Falkirk talents set to launch debut film at EIFF

Feature | 10 Jun 2009

The Shutdown is a new short film written and narrated by Scottish author Alan Bissett, known for his novels and plays that have recently been successful across Scotland. Adam Stafford, frontman of the band Y'All is Fantasy Island, directed the film and wrote the music.

"We both grew up in Falkirk and know the industry side very well," explains Stafford. "Both our fathers work within the industrial complex - and the town has an eerie quality which I've been waiting to capture all my life." 

The Shutdown tells an intense story about living near the Grangemouth petrochemical plant and the harrowing experience of an explosion that deformed Bissett's father. 

"It isn't about the town of Falkirk itself, it's about the importance of family bonds," says Stafford. He enlisted Scottish cinematographer Leo Bruges to film the dark and stunning scenes of Falkirk and Grangemouth at night. 

The Shutdown was produced by Peter Gerard and Leo Bruges of Accidental Media, an Edinburgh and Glasgow based production company with a strong track record for innovative documentaries. 

"When I heard the story and saw the footage, I could tell instantly that these guys have a lot of talent," says Gerard, who also helped edit the film. 

Accidental Media submitted The Shutdown to Silverdocs, the premiere documentary film festival in America, where it is in competition for the Sterling Shorts prize. It has also been invited to compete for the Scottish Short Documentary Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Both events take place next week, and Scottish Screen is supporting Stafford and Gerard to attend the Silverdocs festival in Washington, D.C.

Stafford and Bissett have more films in the pipeline. Bissett has been working with Hopscotch Films to adapt one of his novels, and the pair are working with Accidental Media to develop their next collaboration, a poetic film about a mining disaster that shook the population of Falkirk.

"I have been overwhelmed by the response of everyone who has seen 'The Shutdown'," says Stafford. "It is an honour and a privilege to be taking our modest film around the world."

The Shutdown will screen at the EIFF on 20 June at 14.00 at the Filmhouse.