Bill Nighy and George Mackay to attend Shetland film festival

Popular actors Bill Nighy and George MacKay will be among the special guests attending this year's run of the UK's most northerly film festival.

File photos of actors Bill Nighy (left) and George MacKay who will be among the special guests attending the 11th annual Screenplay Film Festival in Shetland next week. Picture: PA Wire

The 11th annual Screenplay Film Festival, co-curated by film critic Mark Kermode, gets under way in Shetland next week.

More than 80 screenings and events are scheduled over the course of the 10-day programme, organisers have announced.

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British screen stars Nighy and MacKay will take part in separate Q&A sessions during their visit.

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Nighy will take questions following the screening of his latest film The Limehouse Golem, which opens nationally in early September.

The film sees Nighy take on the role of a police inspector who investigates a series of brutal killings in Victorian-era London - a part initially intended for the late Alan Rickman.

MacKay will be engaged in a Q&A after a screening of the comedy Pride, and he will join in with the audience during a sing-along screening of Sunshine on Leith, in which he also stars.

The festival has been put together by Mr Kermode and co-curators Linda Ruth Williams and Kathy Hubbard, with a view to presenting a varied programme.

The regular Look North screenings featuring work from Scandinavia will return this year, while there will be a new “Fur and Feathers” strand, with some films about dogs, cats, eagles, and a donkey.

The festival will also be supporting emerging film makers and screening contributions made by Shetlanders.

Ms Hubbard said there are plenty of films for families and young people.

She added: “Apart from the public screenings for families, over a thousand school pupils will be coming to Mareel to see some of the best that world cinema has to offer young audiences. We can’t wait to meet them all.”

The festival, hosted by Shetland Arts at various venues across the islands, runs from Friday August 25 to Sunday September 3.