Angus shot film to premiere in Edinburgh

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A film shot in and around Angus is to be premiere at the prestigious Edinburgh International Film Festival next month.

Dundee based filmmaker, Duncan Nicoll, and producer John Fairfield of Flyboy Original are set to go to Edinburgh for the World Premier of their short film, Crowman.

The film, produced in Dundee and shot entirely on location in Angus was made thanks to funding from the Scottish Film Talent Network following a competitive selection process.

It was shot over five days during the summer of 2015 at Mains of Coul, near Memus, an abandoned stretch of the A92 at Lunan Bay and Scotstoun Farm, Auchterhouse.

The film is a dark rite of passage set in a bleak rural community teetering on the brink of collapse. Against this backdrop Crowman and his son struggle to survive in a world of increasing threat and violence.

Duncan Nicoll said: “The film came from an idea I had a few years ago and I’d been revisiting the script on and off until I heard about SFTN at the start of 2015. I applied; got short listed, then began the process of developing the script and finding a producer to work with. I got together with John last February and after successfully pitching the project, we were commissioned and finally in a position to start pre-production around May.

“We were delighted when we managed to cast Liam Brennan in the lead role, fresh from working on Broadway with Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance. Finding a youngster to play Crowboy was quite a challenge, but we’re so impressed by Nathan’s performance and proud of his BAFTA Scotland New Talent nomination.

“It’s been great to work with the Flyboy crew, there’s a really strong pool of talent in the Dundee area.”

John Fairfield added: “Flyboy has always been about utilising local talent and we’ve built a solid team over the years working together on multiple short films, music videos and corporate promos. It’s through these kind of connections that we managed to get local musicians Robbie Ward and Gavin McGinty on board to compose the soundtrack to Crowman.”

The cast and crew faced a series of challenges during the filming, including uncooperative crows, inclement summer weather and long days working to an extremely tight budget.

John explained: “This has been an amazing outcome for the cast, crew and the production by being a part of the EIFF Official Selection. Through the SFNT scheme for Creative Scotland Flyboy has been given an amazing opportunity to represent not only filmmaking in Scotland but more importantly a chance to showcase the quality of filmmaking talent in Dundee and the East coast. We are extremely grateful for all the support and encouragement given to us by Creative Scotland and everyone who helped make the film such a success. We have already had a BAFTA New Talent nomination for Nathan McCallum and hope for further accolades. Director/Writer, Duncan Nicoll and myself are currently working on the feature length version of ‘Crowman’ and are hopeful the success of the short will aid us in it’s development.”

Duncan and John have known about their inclusion in the Edinburgh International Film Festival for some time, but were sworn to secrecy until the programme was announced on Tuesday. The film will be shown alongside other Scottish short films at Cineworld on Saturday, June 25.

After the Edinburgh screening, Crowman is going to the Screamfest Film Festival in Hollywood and there are hopes that there will be a local screening some point in the near future.

Though Crowman is his first short in some time, Duncan has seen previous success with his short films ‘Block’, ‘Horsehair’ and ‘feetsteps’, which have been seen worldwide on the film festival circuit and broadcast on TV in several countries. He currently works as a Media Producer for Angus Council and as a freelance filmmaker.

John set up Flyboy in 2009 and has achieved great success with short film/music video recognition and accolades all around the world. To date Flyboy has won awards in Chicago (US), Phoenix (US) and Melbourne Australia. In addition to these awards, Flyboy have received BAFTA NEW Talent and Royal Television Society Nominations as well as featured work in the Official Selection of Festivals such as Raindance, Singapore and Berlin.