Whisky Galore! remake to close 70th EIFF

Feature by News Team | 21 Apr 2016

Edinburgh International Film Festival have announced that the world premiere of the remake of 1949 Ealing comedy film Whisky Galore! will close its 70th edition

Over these last few months news of the upcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival (15-29 Jun) has been slowly revealed. We already know the 70th edition of the festival will feature a focus on Finnish cinema and that there will be retrospectives celebrating the French cinéma du look wave and cult comic book movies of the 60s and 70s. And last night EIFF revealed that the remake of Scottish comedy classic Whisky Galore! will bring this year’s festival to a close.

The iconic 1949 film, directed by Scottish-American director Alexander Mackendrick, tells the the story of a remote Scottish island thrown into disarray when their wartime ration of whisky runs dry. Their panic is short lived, however, when a ship heading to America with a shipment of the golden liquid goes down just offshore.

Shot on location entirely in Scotland, Whisky Galore! features an ensemble cast of well-known Scottish actors, including Gregor Fisher (Rab C, Nesbitt), James Cosmo (Braveheart), Kevin Guthrie (Sunset Song), and Sean Biggerstaff (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets). The film also introduces new talents Naomi Battrick and Ellie Kendrick.

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The new film is directed by Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon, who won EIFF’s Michael Powell Award (the festival’s award for best British film) in 1995 for Small Faces and competed for the same award two years ago with Castles in the Sky. The stars of both those earlier films, Ian Robertson in the former and Eddie Izzard in the latter, also appear in Whisky Galore!, with Izzard playing the uptight Home Guard, Captain Waggett, who was played brilliantly by Basil Radford in the original.

“I am delighted that Whisky Galore! will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival,” said MacKinnon. “This feels like the perfect and most appropriate world premiere for a film which is the remake of a Scottish film classic.” Producer Iain Maclean adds: “I remember watching the film many times, as a child growing up on the Hebrides, on television and of course in black and white. It’s wonderful to bring Sir Compton Mackenzie's story about whisky and the islanders to a new generation of film fans through this year’s EIFF.”

After only two years as artistic director, Mark Adams has shown a desire to showcase Scottish films in the festival's gala screenings, with Robert Carlyle's Glasgow-set The Legend of Barney Thomson opening last year’s EIFF and Scott Graham’s Iona closing proceedings.

“We are absolutely delighted to be staging the world premiere of Whisky Galore! as closing night of this year’s festival,” said Adams. “It is a delightful adaptation of a much- loved classic and will wrap up our 70th edition in memorable style.”

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Thu 21 Apr 2016

The 70th edition of EIFF runs from 15-26 June 2016 http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/