Guests and venues are two very unique things about the Cromarty Film Festival.
First, the venues.
Since Cromarty is such a small town, they don’t actually have a cinema. Instead, they converts any buildings they can into cinemas. Pictured above is the Brewery, a bar/inn where the attic room was set up with a projector about about twenty-five chairs.
One man also converted the shed in his backyard into a small cinema, fit for twelve people. It was actually quite cozy, and shows the dedication of these people to the film festival. In the Shed, they projected short films throughout the day. They also projected short films throughout the evening on the town lighthouse, which I thought was a pretty cool idea.
There was also some stables that were restored by Cromarty’s Art Trust, which were a bit of a hike through the woods, where they conveniently showed the Nazi zombie film late Saturday night (no, I did not attend. Obviously, because my heart is currently beating).
Yes, the stables are where the Unicorn lives (and no, I did not trust that the unicorn’s power would save me from the zombies. And yes, they did actually have people dress up as zombies to ambush the crowd after they left the theater). In total, they had seven different screens throughout the town.
Now, for the guests.
There were four big guests:
Mark Cousins: a writer/director from Ireland. His films “explore childhood, war, walking, cinema and memory.” We were able to talk with him quite a bit on the train ride back to Edinburgh (where he currently lives), and he was a very interesting man with wonderful ideas about films. So if you get the chance to see anything he’s made, I highly encourage it.
Mairi Hedderwick: an author and illustrator of a popular children’s series of books here in Scotland, Katie Morag, which is currently adapted into a television series. She had great insight about creating stories for children.
Ford Kiernan: I didn’t actually meet him, but apparently he’s a pretty brilliant comedian on British TV. Way to go man, way to go.
Kieran Parker: The producer of Sunshine on Leith who was also the director of the zombie film I did not see. He was supposed to come with his wife, Arabella Croft, but things did not work out to allow her to come with. However, they are an exciting team with lots of interesting projects in the future! I’m anxious to see more from them! (just not zombies.)
Besides getting to see the new films and favorite films of these lovely guests, we also had some educational classes. One was from an editor, about film editing of course. Another was on the history of cinemas from a film historian. And the last (which was actually the first one) was from my very own professor about television adaptation!
That’s my professor, James Mavor, talking about adaptation (which is one of his favorite things ever!).
I learned a lot from these awesome people! I love being in film making and being around film makers!