Eigg Film Festival set to hatch this April

CineMor77's custom-built cinema yurt will play host to many of the films at the festival, offering a cosy location to watch films. Photograph: CineMor77

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The island of Eigg will host its first ever film festival this April with the programme themed around birds.

The festival will run from Friday April 17 to 20 with a varied selection of events, feature films, documentaries and shorts going on over the long weekend.

Starting on the Friday afternoon, there is something for everyone with children’s films such as Chicken Run, to a midnight screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and documentaries for ardent bird watchers.

The archive film The Corncrake and the Croft are joined by new films, including Birds of Passage from France and The Eagle Huntress from Kazakhstan. The short film programme includes animation and films on every aspect of bird life, from murmuration to migration

Dr Kenny Taylor will give a talk on how seabirds’ global travels bring them back home to Eigg, while wildlife cameraman Jim Manthorpe and sound recordist Pete Smith will talk about, and show, films they’ve made for BBC, National Geographic, Channel 4 and others.

A bird-watching sail and walks series, sound recording workshop, a concert by Jenny Sturgeon and a special Bird Bubble Bath DJ set from Eigg’s very own The Pictish Trail with CineMor77’s bird projections, complete the festival.

Festival Coordinator, Lucy Conway, told us that the dates were selected to fall after the Easter holidays and before the main tourist season when most islanders would be too busy to attend.

She said: ‘We are hoping to attract people at the tail end of the Easter holidays to spend a day or even the whole weekend on this wonderful island, but we are anticipating half the audience will be visitors and the other half islanders.

She continued: ‘Adding a film festival to Eigg’s year-round calendar of events is very exciting. Eigg has many iconic bird species and is a must-visit place for birdwatchers.

‘Eigg islanders love birds and understand visiting birdwatchers’ fascination. We’re really looking forward to enjoying four days sharing that passion through moving image, guided walks, talks, workshops and more.’

A breakdown of the often confusing ferry service is available on the festival website and events have been scheduled to take this into account.

Robert Livingston, director, Regional Screen Scotland, said: ‘Regional Screen Scotland has long standing links with Eigg, through the visits of our Screen Machine mobile cinema, and so we’re delighted that we have been able to support the very first Eigg Film Festival through our Local Film Festival Challenge Fund, made possible by funding from Creative Scotland.’

The event will take place in Eigg’s Community Hall and in CineMor77’s custom-built cinema yurt erected in the Lodge Gardens next door.

Tickets go on sale on Monday, March 9. Visit www.eiggfilmfestival.com.