Peebles hosts Scotland’s first International Film Festival

The festival, which will see more than 50 films screened in the city, welcomes filmmakers from around the world – some visiting the borders of America, Germany and Canada.

The Scottish International Film Festival is the brainchild of Stephen Savage, Trinity Houston and Mhairi Calvey.

Festival director Mhairi said: “It’s exciting and a bit surreal.

“Because it’s been such a long process.”

The coronavirus pandemic has caused some delays to the festival, but that hasn’t stopped organizers from moving forward with their plans.

Vivien Reid, producer and UK festival chair, said: “I think the main thing is that we’ve opened. The festival is on.

“We’ve all put all our hard work into it and now it’s really about the community here and also the community around Peebles supporting [it] now.”

A grand jury will select its winning films during the festival and members of the public will also have their say by submitting their votes in their festival programs.

This year’s grand jury is Scottish actor Angus McFayden (Brave heart), Anne Archer (Fatal attraction), Jonn Emmet Tracy (Yellowstone), Alan Parsons OBE, John McPhail, Ruth Paxton, Shauna Macdonald (Foreign), and Carol Morley.

Stephen and Trinity run the Idyllwild Festival of Cinema in California and joined Mhairi to discuss creating a Scottish festival. It wasn’t until the group spoke with Vivien – who is from Peebles – that the town was suggested as the location for the new event.

“Without Viv [Vivien] we wouldn’t even be in Peebles,” said festival producer and US President Stephen. “She basically brought us this city.

“I had never even heard of Peebles, now I find out how many famous people know Peebles.

“As I walk around the city, I can’t believe this place is here.”

The Scotland International Film Festival has also been supported by a number of local businesses, including Peebles Hydro – which will host the festival’s filmmakers event on Saturday evening – and the Tontine Hotel which provided the festival’s red carpet .

For more information and tickets visit Scotland International Festival of Cinema website.

Tickets can also be purchased at the Eastgate Theatre.


Holiday schedule:


Today, audiences can enjoy a range of films at the Eastgate Theater from 12pm to 8.30pm.

Then on Friday, the festival begins a series of seminars from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including a seminar for female directors. The day continues with other film screenings until 9 p.m.

On the last day of films, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday April 23, festival audiences will be treated to a screening of casablanca to mark the 80th anniversary of the film and the closing film of the festival will be Anthony Bueno Clean Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbustersa look at the making of the original Ghostbusters – including never-before-seen interviews with actors such as Dan Aykroyd (Ray), Ernie Hudson (Winston) and the late Harold Ramis (Egon).

And on Saturday evening, Peebles Hydro, one of the festival’s supporters, will organize a closing party.

Then, on Sunday 24 April, the Scottish International Film Festival Awards Ceremony will take place.

Darcy J. Skinner