We’re delighted to announce the list of films selected to showcase at this year’s edition of XpoNorth. The Screening programme will take place at a special pop-up cinema in the Old High Stephen’s Church in Inverness city centre on the evenings of the 3rd and 4th of July.
Submissions were reviewed from across the international marketplace and following a competitive selection process, a diverse list of films are set to be showcased at this year’s edition. We’re particularly excited to be screening Skye based Sean Grieve’s, fantastic Discover Scotland: North Coast 500, followed by a special Q&A with the young filmmaker on Thursday 4th July.
Iain Hamilton, Head of Creative Industries at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: ’We’re delighted with the quality and range of the films selected to be screened as part of this year’s XpoNorth. The process again attracted a significant volume of entries and highlights the importance of XpoNorth as a platform for showcasing exciting, high-quality films from across the Highlands and Islands and the broader global marketplace. This aspect is an incredibly important element of the event and we’re pleased to be presenting a programme of this quality to the buyers and wider audiences attending this year’s conference.’
Wednesday 3rd July 2019:
The Racer, Director, Alex Harron, Documentary, PG (13 Minutes)
Jodie lives and breathes motorcycling. But the road to reaching the top is paved with difficulties. An impossible dream, if it wasn't for her dad's unwavering support.
Slingshot, Director, Robin Haig, Drama, PG (16 Minutes)
Slingshot is the spirited tale of overlooked Highland woman Kath who works in the ticket booth of a Scottish castle. On the day of her local village’s Pict vs. Viking battle re-enactment she longs to join in but is thwarted by her annoying boss Gordon. Worse still, she has another run in with teenage daughter Emily. Kath’s world unexpectedly changes when enigmatic tour guide Flora gifts her a mysterious hagstone. Kath finds herself reliving an ancient legend which inspires the courage in her to answer the battle cry and finally become a warrior queen.
BIYIK ZHERDE (In the Green Land), Director, Suiunbek Gulzhigit Uulu, Documentary, PG (13 Minutes)
IN THE GREEN LAND Synopsis of the documentary film The life of ancient Kyrgyz people, their li livestock farming and life conditions deeply connected with the great mountains.The shepherd and his family living in the mountains by tending and rearing sheep. Despite of it is at an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, their happiness fully associated with this land. The livestock breeding for them are their happiess, sadness, life challenge and their future.
Simply Runderful, Director, Marcin Walczak, Documentary, 12 (28 Minutes)
Lucja and Marina are two young females who attempt to run 500 km in 5 days in a self-organised challenge. While pushing their bodies to the limits they constantly fight with pain balancing between endurance and reaching the breaking point. Neither of them had ever run such a long distance before. Organisation and planning are crucial to make it successful, but not everything goes as it had been planned. Would they manage to accomplish their 500 km in 5 days challenge?
Everything is Fine, Director, Avi Sidi, Drama, 12 1(4 Minutes)
Noam is a discharged soldier from a combat unit in the Israel Defense Forces. On his way to celebrate his birthday, a series of memories surface in his head and as a result, bring his traumatic service to the center of Tel Aviv.
Moon Drops, Director, Yoram Ever Hadani, Fantasy Romance, PG (16 Minutes)
Moon Drops is a magical fairy tale with no dialogues. A factory worker tired of his dead-end job, assembles an enigmatic machine that produces liquid drops from the moonlight. The bottled drops are a hard sell at the town market. But all changes when their surprising effect is revealed.
Icare, Director, Nicolas Boucart, Drama, PG (27 Minutes)
On a tiny island encircled by steep cliffs, a unique house stands alone facing the sea. Obsessed by the dream that, one day, man may be able to fly just like a bird, an inventor experiments with machines on this abandoned piece of land. For this man, only a pure, light and naive soul is capable of such a feat. Recruited from the continent, 11-year-old Joseph seems to be the perfect candidate.
