Free film to show power of water at McCaig’s Tower

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A free outdoor screening of a documentary celebrating the awesome and destructive power of water will be shown at McCaig’s Tower in Oban as part of a nationwide festival of Scottish film.

Aquarela, directed by Viktor Kossakovsky has been called ‘the most dangerous film ever made’, and includes terrifying footage of storms, cracking ice flows and furious seas.
The film will be shown on September 24 as part of the Scotland-wide Cinescapes Festival, which celebrates Scottish films in the locations which inspired them.

Jennie Larney, of the Phoenix Cinema in Oban said: ‘We are very excited about it. We are showing it at McCaig’s Tower which is an iconic building.

‘We are doing it for free to say thank you to the people in our town for supporting us during the pandemic. It is an amazing film and the sea is important to everyone in Britain, particularly the Highlands.

‘It will also be the launch event for our Festival of the Outdoors, which features films about the environment in all its forms.’

Isobel Salamon, co-producer of the Cinescapes Festival, said: ‘This is going to be our most spectacular event yet. We are setting up a big open air screen which people can watch inside McCaig’s Tower.

‘The main message of this film is about climate change. We see how vulnerable we are as human beings. This is the Year of Coasts and Waters, and also COP26. We thought how great to show this near water, and that is why we chose McCaig’s Tower. [Oban’s Phoenix Cinema] is a great community hub. We want to champion these local heroes.’

Aimara Reques, the Glasgow-based producer of Aquarela said: ‘We are very pleased to be included in the Cinescapes programme. Aquarela really addresses the question of how we connect to the natural world and how we can make films and documentaries that reflect that. We are very proud of the film. Kossakovsky is known as the Rembrandt of documentary films and is a maestro of how to present the world moment to moment in cinematography.

‘It was very difficult to make but we worked with a lot of international partners. Our aim was to produce a high quality film which puts Scotland at the heart of international film distribution.’

Cinescapes Festival launched in July with a double billing of Trainspotting and T2 in Leith. Also included in the programme was a showing of Under the Skin in Glasgow, and the documentary Nae Pasaran in East Kilbride. The festival will conclude with a showing of The Illusionist in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

The event was supported by Film Hub Scotland and the Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, which was set up by EventScotland in collaboration with the Scottish Government to support Scotland’s events sector plan and deliver events through to the end of 2021, and help it respond and adapt to the effects of the pandemic.

Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: ‘Events are an important part of our communities and EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Cinescapes Festival through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. Through innovation and creativity, local communities will be able to celebrate Scottish film in the locations that inspired them while those further afield can join in the fun online. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and supporting events, including Cinescapes Festival, is crucial in our recovery from the pandemic.’

There are 116 tickets which can be bought by donation. Pre-purchased food from Taste of Argyll is available on the night, with orders needing to be placed by midday on  September 22. The Highland Liquor Co. from Ullapool will be serving their fishermen’s strength Seven Crofts Gin.