This year we have become even more international than ever screening 34 films from 21 different countries (not including the vagaries surrounding co-production).  With these films we have some of the best new films from every corner of the globe; from Ethiopia to Mongolia to New Zealand to Colombia to Norway but beginning at home in Scotland with our Opening film The Silent Storm which was filmed on Mull with Damian Lewis and Andrea Riseborough.

We have continued our tradition of screening many films by either first or second time directors; Corinna McFarlane’s The Silent Storm, Maria Gamboa’s Mateo, Zeresenay Mehari’s Difret and Miroslav Slaboshpitsky’s The Tribe to name just a few.  We screen these films to give you a look at the new voices in cinema, to see the directors of the next generation before they become well known.

There are several films that have won awards on the festival circuit: Winter Sleep by Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, where the Russian film Leviathan won best screenplay and The Tribe won three awards including the Critics Week Grand Prize (The Tribe is my pick of the festival , it’s a unique and original film from Ukraine without words or subtitles or translation which is the most exciting and powerful film that you will see all year. It’s a true one of a kind, which after 120 years of cinema doesn’t happen very often).

As always please do remember to vote for our Audience Award.  We don’t have juries or committees for our award, it is completely up to you.  Designed by Hebrides based artist Steve Dilworth, we take great pride in knowing that a little piece of our festival has taken up residence not just in Europe but also in Asia and Oceania.

I do hope that you enjoy the festival, and please do let me know what you think.

Paul Taylor, Festival Director