Actor Brian Cox hits out at festival over snub for Hebrides film

Brian Cox arrives on set.' Picture: John Devlin
Brian Cox arrives on set.' Picture: John Devlin
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Brian Cox, one of the nation’s biggest Hollywood stars, has complained he was left “well pissed off” by the Edinburgh International Film Festival, after it dropped plans to screen a major new movie he made in Scotland.

The Dundee-born actor, who is about to film HBO series Succession in Scotland, was left furious after the EIFF “didn’t want to know” about screening Rory’s Way, a year after efforts to secure a premiere fell through when it was not finished in time.

In the movie, Cox stars opposite Rosanna Arquette, Thora Birch and Peter Coyote in the film in which he plays a Scot forced to reluctantly leave his isolated Hebridean island in order to undergo medical treatment in San Francisco.

The film follows the events which unfold after he moves in with his estranged son and sees his life transformed through a newly-found bond with his baby grandson.

The film, which is based on the best-selling Spanish novel The Etruscan Smile by José Luis Sampedro, was made in 2016, with the remote settlement of Tongue, in Sutherland, standing in for the Outer Hebrides. Although it was over-looked by the EIFF, Rory’s Way was screened at international film festivals in Montral Naples, New York, California and Palm Springs.

In an interview with The Scotsman, Cox recalled how it was received “incredibly successfully” at the festivals it had been screened at, despite the fact it was the first film made by Israeli directors Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis.

Rory’s Way was producedby Swiss filmmaker Arthur Cohn, whose previous credits include Central Station, Children of the Night, One Day in September and White Lies.

Cox said: ”These two directors were quite inexperienced, because they’d only done very small films, and there were a lot of problems with the editing and a lot of problems bringing it out, but it’s played several festivals, incredibly successfully.

“I was well pissed off because they wanted it at Edinburgh one year and the film wasn’t quite ready. It needed another pass, and we tried to get it in the second year and they didn’t want to know, which I thought was a shame, because my character is not only a Scot, but a Gaelic speaker.

“I thought that was the one place it should have been was in the Edinburgh International Film Festival.”

The EIFF, which will be showing another new Cox film, Strange But True, this year, declined to respond.