Which movie will win the hearts of Inverness Film Festival fans as Eden Court event marks 21st anniversary?
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MOVIE buffs flocking to an eagerly anticipated Highland festival are helping to decide which film takes top honours within seconds of the end credits rolling.
The audience choice at the Inverness Film Festival – now under way at the city's Eden Court – will be decided by the votes of film-goers as they leave screenings in the theatre's Playhouse and La Scala cinemas.
Once again there's a Ross-shire flavour with a number of screenings included at the Cromarty Cinema.
Now in its 21st year, the event curated by Inverness Film Festival director Paul MacDonald-Taylor will see over 30 features and 50 shorts screened across seven days.
It boasts a wide range of Scottish premieres from world-renowned filmmakers, including Alexander Payne, Aki Kaurismaki, Hirokazu Koreeda, Rysusuke Hamaguchi, Yorgos Lanthimos and Wim Wenders.
The audience choice award has always been a source of fascination and speculation for attendees who are invited to rate eligible movies as they leave.
The voting mechanism has graduated from old school slips of paper handed to each member of the audience to a tablet held by an usher, inviting a push buttom response from a sad to a very happy face. Mr MacDonald-Taylor told an audience on Sunday he personally preferred this to the typical star rating and, either way, it's an instant and accurate gauge of an audience's hot take on what they have just watched.
On Sunday, there was a great buzz for Zoljargal Purevdash's Mongolian set If Only I Could Hibernate.
MacDonald-Taylor, who programmes the event, has voiced delight at the numbers turning out for the initial slate of films. He said: “Cinema. Honestly there’s nothing better. That rush when you sit down to a film you don’t know, before the reviews are out, and you discover something magical. That’s exactly what we’ve tried to do with IFF for the past 20 years and we’re not going to stop. For a festival of our size to be still going so strong after so many years is a testament to our loyal audiences – and this year we have a cornucopia of features and shorts. I can’t wait for our audiences to discover the world on our screens.”
The festival will close with The Bikeriders, Jeff Nichols’ furious drama following the rise of a 1960s motorcycle club and boasting a stellar cast that includes Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy and Austin Butler.
Other highlights of this year’s programme include Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos’ adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s novel, Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal in Andrew Haigh’s All of us Strangers,