Inaugural Dunoon Film Festival launched

Stars In Scotland photography exhibition accompanies new event.

by Donald Munro

The seaside resort of Dunoon is a thin strip of town between the Firth of Clyde and the hills of the Cowal peninsula. It sits just south of the Holy Loch. During the Cold War Dunoon prospered, serving the US naval base that was situated there but it fell on hard times when the Americans pulled out in 1992. The Americans did leave their marks on the town. One of these is the blue painted, corrugated iron Studio Cinema which nestles anachronistically on John Street between whitewashed buildings.

Over the years Dunoon has attracted more than its fair share of artists and musicians. The Queen's Hall has played host to many popular acts, from David Gray to Primal Scream. The town used to hold an annual Jazz festival. And now, for the first time, it is to have a film festival.

The festival was launched in the Burgh Hall in Dunoon with 50 or so people in attendance. Curator Allan Hunter (Critic and co-director of the Glasgow Film Festival) and Co-Curator Matt Lloyd (Glasgow Short Film Festival Director) were introduced to the audience. They laid out the festival program.

Highlights include the showing of all six episodes of the almost impossible to see BBC series Your Cheatin' Heart and John Grierson's seminal 1929 documentary Drifters with a live score by Wounded Knee. There is also a retrospective on the late screenwriter Alan Sharp (Rob Roy, Night Moves and Ulzana's Raid). Ben and Caitlin, two pupils from the local high school, talked about the the youth event - a double bill of Teen Wolf and The Lost Boys. Costumes are encouraged. The journalist Alison Kerr was there to talk about the photographic exhibition she is curating, Stars in Scotland. The images it includes are taken from the archives of The Herald, The Bulletin and The Evening Times. In addition there will be an exhibition of landscape photography by Lord Robertson who will be introducing the showing of Local Hero on June 15.

The festival is going to be held between the Studio Cinema and the Burgh Hall. It runs between the 14th and the 16th June. The Burgh Hall, a grade B listed building, is currently undergoing much needed renovation work, being transformed into an arts led venue. This is a work in progress. There is unfortunately no disabled access at the moment.

You can read our Dunoon Film Festival coverage so far here.

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