A REMOTE corner of the Highlands is hoping for an economic and tourism boost after being chosen as the atmospheric location for a new feature film.
Scots-born Hollywood stars Ashley Jensen and Kevin McKidd will be shooting love triangle drama Indian Summer on the Eriboll estate in Sutherland over the next few months.
The estate looks on to the vast ten-mile long sea loch, near Cape Wrath, where 33 German submarines surrendered in 1945.
The film, set during the “summer of love” in 1967, revolves around a new arrival in the close-knit community who is both a US Marine and a Native American and is described as being a “bittersweet romance”.
Grey’s Anatomy star McKidd and Jensen, who shot to fame in Extras and Ugly Betty, play the God-fearing husband and lonely wife whose lives are transformed by the “exotic stranger”.
The two Scots actors will be joined by Chaske Spencer, who is best known for his role as a werewolf in the Twilight vampire movies.
Key to the plot is the couple’s young nephew, whom they adopted when his parents were killed in a car crash. However, this role has not yet been cast.
The film is described as a “life-affirming, magical, feel-good movie that celebrates the wild and beautiful Scottish landscape, and contrasts the joy and innocence of childhood with the secret passions of the adult world”.
The screenplay is by Brian Ward, who was behind political thriller The Interpreter, which starred Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, and Death Defying Acts, which told of Harry Houdini’s visit to Edinburgh in the 1920s.
Indian Summer is said to be inspired by classic 1953 Western Shane, starring Alan Ladd and Jean Arthur, and British films such as Whistle Down The Wind, Kes, Billy Elliot and Local Hero.
Mr Ward said: “Indian Summer was conceived as a project to shoot and predominately cast and crew in Scotland, with Scottish talent.
“The starkness and beauty of the Highland landscape was always intended as a major part of the visual language of the movie, and we’ve been fortunate to come across such a perfect location on the Eriboll estate in Sutherland. We’re very excited at the prospect of shooting in Scotland this spring and summer.”
Producer Iain Brown said: “Creative Scotland’s location services have been incredibly supportive and helpful in providing many location options in the preparatory stages of Indian Summer … We cannot wait to get to work in such beautiful surroundings.”
Loch Eriboll, Britain’s deepest sea loch, has been used for centuries as a deep water anchorage as it is safe from the often stormy seas of Cape Wrath and the Pentland Firth. It was nicknamed “Lock ’orrible” by the British servicemen stationed there during the Second World War because of the weather.
Jenni Steele, film tourism project manager at VisitScotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see two Hollywood stars returning home to help show off our stunning country to a whole new audience.
“Our research shows one in five visitors to our country are influenced by what they see on film, so any depiction which includes the beautiful Sutherland backdrop is sure to wow movie-goers around the world.”