A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Erm, Director, Martin Laird, Animation, PG (5 Minutes)
Campaigning for women to have the right to vote took place from the latter half of the 19th Century up to the start of the First World War. Orcadian suffragists were part of that activism. Researched and scripted by Fiona Grahame, the hand painted animation by Martin Laird references the world of 20th Century art. The Orcadian Woman's Suffrage Society had connections to the artist Stanley Cursiter, who designed their banner. The narration by Orcadian Kim Foden is upbeat and enthusiastic. The original score by James Watson sets the tempo for the animation.
SAMVEL, Director, Evgeniy Bakirov, Documentary, 12 (6 Minutes)
A short documentary film about Samvel Galstyan - a taxi driver from Erevan. The film puts his profession in the background focusing on Samvel's hobby - he's been an artist since his childhood.
Just Agree Then, Director, Duncan Cowles & Ross Hogg, Comedy, 12 (9 Minutes)
Contrasting artistic visions, misplaced confidence and blatant ignorance collide on the backdrop of an increasingly fragile and divided world. In August 2018, seven months before the UK is due to leave the EU, two stubborn Scottish filmmakers struggle to make a short film together in the Austrian Alps. Can they find common ground, or will they have to go their separate ways?
Metropolitan Spaghetti, Director, Alex Cormack, Entertainment, PG (8 Minutes)
Metropolitan Spaghetti is the tale of a lonesome Cowboy wandering the urban streets of a modern city. He faces constant rejection and humiliation as he desperately strives to make it to an unexpected destination.
Tell Me a Story, Director, Andy M Wells, Drama, PG (5 Minutes)
TELL ME A STORY is a film about a young relationship hitting a barrier. This couple (Lilly and Adam) are sitting in there favourite place, in front of the Scottish landscape. Lilly wants to leave, to move away, to go somewhere else. Adam doesn't want her to leave him.. But he knows that she has to.
Birthday Party, Director, Natalia Bereg, Drama, 15 (3 Minutes)
Is there life after forty years old? What does a girl come through when she becomes a woman? One wrong word that she is not yet ready to hear can hurt her and make her 10 years older…
Shab e Tavalod (Birthday Night), Director, Omid Shams, Drama, PG (23 Minutes)
Ahmad and Ali are friends and job partners. On their birthday night they are on their way from a job outside of the city to Synopsis Ahmad's house where their wives are waiting for them. But on the road outside of the city, an accident is waiting for them that causes them to know more about each other…
Thursday 4th July 2019:
Discover Scotland: North Coast 500, Director, Sean Grieve, Documentary, (U)
Discover Scotland: North Coast 500 takes audiences on a breathtaking adventure around a 516 mile round-trip of Scotland's north Highlands to a soundtrack by Mànran (2012 London Olympics), and Kathleen MacInnes (Robin Hood). Presented by Malcolm Jamieson (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Howard’s Way) and filmed in 4K resolution with numerous partnerships with local businesses, the documentary explores the culture, history, and opportunity for adventure around the 516 miles of Scotland’s north coast.
The North Coast 500 has been hailed by many as one of the world’s essential road trips. While the driving experience is almost unparalleled, the 516 mile round-trip through the Highlands of Scotland is also home to breathtaking scenery, vibrant people, and a rich history. After seeing that most of the media coverage of the route was from first-time experiences, Sean Grieve decided to use his first year out of university to produce Discover Scotland: North Coast 500.
“I wanted to show an honest representation of the Highlands with an authentic soundtrack that all point towards a contemporary, thriving Scotland that cherishes its culture and heritage.” – Sean Grieve
The Skye filmmaker’s perspective on the North Coast 500 culminates in a 90-minute documentary, featuring a blend of visits to listed historical locations, and adventures with locals off the beaten track. Sean hopes that his project will transport audiences to the remote regions and leave them with a deeper appreciation for the route that goes beyond its striking beauty.
About Sean Grieve:
Sean Grieve grew up on the Isle of Skye and graduated last year with a BA (Hons) degree in Filmmaking from Screen Academy Scotland last year. After releasing several short drama films in Edinburgh and New York City, Sean self-financed Discover Scotland: North Coast 500 as a means to learn more about the culture and history of Scotland’s Highlands, and to take audiences on the same journey. Sean is currently on his way towards directing inspiring feature films in Scotland drawing from the country’s culture, history, and folklore.