Bill Forsyth set to become a Local Hero again at EIFF

Peter Capaldi, Burt Lancaster, and Peter Riegert in a scene from Bill Forsyth's much-loved 1983 film Local Hero. Picture: Enigma/Goldcrest/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Peter Capaldi, Burt Lancaster, and Peter Riegert in a scene from Bill Forsyth's much-loved 1983 film Local Hero. Picture: Enigma/Goldcrest/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
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Celebrated Scottish director Bill Forsyth is to return to the Edinburgh International Film Festival this year to lift the lid on a new version of Local Hero.

The creator of Gregory’s Girl and Comfort and Joy will be speaking for the first time about the stage adaptation of his much-loved story ahead of its launch in 2019.

Forsyth – whose first feature film That Sinking Feeling was an EIFF hit in 1979 – will host a screening of Local Hero, the Highland-set comedy starring Denis Lawson, Burt Lancaster and Peter Capaldi. He will also take part in an extended interview with theatre-maker David Greig, artistic director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum, where the stage show will premiere in January.

Forsyth’s appearance is expected to be one of the highlights of the festival, which has announced that documentaries about late pop star Whitney Houston, Scots Tour de France rider David Millar and a long-awaited film by author James Kelman will be part of this year’s line-up.

Travis frontman Fran Healey will be unveiling a fly-on-the-wall film following the band on tour, while one of Scotland’s leading visual artists, Rachel Maclean, will be launching a dystopian drama she filmed at a ruined seminary in Argyll to mark 100 years since some women secured the right to vote in the UK.

New films featuring Scot actors Jack Lowden, Shauna Macdonald, James Cosmo and Tommy Flanagan are also in the line-up. The festival has already announced that Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire star Kelly Macdonald will be on the red carpet on the event’s opening night to unveil new drama mystery Puzzle.

Oscar-winning Scottish director Kevin Macdonald, whose previous films include One Day In September and Touching the Void, will be unveiling Whitney, while Kelman’s Dirt Road To Lafayette, which has already inspired a novel, will also feature. Mark Cousins will be screening his acclaimed new film about Hollywood giant Orson Welles.

Lowden is one of the main stars of Calibre, a thriller about a hunting weekend gone wrong in an isolated village in the Highlands. The Descent star Shauna Macdonald will return to the horror genre in White Chamber; Flanagan is in a remake of the 1970s prison drama Papillon, and Cosmo will appear in underworld drama In Darkness.

Mark Adams, EIFF artistic director, said: “Our programme always helps shine the light on to Scottish themes, performances and filmmakers, and I am thrilled that once again we can celebrate this high-level of craftsmanship in past and present Scottish work in our 72nd year.”

The full line-up for this year’s festival, which runs from 20 June to 1 July, will be unveiled on 23 May.