ann Macleod, director of Rural Nations Community Interest Company, has chosen films ‘that have an impact on the big screen’ and said the film festival would be ‘as accessible as possible’.

All screenings in the Pocket Cinema are free and general ticket prices have been held as low as possible.

‘It’s a really varied programme. I was trying to find films that would connect with our communities and give a big international perspective and change how we think about the environment and how we deal with our environment and climate change – because that’s what it’s about,’Ms Macleod explained.

‘It’s not just a few environmental films made in the back of beyond. These are high-quality films that promote the issues or high-level drama that just happens to be about the theme.’

Island venues taking part in the festival are the An Lanntair auditorium and Pocket Cinema, Taigh Dhonnachaidh, Ionad Na Seann Sgoil Shawbost, Bernera Community Centre, Talla na Mara, Scalpay Hall, Taigh Chearsabhagh, Stoneybridge Hall, Carinish Hall and Castlebay Hall.

Taigh Chearsabhagh is hosting a Pop Up Cinema and there will also be a Pop Up Enviro Cinema in Stornoway although exact location is to be confirmed.

The Hebrides International Film Festival – supported by Screen Scotland, HIE and other agencies – shows only films made within the last three years and  fit within the festival’s broad theme of ‘islands, environmental issues and indigenous peoples’, with a particular focus this year on sustainable fishing.

Each screening will include a feature film and an accompanying short. The films are a mix of English language features and foreign films with full English subtitles.

Tickets for the rural venues can be bought through the website, but tickets for the An Lanntair films must be bought through the art centre’s own website, at lanntair.com.

In general, tickets can also be bought at venue doors, although it is advisable to book in advance for the smaller venues, where space is more limited.

There will also be special daytime screenings for school groups and a number of masterclasses, lectures and other special events.