Robert Carlyle directorial debut to open EIFF

The Legend Of Barney Thomson will world premiere at 69th edition.

by Amber Wilkinson

Robert Carlyle in The Legend Of Barney Thomson, which will open EIFF
Robert Carlyle in The Legend Of Barney Thomson, which will open EIFF Photo: Courtesy of EIFF
The 69th edition of Edinburgh Film Festival will open with the world premiere of Robert Carlyle's directorial debut The Legend Of Barney Thomson on June 17 at the city's Festival Theatre.

Carlyle - who is an honorary patron of the festival - also stars in the darkly humorous Glasgow-set thriller alongside Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone, Tom Courtenay, Ashley Jensen and Martin Compston.

Carlyle said: “After a career-long association with EIFF it gives me enormous pleasure to have The Legend Of Barney Thomson chosen as Opening Night film. It really is such an honour for me to have my first feature as director premiered here in Edinburgh at the Festival that has played such a huge part in my life."

The screenplay - based on Douglas Lindsay's The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson - is written by Colin McLaren (Donkeys) and Richard Cowan. The film tells the story of Barney (Carlyle), an awkward barber who inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, with absurd and macabre consequences. Complicating matters further, Barney’s mother Cemolina (Thompson) has a secret of her own and the local police inspector Holdall (Winstone) is fighting his own battles within his inept homicide department as he tries to solve the crime of the century.

Festival artistic director Mark Adams said: “We are thrilled to be opening this year’s Festival with Robert Carlyle’s wonderful black comedy. It is a marvellously macabre and playful film, impressively directed and with a terrific cast. It is the perfect film to kick off what promises to be an exciting festival.”

Tickets for the film’s public screening on Wednesday June 17 at Festival Theatre go on sale tomorrow (May 6) on the official site.

Read our coverage of last year's festival and check back for more news from the 2015 edition.

Share this with others on...

The peacemaker Maurice Fitzpatrick on documentary In The Name Of Peace: John Hume In America

The house by the water Brian O'Malley on Gothic horror, Irish history and The Lodgers

Release the bats Kelly Greene on Attack Of The Bat Monsters

A taste of romance Sophie Brooks on first dates, food and The Boy Downstairs

Turtle power Michaël Dudok de Wit on The Red Turtle and Robinson Crusoe

New filmmaker in residence programme launched Starlight will focus on underrepresented communities

More news and features

We're bringing you all the latest news and reviews direct from the Glasgow Film Festival and the Berlinale.

We've recently been at Sundance, the Palm Springs film festival, and Made In Prague.

Read our full for recent coverage.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.