Published: 07/11/2011 08:00 - Updated: 07/11/2011 07:58

Big screen premiere's key link to Achiltibuie

THERE's a strong Ross-shire connection to a world premiere being unveiled at a movie buff's paradise next week.

Graders, which will be screened for the first time at the Inverness Film Festival next Thursday, tells the story of a Polish girl searching for her missing sister in the Scottish Highlands. It is the first feature by David Hutchison, who has strong links to Achiltibuie.

David's Achiltibuie-based crofter aunt, Marlene MacKenzie, a Mod silver medal winner, wrote the film's theme song, Return to Me. His uncle Kenny was the headmaster at Achiltibuie for many years. David is also well known in Ullapool after staging several one-man shows at The Ceilidh Place there.

The film, set in the fictional village of "Innisaig, somewhere near Ullapool", was filmed in Lochinver, Kinlochbervie, Buckie and Edinburgh.

The sisters Ania and Celina are played by real Polish actors Joanna Kaczynska and Agnieszka Bresler. Joanna has recently been in Peter Mullan's Neds and Agnieszka has her own Polish theatre company.

David says the movie, made on "a micro budget", wrote the script while on the MA in Screenwriting at Screen Academy Scotland last year.

The film features a soundtrack with an eclectic mix of songs in five languages by a diverse range of musicians from Gaelic singer of the year Eilidh MacKenzie to Exploited drummer Wullie Buchan. It's world premiere takes place at Inverness Film Festival (IFF) at Eden Court Cinemas on Thursday, November 10 at 8.45pm.

Running from November 9-13 it boasts no fewer than 20 Scottish premieres, two UK premieres and a triple helping of short films.

The opening film is the Scottish Premiere of The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Davies' first foray on to the big screen since 2000's House of Mirth.

It closes with Michael Fassbender taking the lead role in the Scottish premiere of Steve McQueen's gripping new film, Shame, about a sex-crazed New Yorker.

In the intervening days, the two cinemas play host to 19 more movies being screened in Scotland for the first time. That includes a gritty reinterpretation of the Bronte classic Wuthering Heights, directed by Red Road's Andrea Arnold, and a new version of the '80s' horror classic, The Thing and a host of others.

Full details of the IFF can be found online at invernessfilmfestival.com.

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